Asthma is a disease of the lungs. The airways of the lungs get inflamed and make a thick mucus which has a negative effect on breathing. No distinct cause for asthma has been proven. There are, however, several things that can trigger asthma attacks. Pet dander, and allergies can trigger, asthma, along with smoking, strong odors, certain foods, dust, mold or a respiratory infection. Even such things as cockroaches, and the weather may trigger an asthma attack. Common symptoms of asthma are SOB, a rapid heart rate, wheezing, chest pain and sweating. Patients with any of these signs need to see their health care provider.
Medical interventions the doctor may use when assessing for asthma will include a physical assessment and several diagnostic tests. These tests are a spirometry test, a peak flow test, FEV/FVC ratio, and a skin test for allergies. The doctor may prescribe an inhaler to help manage asthma symptoms; for more severe asthma conditions the doctor can prescribe an inhaler as well has an oral medication to help control the asthma. Whichever test the doctor performs on a patient often depends on that patient’s symptoms.
Nursing care for the patients getting medical treatment for asthma involves checking the patient’s oxygen levels, ABGs tests, and auscultating the lungs for any abnormal sounds. The nurse will provide support to the patient and offer patient teachings as appropriate. Patients will be educated on the importance of a healthy diet. Eating a well-balanced diet will help control asthma symptoms. Nurses can teach patients to use a peak flow meter to monitor how air moves through their lungs. They will teach breathing exercises to help control breathing if an asthma
attack occurs. Nurses will teach asthma patients how and when to use their inhalers. Education will be provided, so the patient can recognize triggers for their asthma and how to avoid them.