In this entry, I would like to comment on how the fact that asthma is such a common disease can in some cases lead to individuals being told they have "asthma," yet on detailed review with specialized tests, are found not to have asthma. I know that this can sound a little confusing: "My doctor told me I have asthma and I am taking asthma medicines." So what's up?
Common symptoms, common diagnosis I recently heard from a friend about his wife's difficulty with her asthma. Since she had a bad cold late in the fall, she has been needing nebulizers on a daily basis. Apart from a little exercise and cold-induced asthma when she was younger, she had not had any breathing difficulties until recently. She also hadn't felt much better during a course of prednisone (a steroid pill) -- this is unusual for a person with asthma. I set her up to see me in clinic on my next available slot. Even though she was still feeling some shortness of breath, she did not report any wheeze, and her breathing t...
When discussing of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, we often talk about pain, stiffness, swelling, and disability. We don’t often talk about vocal quality or ability to breathe freely, but RA can affect the larynx and small joints of the head and neck, including temporomandibular joint (TMJ), the cricoarytenoid joint (CAJ), and the cricothyroid joint (CTJ).
According to a new literature review in the journal Autoimmune Diseases , the prevalence of laryngeal symptoms of RA has risen from up to 31% of RA patients in 1960 (Lawry, 1984) to 75% by the end of the 20th century (Hamdan, 2013). At least a portion of this significant increase is likely due to increased awareness and better clinical diagnosis.
Symptoms of larynx involvement caused by RA include odynophagia (painful swallowing), foreign body sensation, dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), sore throat, lump sensation in the throat, change in voice quality (e.g. hoarseness, breathiness, vocal fatigue), referred ...
Difficulty breathing - first aid; Dyspnea - first aid; Shortness of breath - first aid
Call 911 immediately.
Check the person's airway, breathing, and circulation. If necessary, begin CPR and first aid for bleeding .
Loosen any tight clothing.
Help the person use any prescribed medication (such as an asthma inhaler or home oxygen).
Continue to monitor the person's breathing and circulation until medical help arrives. DO NOT assume that the person's condition is improving if you can no longer hear wheezing.
If there are open wounds in the neck or chest, they must be closed immediately, especially if air bubbles appear in the wound. Bandage such wounds at once.
A "sucking" chest wound allows air to enter the person's chest cavity with each breath. This can cause a collapsed lung . Bandage the wound with plastic wrap, a plastic bag, or gauze pads covered with petroleum jelly, sealing it except for one corne...
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