The most common symptom of Asthma is a cough normally after illness or exercise. (Woollbert, Robert, 1996) Also periods of wheezing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath can indicate asthma. (Modern Dental Assisting, 2012) Rattling chest sounds, fatigue, irritability, loss of appetite itching of nose, eyes, ears, sneezing and a runny nose can all be symptoms of an oncoming asthma attack. (Woollbert, Robert, 1996) There are more than 22 million people that have asthma and 6 million of them are children, (Modern Dental Assisting, 2012). Most peoples asthma has their first onset a few years into their life, 80% before five. (Woollbert, Robert, 1996) Children with Asthma normally have remission during puberty and 50 75% of kids with relativity mild asthma become asthma free, while the majority of children with persistent asthma continue to have asthma. (Woollbert, Robert, 1996) Asthma is untreatable, but there are ways to help manage it so people with asthma can live relativity normal lives. (Woollbert, Robert, 1996)
One step is to identify allergens, irritants, and factors that cause the person to have asthma attacks and to try to reduce exposure to that. (Woollbert, Robert, 1996) According to Jonathan Gelfand (2008), Asthma medicines can be either inhaled, using a metered dose inhaler, dry powder inhaler, or a nebulizer, or taken orally, either in pill or liquid form. Now there are five major drugs used to help treat asthma, theophylline, beta-adrenergic agents, cromolyn sodium, anticholinergic, and corticosteroids.
Theophylline is used to relax the bronchial muscle, Beta-adrenergic agents help to widen airways, cromolyn sodium helps to prevent an asthma attack, and anticholinergic help to alter control of airways, and corticosteroids which help to reduce swelling and inflammations, also has less side effects. (Woollbert, Robert , 1996) Medication is a key role in gaining control over asthma anti-flamatory drugs and bronchodilators can be used for long and short term relief. (Gelfand Jonathan, 2008) Normally at the first sign of an attack a patient will take out their inhaler/bronchodilator to relive the symptoms of an attack.
That doesnt always work, and some patients wont have their inhaler with them, but to help them the dental team has to know the symptoms themselves, a patient will cough, wheeze, have anxiety, pallor, increased pulse, and Cyanosis. (Modern Dental Assisting, 2012) If this happens in the dental office, according to Modern Dental Assisting, the dental assistant should call for assistance, position the patient comfortably, upright being the best, patient needs to self-medicate with inhaler, administer oxygen, take/record vital signs, and if needed call 911 for assistance. The best way to prevent a dental emergency is to know your patient, knowing the patient can help to not only prepare for the patient, but help in detecting a medical emergency before it happens. (Modern Dental Assisting, 2012)
Bird Doni, Robinson Debbie, Modern Dental Assisting 10th edition, 2012, St. Louis Missouri
Gelfand Jonathan, L. (2008, august 10). Asthma medications . Retrieved from: http://www.rxlist.com/asthma_medications/article.htm
Woollbert, Robert, G. (1996). Asthma In s. Bahr, Lauren, a. Bloodmfeild, Louise & I. Johnson, Bernard (Eds.), Colliers Encyclopedia (3 ed. pp. 99-100). New York : Colliers