Not All Wheezing is Asthma
23
August

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , , , , , , /


Asthma is a condition where the lungs have
restricted air flow because the airways are squeezing down. It’s different than exercise-induced laryngeal
obstruction (EILO), which is up here. The throat is partially closing and it really
restricts the air flow. People with asthma describe the experience
as some chest tightness, some cough, some frustration. It’s gradual. It comes on slow. It resolves itself slowly. There’s not exactly a distinct episode that
changes on a second to second basis. We treat asthma with medications. We use inhalers. Albuterol is the most commonly used agent
on a minute to minute basis to deal with acute symptoms. If you take your inhaler properly with a spacer,
it’ll tend to work if exercise is the trigger for asthma. EILO looks really different. You see somebody who’s suffering, who’s embarrassed,
who’s breathing noisy. You feel compelled to do something. You see them stopping after a minute and 45
seconds, just unable to keep up with everybody else. We treat EILO with different breathing techniques. We don’t need medicines. Our speech and language pathologists can teach
different ways of breathing so that patients can keep their throat open when they’re going
as hard as they want. If they’ve got these tools in their tool box,
there’s nothing that should hold them back.


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