Asthma Complications and Absenteeism | My Paper Hub
Today, there are a lot of chronic diseases known t...
Today, there are a lot of chronic diseases known to man. Of
these, one of the most common is Asthma. Asthma is an English word derived from
the Greek word for panting. Although it shares a lot of characteristics with
other chronic inflammatory diseases, asthma is distinguished from the other
diseases due to its symptoms. This inflammatory disease that affects the
airwaves is presented in both recurring and variable symptoms. The major
symptoms are reversible airflow obstruction, coughing, shortness of breath,
chest tightness, and wheezing. The cause of this disease is diversified over a
number of environmental and genetic factors. Most cases of this disease are a
combination of both the environmental and genetic factors. To effectively
diagnose this disease, diagnosticians study the patterns presented in the
different symptoms as well as the patient’s response to the therapy being
offered. Spirometry is also an important factor to take into consideration with
regards to the diagnosis of asthma. Spirometry is a comprehensive test through
which the functioning of the lungs is tested. Here, the pulmonary function
tests are the basis through which spirometry takes place. The main functionary
elements under test here are volume and speed. Although there are different
test undertaken within the broader scope of spirometry, the main elements being
tested in are the volume of air that can
be contained in the lungs and the speed through which the various inhalation
and exhalation processes take place (Harver & Kotses, 2010).
One of the main distinctions that exist
with regards to this disease is brought out in its classification. Unlike other
similar medical conditions, asthma is clinically classified in accordance to
peak expiratory flow rate, forced expiratory volume, and the frequency of the
various symptoms. The main way through which symptoms are avoided is through
avoiding the various triggers and irritants. Asthma manifests differently in
people from different age brackets. The manner in which the disease is
presented in children below the age of five years is different compared to
their adolescents’ counterparts. From the symptoms of the disease, it is
evident to note that there is a great deal of discomfort presented through the
disease. Management of the disease is also different in patients of different
ages. Just as the other medical conditions, Asthma is best managed in the event
it is detected in its early stages (Children's & Allen &
there have been numerous advancements in medicine, both the rate of mortality
and morbidity continues to increase in children. Advancements in medicine have
provided the required tools and techniques to effective handle asthma. In
handling asthma, the relevant information required so as effectively to detect
and manage the disease. One of the greatest concerns to take note of with
regards to the increased mortality is the management practices in place.
Traditionally, management of this medical condition is children have been centered
on the combination of beta-agonists and anti-inflammatory medications. The over
usage of these drugs is one of the main reasons behind the increase mortality
levels. One of the developments that has been made with regards to this disease
is the discovery of airway inflammation in mild cases of asthma in children.
Combined with the fact that inflammatory stimuli have a tendency of increasing
the airway responsiveness, this has led to the utilization of anti-inflammatory
medication. It is however important to note that not all asthma patients have
the same response with regards to the activity of anti-inflammatory medication.
The current concepts that shape up the administration and development of
medication with regards to child management of asthma have presented as being
overly simplistic. Corticosteroids have always played an important role with
regards to the management of this medical condition. Although this has been the
case, modern research shows that the current concepts employed in managing this
condition in children are very simplistic. This creates the urgent need for all
the parties involved to ensure that optimal therapy is maintained at the
highest levels of effectiveness (Harver & Kotses, 2010).
who suffer from this medical condition have to adjust their lifestyles to
manage activities outside their medical condition. One of the most important
factors to take note of is education. Unlike normal children, children with
this medical condition are forced to take into account special factors when
deciding the school to be attended and the manner in which school activities
will be taken care of(Children's & Allen & Bryant-Stephens, 2005).
of children who miss school due to asthma or asthma related conditions has been
on the increase. Over the course of the past 2 years, this number has more than
doubled. Due to asthma related complications, over 80 percent of the student
population affected by this disease misses between five and seven weeks of
school every year. This has led to different initiatives aimed at ensuring that
children with asthma and asthma related conditions are not only kept in school,
but also provided with an environment through which they can conduct their
studies effectively (Children's & Allen & Bryant-Stephens, 2005).
initiative that is aimed towards addressing asthma within any environment, the
nature and level of asthma sensitization education within that community is the
first – and most important – element to take note of. Within the school environment,
the nature and level of information possessed by both the school staff and the
other parties is of great importance. The initiative developed to address this
problem started off by conductive extensive research so as to ascertain the
awareness level of the teaching staff with regards to this problem (Children's
& Allen & Bryant-Stephens, 2005).
course of addressing the problem presented by asthma within the various school
attendance programs, there are different stakeholders who are important to
address. Some of the stakeholders include the education authorities, school
staff, parents, students, and guardians. One of the greatest steps that were
taken with regards to addressing the issue of asthma within the school setting is
dealing with the various irritants and allergens. Working in collaboration with
the Department of Education, the Department of Environmental Health instituted
measures through which air quality in the various learning institutions was to
be maintained at the required safety levels. This was instituted alongside
strict measures to ensure that all types of mold within the classrooms were
taken care of. Any substance that was bound to either pollute the air and or
trigger an asthmatic attack was taken care of effectively. A year after these
measures were instituted the number of children who missed school due to asthma
and asthmatic related conditions dropped by more than 40 percent. These
measures were also effective in handling the issue of comfortability presented
by the inhaler. In order to be secure from abrupt attacks, children are usually
advised to carry inhalers everywhere they go. Unlike in the open or within the
home setting, the school environment presents some of the worst challenges with
regards to using inhalers. There have been numerous cases reported; where
students reported of how intimidated they felt while using inhalers within the
school setting. This lowers the effectiveness rate with regards to management
of the medical condition within the school setting. The move to ensure air is
kept clean within the learning environment slashed the need to carry inhalers
to school by over 60 percent within the first year (Harver & Kotses, 2010).
always a concern in the implementation of any initiative. The implementation of
a safer learning environment through educating the relevant parties on the
importance of an allergen-free environment and ensuring the air within the
learning environment is maintained at clean levels had very minor costs. Compared to the results – in both the short
and long terms – the amount of resources required to effectively implement the
changes presented in the initiative were negligible compared to the end result
of the entire initiative (Children's & Allen & Bryant-Stephens, 2005).
achievement of optimum results in the process of combating the absenteeism resulting
from asthma and asthma related cases is dependent on the nature and level of
involvement by the various stakeholders. So as to achieve the optimum results, the –
active and efficient - involvement of community partners, parents, government
agencies, and teachers is not an option. It is also important to ensure that
the initiatives are designed with the element of expansion in mind. Once the
initiative has been proven to be effective, it should be implemented in other
schools and educational institutions throughout the immediate environment. In
handling the various challenges that are presented in asthma – and the
absenteeism caused therein – the government is the chief source of funds and
financial assistance required to see the various initiatives through. Legislation
is also of great importance with regards to addressing this topic effectively. The government should be on the forefront in implementing
the required legal stipulations outlined in the initiatives aimed at making the
school environment better and asthma free. For instance, legislation is vital
in the control of certain chemicals used within the school setting that act as
triggers and allergens. The training of teachers and school staff with regards
to the prevention mechanisms and handling emergencies also requires the input
of legislative and educational authorities (Harver & Kotses, 2010).
conclusion, it is evident to note that asthma is an important topic within the
learning environment. Within the different schools, asthma accounts for between
50 and 90 percent of the total absentees. Children suffering from asthma and
asthma related conditions are affected by worst affected with regards to the
changes in weather and environmental conditions. Addressing the problem
presented by this medical condition calls for the active involvement of
different stakeholders. Some of the most important parties – who are also best
placed in addressing these challenges include – the parents, community partners,
government agencies, and teachers. The teachers and parents have been bestowed
by the greatest level of responsibility as presented in the various interactions
between children suffering from this medical condition and those around them.
Parents and teachers form the immediate interaction group with regards to
children suffering from asthma and asthma related conditions. The key to
achieving the best results in dealing with the challenges presented in asthma
and asthma related conditions lies in the effective input by the various
stakeholders involved herein (Children's & Allen & Bryant-Stephens,
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