Here at WebNebs, educating our customers is our number 1 priority. In this section we have provided information about a variety of respiratory illnesses, as well as explanations on metered dose inhalers.
What is Asthma?
Asthma is a chronic disease of the airways that makes breathing difficult. There is inflammation of the air passages resulting in a temporary narrowing of the bronchial airways that carry oxygen to the lungs. Symptoms include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. Asthma is a serious disease that affects more than 22 million Americans and causes nearly 2 million hospital emergency visits each year. With proper treatment, you can live well with this condition.What causes Asthma?
The truth is that no one really knows what causes asthma, and there are many different theories among the experts. There are different types of asthma but the key to managing the disease is to know your triggers or what causes you or your child to have difficulty breathing. Asthma attacks are triggered by a combination of factors such as allergens, pollutants, viral infections, exercise, fatigue and changes in the temperature or weather.What is the prevalence of Asthma in children?
According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology it is estimated that 9 million Americans under age 18 have been diagnosed with asthma, and more than 1.3 million are less than 5 years old. You are not alone by any means.What is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)?
COPD is a lung disease that makes it difficult to breathe. Most common in the elderly population, it is caused by damage to the lungs over many years, usually from smoking. COPD is often a mix of two diseases which include chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Unfortunately, there is no cure. The good news is that it can be treated and managed by regular visits to your physician and by staying compliant with the medications that have been prescribed. Although, you may not always feel like you need to take your medication, it is important that you maintain your treatment regimen to prevent further lung damage.What does COPD stand for?
The acronym stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. It is a general term that is divided into two categories. Emphysema is the first category. This term is used to describe the damage which occurs in the tiny air sacs in the lungs where oxygen transfers into the bloodstream resulting in low oxygen saturation levels. Chronic bronchitis is the second part used to describe the excess mucus build-up that can lead to chronic coughing symptoms.What is the prevalence of COPD in the United States?
Currently, it is estimated that approximately 12 million Americans have been diagnosed with COPD. However, the disease itself is heavily undiagnosed. Experts have estimated that an additional 10 million Americans may be symptomatic and undiagnosed. For this reason, COPD is the fourth common cause of death in the United States.Is COPD contagious?
No- it is a respiratory disease that can't be passed from one individual to another.What is Croup?
Croup is a common respiratory problem primarily prevalent in young children. Occurring mostly in fall and winter, its main symptom is a harsh, barking cough, similar to the sound of a barking seal. Croup causes swelling and narrowing in the voice box, windpipe, and breathing tubes that lead to the lungs resulting in difficulty with breathing. Usually occurring a few days after onset of a common cold, this contagious illness gradually improves within two to five days.What is Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) infection?
Respiratory Syncytial Virus infection, usually called RSV, is similar to a bad cold. It causes the same symptoms as a cold which include cough, stuffy nose, mild sore throat, earache and fever. Both common and contagious, most children have RSV at least once by age two. It is not something to worry about but it can lead to pneumonia, so it's important to watch the symptoms and call your doctor if they worsen.What is Pneumonia?
Pneumonia is a lung infection that can make you very sick, and is particularly prevalent in babies, older adults and those inflicted with other diseases such as asthma and heart disease. Symptoms include cough, fever, and difficulty with breathing. You may be more likely to contract the disease after having a cold or the flu. Pneumonia often clears up in two to three weeks, however in some instances hospitalization may be required.What is Wheezing?
Many people with respiratory allergies suffer from bouts of wheezing with the arrival of hay fever season. Mild wheezing may also accompany respiratory infections such as acute bronchitis and may be experienced by people with heart failure or COPD. The characteristic whistling sound of wheezing is a primary symptom of the chronic respiratory disease known as asthma. Treatment is prescribed by a doctor.What is Bronchitis?
Common in both children and adults, the most prevalent symptom of acute bronchitis is a cough that is dry and hacking at first. After a few days, the cough may bring up mucus. Children and adults may have a low fever and feel tired. Symptoms usually start three to four days after an upper respiratory tract infection, and often improve within two to four weeks. Chronic bronchitis reoccurs and may last a long time, particularly with people that smoke. There may also be a mucus filled cough for an extended period of time.Metered Dose Inhalers
What is the difference between a Spacer and a Holding Chamber?
These terms are both used to refer to devices that are typically used with metered dose inhalers (MDI's). MDI's are often referred to as puffers or inhalers. Since the medication enclosed in an MDI exits at a very high rate of speed and can be difficult to coordinate when inhaling, a spacer or a holding chamber is designed to provide a space between the MDI and the patient's mouth. It becomes much easier to contain the medication and deliver a more efficient dose of the medication to the lungs when initiating a puff from the MDI.
A Spacer was the first generation of devices developed to help deliver a more efficient dose of the medication from an MDI. It is a plastic tube that attaches to the MDI on one end and then inhaled through the patient's mouth on the other end. Its design does help to reduce the amount of medication that is deposited in the mouth and throat by providing the "space" between the MDI and the mouth of the patient. However, it still does require some timing when activating the MDI since the medication exits the MDI at a high rate of speed.
A Holding Chamber has much more to offer. It has a one way valve at the end closest to the patient's mouth, sealing the chamber and allowing the medication to remain suspended inside for a few seconds. This allows the patient to better coordinate an inhalation and take a deeper breath drawing the medication further down into the lungs. It is important to note that the composition of holding chambers can also play a significant part in delivering an efficient dose of the medication to the patient. The first generation was made out of plastic. As more research has been done on these devices, it has been determined that plastic has an electrostatic charge or static cling associated with it. This can actually cause the medication exiting the MDI to stick to the sides of the Holding Chamber never allowing it to be deposited into the lungs. The newly designed Holding Chambers are now be made of "Non-Electrostatic" polymers and in one instance, anodized aluminum. This is all being done to minimize the amount of medication adhering to the walls of the Holding Chamber and therefore providing a more efficient delivery of the medication.
What is the difference between a CFC and a HFA Metered Dose Inhaler?
These terms refer to different types of propellants used to deliver medication from a metered dose inhaler. CFCs (Chlorofluorocarbons) were the first generation propellant used inside the MDIs. Subsequently, this substance was discovered to be harmful to the ozone layer and has been gradually phased out of use. HFAs (Hydrofluoroalkanes), the newest type of propellant, were developed and placed inside MDIs as a safer alternative to the environment.We have provided the following website links to help you learn more about your disease.www.aanma.org
(Allergy and Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics)
(American Lung Association)
(Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America)
(American Academy of Asthma, Allergy & Immunology)
(part of AANMA listed above)
(medical device manufacturer HELP site)