Wheezing in children

Posted by e-Medical PPT Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Wheeze is a continuous, coarse, whistling sound produced in the respiratory airways during breathing. It is caused by narrowed or obstructed respiratory tree or airflow velocity within the respiratory tree must be heightened. Wheezing is commonly experienced by persons with a lung disease; the most common cause of recurrent wheezing is asthma attacks.The differential diagnosis of wheezing is wide, and the cause of wheezing in a given patient is determined by considering the characteristics of the wheezes and the historical and clinical findings made by the examining physician.
Asthma is a common chronic inflammatory disease of the airways characterized by variable and recurring symptoms, airflow obstruction, and bronchospasm.Symptoms include wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath.Asthma is clinically classified according to the frequency of symptoms, forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), and peak expiratory flow rate.Asthma may also be classified as atopic (extrinsic) or non-atopic (intrinsic), based on whether symptoms are precipitated by allergens (atopic) or not (non-atopic).
Medicines such as inhaled short-acting beta-2 agonists may be used to treat acute attacks.Attacks can also be prevented by avoiding triggering factors such as allergens or rapid temperature changes and through drug treatment such as inhaled corticosteroids. Leukotriene antagonists are less effective than corticosteroids, but have fewer side effects.The monoclonal antibody omalizumab is sometimes effective.
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