Precipitating Factors

All patients suspected of having asthma should be questioned about early warning signs and precipitating factors. Early warning signs of an attack include symptoms such as cough, scratchy throat, and nasal stuffiness, especially if an attack follows an upper respiratory tract infection. Many other precipitating factors can provoke asthma symptoms or an acute attack (Box 20-3). Identification of these precipitating factors can help patients manage their asthma by learning their early warning signs and avoiding any exposure that triggers an exacerbation. These symptoms and identification of triggers are the first stages of diagnosis of asthma.

Coping with Asthma

Coping with Asthma

If you suffer with asthma, you will no doubt be familiar with the uncomfortable sensations as your bronchial tubes begin to narrow and your muscles around them start to tighten. A sticky mucus known as phlegm begins to produce and increase within your bronchial tubes and you begin to wheeze, cough and struggle to breathe.

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