Cardiac Asthma: Causes and Symptoms

Cardiac asthma is an extremely dangerous pathological condition in which the functional activity of the left ventricle of the heart is inhibited, which leads to disruption of blood movement in the small circle of blood circulation and subsequent interstitial pulmonary edema. The main clinical manifestation of this disease will be a sharp deterioration in respiratory function. As a rule, this disease has a secondary nature. In other words, it is preceded by some major pathology. In the event that, with this violation, it was not possible to provide timely medical assistance, the likelihood of death is extremely high.

There is no exact information about the prevalence of cardiac asthma among the population. It is assumed that from one to five percent of the entire population of the planet has ever encountered such a disease. Most often this condition is diagnosed in people over sixty. However, it may also occur at a younger age. No gender dependency can be traced.

As we have already said, the basis for impaired breathing in this condition is a decrease in the functional activity of the left ventricle. Due to the fact that it begins to decline less actively, stagnation is formed in the small circle of blood circulation. The pressure level in the small circle increases, the permeability of the capillary walls increases, and the liquid component of the blood enters the lung tissue. Pulmonary edema is formed, leading to inhibition of both gas exchange and ventilation functions. Sometimes the swelling grows so rapidly that there is no chance to save the patient.

In most cases, the occurrence of cardiac asthma is caused by primary cardiac pathology. However, sometimes extracardiac disorders can contribute to the formation of this pathological process. Among cardiogenic causes, the leading role is played by left ventricular failure, which has an acute or chronic course. In second place in terms of frequency are various forms of ischemic   diseases   heart disease, for example, angina or myocardial infarction. Acute inflammatory changes in the heart muscle, the appearance in it of connective tissue lesions or areas of bulging – all this can act as a provoking factor for the formation of cardiac asthma.

Breathing is often depressed against the background of too high rises in blood pressure and various disorders of the heart rhythm. Other possible causes include valvular disease, large intra-atrial blood clots or intracavitary cardiac tumors.

For non-cardiogenic causes, various infectious diseases play a leading role. An example is inflammation of the lungs or kidney structures. Another possible factor is acute impairment of blood flow to the brain tissue.

There are a number of predisposing moments that create favorable conditions for the occurrence of cardiac asthma. These include excessive physical stress, stress, the ingestion of too much fluid or the delay in its elimination.

In the development of this disease, there are three successively alternating periods. The first period is a precursor of the disease. It lasts for two or three days. The second period is directly the attack of cardiac asthma. The third period implies an increase in pulmonary edema.

Symptoms of cardiac asthma

The first period is characterized by moderate symptoms. A sick person draws attention to discomfort in the chest, slight shortness of breath and coughing, especially during exercise. As a rule, these symptoms are attributed to any other disease and do not allow to suspect cardiac asthma.

In the overwhelming majority of cases, the peak of clinical manifestations in cardiac asthma develops at night. Symptoms such as a sharp impairment of respiratory function and a progressive deterioration of the patient’s general condition occur. There are complaints of increasing shortness of breath, reaching asphyxiation. Mandatory present painful   dry cough. Later, he begins to be accompanied by the discharge of a very small amount of sputum. Against the background of lack of air, a person takes a forced sitting position with the body tilted forward. There are excitement and anxiety of the patient, as well as blue nasolabial triangle. During an objective examination and auscultation revealed an acceleration of heart rate and wheezing, having a dry or fine bubble character.

The duration of such an attack can be very different. It directly depends on the main pathology that provoked it. Often the third period occurs suddenly. The following symptoms are increasing: copious, frothy sputum, often having a pinkish tint due to blood impurities, as well as multiple moist fine-bubble and medium-sized wheezing.

Diagnosis and treatment of the disease

Diagnosis of this disease should be carried out as quickly as possible. Cardiac asthma is important to differentiate from other diseases involving asthma, for example, from bronchial asthma. From instrumental methods of research, electrocardiography, echocardiography, ultrasound duplex scanning of the heart and X-ray are shown. The above methods allow you to identify signs indicating violations of the heart.

In order to restore breathing in cardiac asthma, it is recommended to take   nitroglycerin, which removes spasm from the coronary vessels and increases the contractile activity of the heart. Oxygen inhalations with alcohol vapors are given to the patient, drugs with antihypertensive effect are prescribed. In the presence of pain, narcotic analgesics are indicated. If pulmonary edema develops, the patient should be placed on a ventilator.

Prevention of respiratory failure

Priority method   prophylaxis   Cardiac asthma is the timely treatment of existing cardiac pathologies.

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