A 75 years old woman was living with her daughter, her son-in-law and grandchildren. One day sore throat and cough started but there was no fever. At that night, severe cough started while she was sleeping. She went to her family doctor the next day and she was diagnosed with a common cold and prescribed with medication for that. 5 days after she started to take the medication, her cough didn’t stop. 2 weeks after she was diagnosed with a common cold, while sleeping, suddenly she couldn’t almost breathe like something was clogged in the throat. She was found by her family right before she lost her life and was sent to an emergency room. 3 hours later, her breathing calmed down and her life was saved. After that, various tests were performed and the disease was identified.
Asthma is a disease that airway or bronchial tubes are abnormally contracted by some reasons. Acute symptoms such as cough or difficulty of breathing are caused and if the attack is severe, it leads to death. There are 2 types of asthma.
(1) Atopic asthma: allergic reaction to pollen or dust contracts the air way.
(2) Non-atopic asthma: the cause of the contraction of the airway is unknown.
In her case, the cause of the asthma attack was considered as deterioration of common cold, but after multiple tests, the cause was not specified. Therefore, she was diagnosed with non-atopic asthma. She was told that she had to get along with the disease trying some medicines to control the asthma attack. She was pushed down into the depth of anxiety because it was not sure when she would be attacked by the severe asthma symptoms.
She started to take the prescribed medication, but suffered from the asthma attack again not only while sleeping but also anytime in her daily life. She could only keep taking the medication and stay home being afraid of the asthma attack.
One day she happed to meet a monk of her acquaintance and she was referred to the monk’s brother who was a specialist of respiratory diseases. 2 months after the first episode, she visited his hospital.
The doctor expected 5 causes of asthma attack that medicine didn’t work at all:
(2) Acid reflux
(3) Heart failure which causes accumulation of water in the lungs, causing asthma attack
(4) Direct damage to the lungs such as cancer or COPD
He excluded (1) to (4) by the examination.
The remaining expected cause is
(5) Side effect of medication
In rare cases, some of the medications for high blood pressure or analgesic and antipyretic (antifebrile and pain killer) cause asthma symptoms as their side effects. But she was not using any other medications except the prescribed medication. So all the expected causes were denied.
He kept probing his data for 30 years of experience and recalled a case of 20 years ago and asked her if she went to an eye doctor to treat glaucoma. She was using eye drops for glaucoma. In the description of the eye drops, asthma attack was specified as a side effect.
She consulted her eye doctor and changed to eye drops which didn’t have asthma attack as a side effect and the asthma symptom disappeared.
2 diseases that the colors of phlegm specify
Yellowish white phlegm: Chronic sinus infection
Inflammation occurs in sinus and pas or nasal discharge is accumulated, causing stuffy nose or other various symptoms. The pus or nasal discharge goes into the lung, causing inflammation and comes out as phlegm. Phlegm without any problem is translucent and white. Even if there is no stuffy nose, there can be yellowish white phlegm.
Translucent and a little greenish: Acid reflux
The entrance to the stomach loosens by age or other reasons and stomach acid backflows causing inflammation of esophagus, resulting in the symptoms such as burning sensation in the chest. Acid reflux also causes the inflammation of bronchial tubes, causing cough and phlegm especially when waking up in the morning.
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