Reactive Airway Disease in Adults – Classic Symptoms and Treatment for RAD
Reactive airway disease in adults is a type of respiratory problem affecting millions of people worldwide. The illness is often incorrectly classified as a type of asthma attack. However, experienced health professionals know that the two are different conditions. Most often, the term is used if the symptoms cannot be classified in any other respiratory problem category. The attack often arises from exposure to airway irritants like sulphur, ammonia, chlorine and other strong chemicals. Because of the connection of the illness to your work, it is also known as the work related respiratory illness.
The onset of symptoms for reactive airway disease in adults happens within 24 hours after the exposure to a chemical irritant. The signs occur as mild or as severe attack depending on the duration of exposure. The chemical causes a rapid irritation in the respiratory lining which causes it to swell. Coughing and wheezing develops after a few days and breathing difficulties immediately follows. In many cases, excess mucous production is also seen which further leads to discomfort.
Although the reactive airway disease in adults is similar with the symptoms of asthma, it is important to make a correct diagnosis. Anyway, it is easier to make the differentiation in adults compared with children. There are more tests that your doctor can perform to help him make an accurate diagnosis. One example is the spirometry test to determine the lung capacity. He can also do X-ray test to visualize the lungs and rule out other respiratory illnesses.
Correct diagnosis of reactive airway disease in adults will have a great impact in the treatment of the respiratory disorder. The initial medication includes the administration of corticosteroid therapy to relieve the symptoms of the illness. However, this should be taken in the correct dosage to prevent complications and adverse reactions. Inhalers may also help reduce the discomforts especially the breathing difficulty. You may also take steam inhalation as a home remedy for reactive airway disease in adults to help unclog the airway passages and improve your breathing.
Because the reactive airway disease in adults is a work related problem, it is quite difficult to prevent the illness especially if it is your line of work. What you can do is to wear mask whenever you expect an exposure to the chemical. You must also refrain from smoking to reduce the possible stimuli that trigger the attack.
There are continued researches to better help clinicians distinguish the illness with other respiratory problems. In fact, other professionals oppose the use of the term as it only gives a vague medical picture to patients and prevent the professional from looking further for the exact diagnosis. But unless there is a medical evidence to fit a specific profile, the use of reactive airway disease in adults will prevail in the field of medicine.