What is Asthma?
Asthma is a chronic, inflammatory lung condition that impairs an individual’s capacity to breathe by narrowing or constricting the airways. When a healthy individual inhales deeply, the airways relax. When an asthmatic takes a deep breath, his or her airways frequently tighten or even spasm. When the airways constrict, the Asthma sufferer becomes short of breath, wheezes, and occasionally gasps for air.
Chronic or acute asthmatic episodes are classified. Chronic Asthma is frequently connected with allergies, chronic asthmatic bronchitis, emphysema, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The duration and severity of the assaults also vary, with some individuals experiencing bouts lasting several days.
Asthma is classified into two distinct stages:
- inflammatory reaction
- hyperreactive response
The hyper-reactive response occurs when the muscles in the airways of a person contract in response to an external irritation.
The immune system initiates the inflammatory response, which causes the airways to expand, fill with fluid, and produce a sticky mucous. Asthmatics with chronic inflammation are extremely vulnerable to everyday environmental elements such as cold air, dust, pollution, routine exercise, and even psychological stressors.
Does Asthma Qualify As Disability?
A person with a handicap, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), is someone who has physical or mental disabilities that significantly impede one or more main life activities. Asthma and allergies are typically recognized impairments under the ADA.
The Social Security Administration classifies asthma as a disability (SSA). Provided you have severe asthma and are unable to work full-time, if you meet the medical and job standards, the Social Security Administration will deem you incapacitated and you will be eligible for Social Security disability benefits.
To be considered for an asthma disability by the SSA, you must meet both employment and medical criteria. To meet the work criteria, you must have accumulated a sufficient number of work credits throughout your career.
Your job credits are computed based on your age and gender. For each year worked, you can earn up to four work credits.
You must also meet the medical standards listed in the SSA’s Blue Book in order for the SSA to consider your asthma a disability.
The Blue Book is a compilation of factors that determine eligibility for Social Security disability benefits. Asthma is classified as a disability by the Social Security Administration and is listed in the Blue Book.
If you match the criteria for the asthma listing in the Blue Book, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will consider you disabled and you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits.
Symptoms Of Asthma
Since there are asthma-like symptoms that can be caused by a variety of other conditions, a physician must make a positive diagnosis of Asthma not only based on the patient’s reported symptoms, but also on a thorough review of the patient’s medical history and a comprehensive physical examination, which could involve a lung function test called spirometry.
Spirometry determines the maximum volume of air that you can inhale and exhale, as well as the amount of air that you can exhale in less than a second. Following this test, the physician will prescribe an Asthma medicine for you. If you dramatically improve your scores, you may be diagnosed with Asthma.
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Even if medicine does not improve your lung strength, your physician may order additional testing if he or she has cause to believe you may have Asthma. These examinations may involve the following:
- An exhaled nitric oxide test (excessive nitric oxide can indicate inflamed airways)
- Challenge test, in which the physician attempts to elicit asthmatic symptoms and, if successful, retests with spirometry to determine if your scores decrease.
Typical Asthma symptoms, which are typically worst at night, include the following:
- Recurrent wheezing
- Chest constriction, shortness of breath
- Difficulty breathing choking
Treatment options include inhaler therapy or oral medicine. The majority of asthma drugs act by lowering and then managing airway spasms or by decreasing and then controlling inflammation. Inhaled drugs (often steroids) work directly on the asthmatic’s airway surface and are not absorbed into his or her system. As a result, inhaled treatments are frequently preferred to oral medications.