Bronchial asthma is a common respiratory disease that accompanies the patient throughout his life. Fortunately, there are many treatment methods available to control asthma symptoms and avoid an attack in Turkey.
according to statistics World Health Organization 262 million people worldwide suffer from asthma, with asthma being the most common chronic disease diagnosed in children.
An asthmatic patient can live his life normally if he receives the appropriate treatment, but in the event of abstinence from treatment, asthma may cause symptoms and complications that affect the patient's life.
The recorded deaths as a result of asthma complications are few and rare, and are often limited to advanced, untreated cases of bronchial asthma.
What is bronchial asthma?
It is a medical condition that occurs as a result of narrowing and swelling of the airways, which increases the accumulation of mucous secretions in the airway, which leads to the emergence of symptoms caused by the difficulty of air passage such as coughing and shortness of breath.
The way asthma symptoms appear varies from person to person. Some patients show symptoms when doing certain activities, such as exercising, while others appear in the form of attacks (bouts) of shortness of breath.
There is no cure for asthma, but the symptoms of asthma can be controlled by applying appropriate treatment and avoiding the factors that trigger the attack.
Risk factors for bronchial asthma
The main cause of asthma is still not clearly understood, but there are a number of factors that increase the risk of developing asthma in an individual, including:
tooth sensitivityThe risk of developing asthma increases in people who are sensitive to various environmental variables (such as pollen or animal fur).
genesIf asthma spreads within the family, the individual is at greater risk of infection.
Respiratory infections: Especially in young people, as some viral infections affect the development of the lungs in young children, making them more susceptible to asthma.
environmental factorsExcessive exposure to chemicals that irritate the airways increases the risk of asthma, and these substances include toxins, polluting gases, smoking, as well as occupational exposure (such as chemicals used in hairdressing).
Being overweight also increases the risk of developing asthma.
Ethnicity or geographic distribution: according to A study Conducted in the United States of America, black-skinned people are more likely to develop asthma than white-skinned people.
GenderAsthma: male children are more affected than females, while in adolescents and adults, females are the most affected group.
Symptoms of bronchial asthma
The severity of symptoms varies from person to person. Some patients suffer from mild symptoms that appear only during an asthma attack and go away in the period between attacks, while others suffer from persistent symptoms that increase in severity during an asthma attack.
The main symptoms of bronchial asthma are:
- Cough (increased at night)
- shortness of breath
- chest pain
- wheezing (a whistling sound caused by narrowing of the airways)
- Difficulty sleeping due to coughing and shortness of breath
What is an asthma attack?
An asthma attack, or an attack of asthma, occurs when the muscles around the airways contract, which secrete additional amounts of mucus, narrowing the airway and causing asthma symptoms.
During the attack, the patient suffers from shortness of breath and coughing or wheezing. Symptoms can often be controlled by applying appropriate treatment. In severe cases that do not respond to treatment, the patient must be transferred to the hospital.
Asthma often occurs when exposure to triggers known as asthma attack triggers.
The factors that predispose to an asthma attack are known as asthma triggers. The triggers that predispose to asthma differ from one person to another. It is useful to know the things that trigger an asthma attack in the patient so that they are avoided as much as possible.
Among the most important preparations for bronchial asthma crisis:
- Tobacco smoke
- Air pollution (exhaust fumes)
- Contact with pets
- dust mites
- Having another infection (the common cold)
- Exposure to some chemicals
- Physical exertion or exercise
- Emotional causes such as stress or anxiety
- Some medicines, such as aspirin
Types of bronchial asthma
Asthma is classified according to the severity of the symptoms or the cause that led to its occurrence. Asthma is classified according to the symptoms into:
intermittent asthmaSymptoms appear in the form of attacks or asthmatic attacks and symptoms disappear between attacks.
persistent asthmaAsthma symptoms remain visible most of the time, and symptoms may be mild, moderate or severe, so that they can be classified according to severity into many types.
Asthma is classified according to the cause that led to its occurrence:
allergic asthmaSensitivity to certain stimuli such as pollen, animal fur, or certain foods causes an asthma attack.
Non-allergic asthmaOther non-allergic factors trigger an asthma attack, such as exercise, anxiety, and weather changes, in addition to contracting some diseases such as the common cold.
occupational asthma: This type is seen in people from occupations that require exposure to chemicals that trigger an asthma attack and shortness of breath (such as paint workers).
Diagnosis of bronchial asthma
If you suspect that you or your child may have asthma, see a specialist pulmonologist who will take your medical history in detail and ask you about the presence of asthma in the family.
The doctor asks about the presence of a history of allergies or previous chest diseases, and then requests a spirometry test for lung function, which is the gold standard in diagnosis, as this test shows the volume of air flowing to the lungs during inhalation and exhalation.
The doctor may use additional tests to help diagnose bronchial asthma and rule out other chest conditions, such as a chest X-ray.
There are many treatment options to manage asthma symptoms and avoid attacks as much as possible. The most important step in treatment is prevention and avoidance of triggers that predispose to asthma.
Choosing the right medication depends on many factors, including the patient's age and symptoms, in addition to asthma triggers, where the best medication is chosen that works to control the patient's asthma symptoms.
Attention should be paid to the side effects of some asthma medications heart disease They cannot be given beta-agonists, which dilate the bronchi.
There are two types of medications, medications that aim to treat symptoms when they occur, and medications that work to prevent asthma symptoms.
Preventive medications reduce airway swelling to avoid asthma symptoms, while medications given during an asthma attack rapidly dilate the bronchi to relieve symptoms.
These drugs work by relaxing the muscles around the airways, making it easier for air to pass through the respiratory tract, and also facilitating the movement of mucus within the respiratory tracts by expanding narrowed passages.
An example is the beta-agonist drugs (salbutamol), which are characterized by their rapid effect in relieving symptoms, given by inhalation and their effect within a few minutes.
Anticholinergics are also characterized by their rapid action in the treatment of an asthma attack, they are often used in the treatment of obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and may sometimes be used as a treatment for asthma.
They are used to prevent asthma symptoms by using them on a daily basis, as steroids reduce the possibility of an attack and relieve the symptoms of an asthma attack if it occurs.
Steroid medicines work by inhibiting cells in the lungs and bronchi from secreting inflammatory factors that cause the airways to swell and secrete mucus. Steroid inhalers can be combined with bronchodilators in the treatment.
In severe cases of asthma attacks, steroids can be given orally or intravenously to produce the effect quickly, but long-term use leads to many side effects.
It is used to prevent asthma attacks by affecting the allergic leukotriene. This substance causes inflammation and swelling in the respiratory tracts. It is given orally.
You should pay attention to some of the side effects of leukotriene levels on the psychological state of the patient, such as depression, hallucinations, and suicidal ideation. See a doctor if you feel any of these symptoms.
One pill is given orally daily, as it helps prevent asthma by expanding the respiratory tract. It is not used often because of the need to do frequent blood tests when using it.
In severe cases of bronchial asthma that do not respond to other treatments, these drugs may be prescribed, for example omalizumab.
Expansion of the airways with heat
It is used in severe cases of asthma patients who do not respond to treatment with medications. This process is rarely used, as special centers need to perform it.
The doctor applies heat by means of an electrical electrode to the smooth muscles of the respiratory tract. The heat works to reduce the size of the smooth muscles, which leads to the expansion of the respiratory tract.
The operation is carried out over 3 sessions with an interval of 3 weeks between each session. This process relieves asthma symptoms by expanding the breathing pathway.
It is only recommended in severe cases that are difficult to treat due to its many side effects.
How does an asthma inhaler work?
It is a hand-held device that delivers medication directly to the lungs, and bronchodilators, steroids, or both can be inhaled.
There are two main types of asthma inhalers:
Metered dose asthma inhaler
The compressed medicine box is placed within the plastic piece of the device, when the patient sprays, the device works to pass a reliable and specific dose of the medicine used until it reaches the patient's lungs
dry powder spray
This device takes a circular shape and puts asthma medications in it that are given in the form of a dry powder. This device does not push the medicine into the lungs, but the patient must inhale through the device firmly and steadily in order to enter the medicine into the lungs well.
Also called violet asthma inhaler.
To prevent exacerbation of asthma symptoms and keep them under control, the patient is advised to:
- Knowing and avoiding the triggers of an asthma attack
- stay away from Tobacco
- Avoid things you are allergic to
- Follow your doctor's instructions by taking the medicines he prescribed to you
- Learn how to act in the event of an asthma attack
- Don't stress yourself out and take a break between physical activities
- Maintain your physical and mental health
- Vaccination against diseases that increase the impact of asthma, such as the flu vaccine and the Covid 19 vaccine
- Visit your chest doctor periodically to know the progression of your asthma
Statistics about bronchial asthma
According to the American Respiratory Association, 1 out of every 12 American citizens suffers from asthma, or 8% of the general population.
In 2016, 3,270 people died of complications from asthma in the United States, with the most deaths occurring in women (63%).
The costs associated with asthma are estimated to be approximately $50 billion each year. These costs include management of asthma complications and treatment.
Asthma is more common in women, while in children it is more common in males.
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