Asthma – Definition, Causes, Treatment, and More
Asthma – Definition
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease considered by attacks of shortness of breath, associated with coughing and wheezing. It causes by inflammation and narrowing of the bronchi due to irritation, usually due to an allergy. When the bronchi close, it is difficult to expel air from the lungs, and the patient feels suffocated.
Asthma progresses in flare-ups or attacks that resolve spontaneously or with treatment—symptoms of asthma precipitated by different substances (called allergens) that promote bronchial inflammation. As a result, the patient usually has no symptoms between attacks, and lung tests may be regular.
Asthma can appear in young children (often beginning around three years of age) or adulthood. Many children improve their asthma with age, with symptoms disappearing as they get older, although the disease often recurs in more senior generations.
Causes of Asthma in Adults
There are probably several genetic (inherited) and other environmental factors predisposing to asthma onset. Among the factors that have related to the development of a predisposition to have asthma are:
It is the most related factor to the subsequent development of asthma. Atopy is a hereditary predisposition to suffer from various allergic diseases, which causes skin lesions (atopic dermatitis or eczema) and affects other locations, such as allergic rhinitis. Not all children with atopy have asthma, but almost all children with asthma have atopy.
Other genetic factors are independent of atopy. There is also a familial predisposition to the development of asthma in people without atopy.
Various hypotheses consider, but none of them are definitively proven:
It indicates that children more exposed to infections develop less asthma.
Obese people are at higher risk of asthma. In addition, various food associated with a greater or lesser chance of asthma. However, some studies have supplemented these foods and have not shown their effectiveness.
It has a link to the increased frequency of people with asthma identified in recent decades.
It is exposure to chemical and biological substances derived from animals. The diagnosis of asthma is clinical. It differentiates from some heart diseases that can cause respiratory distress and wheeze.
The chest radiograph expects. However, the most crucial test for finding asthma is spirometry.
Spirometry involves blowing through a mouthpiece to see how much air expels and how fast it expels. In people with an acute asthma episode, a decrease in the amount of air removed from the lungs during the first and second blowing (FEV1) observes the closure of the bronchi—the test repeats after administering an inhalation of medicine that opens the bronchi, which shows an improvement.
Skin tests are performed on many patients to assess substances that can cause an asthma attack (allergens).
Is it Hereditary?
Patients with asthma have relatives with the same disease more often than others. This data indicates that there is a certain degree of the hereditary component.
What is the Treatment of Asthma?
It is necessary to differentiate between chronic treatment, aimed at preventing an asthma attack from appearing, and treatment of the acute episode, aimed at treating the attack already established.
If the allergen responsible for the attack is known, treatment consists of avoiding exposure to it. A desensitizing treatment tried using vaccines that, in general, are not very effective.
Any Smoker with Asthma should Stop Smoking
It is the most common treatment to control symptoms. They may be:
Beta-2 agonists such as salbutamol, salmeterol, formoterol, etc. Some of them need to be administered every few hours (4 or 6 hours) and have a rapid effect; They are used for quick control of symptoms or to prevent an attack. Others can administers every 12 hours and used preventively. In addition, many of them associates with corticosteroids in the same inhaler, thus reducing inflammation and facilitating control of the disease. The only significant adverse effect they can produce is tremor and palpitations.
It is less effective than beta-2 agonists in controlling symptoms and is usually used in combination when signs not maintain. However, they produce few adverse effects, the most frequent being dry mouth, urinary retention, and glaucoma.
It is the most effective treatment to control the disease and prevent the appearance of new attacks. However, they can facilitate the development of fungal infections of the mouth (thrush) and produce hoarseness.
In some patients, generally, those not controlled with previous treatments. So there may be an indication.
Some alternative therapies such as hypnosis, chiropractic, acupuncture, and yoga are used in these patients. However, none of them are effective in scientifically correct studies.
Treatment of a Severe Acute Flare of Asthma
In a severe attack, hospital admission and the administration of:
- Bronchodilators in the form of aerosols.
- Corticosteroids administer by vein.
- Treatment of the disease that triggered the asthma attack (antibiotics if it was an infection, antihistamines if it was an allergen, etc.).
Prevention – Researchers have yet to pinpoint the exact causes, it’s hard to know how to prevent the inflammatory condition. However, more information is available on preventing asthma attacks.
These strategies include:
- Avoid triggers. Stay away from chemicals, odors, or products that have caused you breathing problems in the past.
- Reduce exposure to allergens. If you’ve acknowledged allergens, such as dust or mold, that trigger an attack, avoid them as much as possible.
- Get vaccinate against allergies. Allergen immunotherapy is a treatment that can help alter the immune system. With routine injections, your body can become less sensitive to whatever triggers.
- Take preventative medications. Your doctor may recommend medications for you to take daily. You can use these medications and the ones you use in an emergency.
When to See a Doctor – Asthma
Until today, there is no treatment for asthma. However, many effective conducts can lessen indications. Routine changes and medications can also help recover the value of a lifetime.
- If you haven’t identify with asthma but are facing symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, or shortness of breath, you should tell your doctor.
- The minute you’ve been diagnosed with asthma, you should see your doctor at least once a year or more if you have persistent symptoms after using some treatments.
Call your Doctor Right Away if:
- You feel weak
- You can’t do your daily activities
- Have wheezing or a cough that won’t go away
It is an inflammatory illness of the airways that carry air to the lungs. Therefore, makes it hard to breathe and can make some physical activities challenging or impossible. It is the most common chronic condition among children in this country: 1 in 12 children has it.
Typically, each time you inhale, air passes through your nose or mouth and down your throat, through your airways, and eventually reaches your lungs. Many tiny air tubes in the lungs help carry oxygen from the air into the bloodstream.
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