April 17, 2014

Bronchial Asthma Treatment And Disease Management Overview

If you experience repeated episodes of short breath, cough and wheezing, chances are you might be suffering from bronchial asthma. If such episodes occur at night, during the early morning hours or after physical effort, you should see your physician as soon as possible. The earlier you get diagnosed and start your bronchial asthma treatment, the more chances you have to keep the disease under control and stay symptom-free for very long periods on time.

Asthma Inhaler by NIAID, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License  by  NIAID 

One of the main characteristics of bronchial asthma is airway obstruction. Air passages in the lungs narrow as a consequence of the inflammation of bronchial tubes, preventing the lungs from getting the required amount of air needed to properly oxygenate the blood. Acute attacks cause patients to panic, therefore a fast acting bronchial asthma treatment for such emergency situations must be available at all times. An asthma sufferer should always have an inhaler with him and use it as soon as the first symptoms occur. The inhaler is a device that sprays bronchodilator medication directly into the patient’s throat and it is prescribed by the specialist physician.

Clinical assessment of asthma starts with a spirometry test before and after the administration of a bronchodilator. A difference between the two measured values of FEV1 bigger than 12% supports the diagnosis. Although it is a chronic disease, sufferers who take prevention seriously and change their lifestyle in order to accommodate medical recommendations will be able to live a normal life without having to medicate themselves on daily basis.

Parents with sick children should make efforts to secure an allergen-free home for their offspring. It is well known that allergens and tobacco smoke are two of the main risk factors for the development of asthma in small children. Beware of hidden allergens such as mold and mildew, which may hide in humid basements. They might be hard to detect, so if you suspect their presence in your house, hire a specialist to take samples and analyze them or buy a mold test kit.

Bronchial asthma treatment is differentiated according to the severity and the control degree of the disease. Medication can be classified in two main types: relievers and controllers. The difference between the two groups is mainly the speed of the onset of action. Relievers need to act rapidly, because they are supposed to ease the severity of asthma attacks.

Relievers are prescribed during exacerbations and they belong to the rapidly-acting beta2 sympathomimetic agents medication class. Salbutamol and fenoterol are among the most known substances in this therapeutic class. Controllers are used for disease management and prevention of attacks and include inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting beta2 agonists such as salmeterol or montelukast. Theophylline can also be used as a controller in some situations.

Never attempt to diagnose or medicate yourself in case you suspect you might be suffering from bronchial asthma. The above mentioned medication may have adverse effects and contraindications which could rapidly deteriorate your health or even threaten your life.