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Asthma Treatment and Diagnosis

Asthma Treatment and Diagnosis

How to use peak flow meter correctly.Diagnosing Asthma

Asthma diagnosis is based on continuous, precise measurements of how efficiently the patient can force air out of the lungs and on a thorough medical history and laboratory tests to find out what triggers the patient’s acute attacks.

People with asthma react to external irritants in a way that non-asthmatics don’t. Many, but not all, sufferers have allergies that cause their bodies to produce an abnormal array of chemicals in response to environmental allergens. In that sense, asthma is like pollen allergies, hives, and eczema.

But in asthma, the allergic reaction contributes to inflammation of the airways rather than of skin, eyes, or nose and throat. An acute asthma attack may come on rapidly after exposure to an irritant or develop slowly over several days or weeks, which can complicate the job of identifying a patient’s asthma triggers.

Which drugs asthma patients need, when to use them, and how much to use depend largely on the character of their illness, as shown by the degree of breathing impairment and the frequency and severity of acute attacks. Many doctors and researchers agree that the first line of defense is avoidance of whatever brings on an acute asthma episode.

In some asthmatics, attacks can be brought on by strenuous exercise, exposure to cold outdoor air, industrial or household chemicals and food additives such as sulfides  Influenza or even cold viruses can also trigger asthma episodes. There are many cases where triggers cannot be identified, even after a thorough investigation.

Asthma Treatment

Knowing what triggers an asthma attack is critically essential in prevention, but it’s often difficult or impractical to avoid contact with triggering irritants. Today, however, doctors can prescribe drugs to lessen the risk of acute attacks after exposure to an offending irritant, as well as halt attacks that can’t be prevented.

The drugs used to treat asthma fall into two broad categories: controllers to prevent acute attacks and relievers that check acute symptoms when they occur. Some drugs do both.

In light of mounting evidence that asthma is fundamentally an inflammatory disease, asthma authorities today regard inhaled corticosteroids–marketed under numerous brand names as the most effective agents for controlling airway inflammation and thus preventing acute asthma attacks. Corticosteroids in pill or tablet form and in liquid form for children are prescribed long-term for some patients with severe asthma, or short-term for patients with a serious asthma episode.

Bronchodilators work to help open the breathing tubes (bronchi), but do not treat the underlying inflammation. There are both short-acting and long-acting bronchodilators. Long-acting inhaled bronchodilators, and long-acting oral bronchodilators, are often used in conjunction with anti-inflammatory agents to control symptoms. They don’t provide immediate relief of symptoms, but their preventive action persists for many hours, which makes them useful in controlling attacks that might occur during hours of sleep.

Drugs to bring quick relief in acute asthma attacks are chiefly short-acting inhaled bronchodilators that act rapidly but for a relatively brief time to relax bronchial constriction. Although these drugs are effective in treating asthma, there is some controversy about their safety, especially when they are overused.

Scientific debate makes it clear, however, that an increasing need for inhaled bronchodilators, or a decreasing response to each dose, is a signal that the patient’s asthma is not being adequately controlled. Patients who have an increasing need for short-acting inhaled bronchodilators should be reevaluated promptly by their physicians.

Both prescription and over-the-counter short-acting bronchodilators are available. Like the prescription drugs, the OTC drugs act only to provide symptom and relief, and they are generally effective for a shorter period. They may be useful, therefore, as temporary treatment for mild asthma attacks.

Ready availability in drugstores makes the OTC products potentially helpful as a “stopgap” for patients who do not have their prescription medication at hand when an asthma attack occurs. More importantly, patients who use OTC inhalers should still seek advice from a health professional about the long-term treatment of their asthma.

The key to effective, long-term treatment of asthma is finding the drugs and dosage plan most effective in dealing with or preventing acute episodes. But effective treatment depends as well on the patient and the care-giver knowing what the various anti-asthma drugs do, when and in what amount each drug should be used, when a change in symptoms or in the response to a particular drug requires a call or visit to the physician, and when to get emergency help.

Physicians who specialize in treating asthmatics go over these points in detail as part of an overall treatment plan designed and, as necessary, adjusted to meet the needs of each individual patient.

A cure for asthma under research by experts to be still a far-off possibility. But the majority of asthma sufferers can lead importantly normal, symptom-free lives by understanding and adhering to a well-planned strategy to keep clear of asthma triggers and to use the right drugs in the right way under professional consultation.

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  1. Marwan
    Marwan05-14-2012

    Good article

  2. webmaster
    webmaster05-14-2012

    Thanks Mona for the compliments.
    As for your feelings no doubt about it as most medical articles on asthma are remaining unchanged
    in their contents:)

  3. a lberto g. salbino
    a lberto g. salbino02-10-2013

    thank you for the good information, usually I don’t have asthma suddenly i just have an asthma according to my physician. May I inquire if there is a drug called meptin for asthma. thank you very much.

    • Webmaster
      Webmaster02-12-2013

      Hello Alberto G.Salbina,

      It is widely used in many continents – but check out the FDA(Food and Drug Administration: a federal agency in the Department of Health and Human Services established to regulate the release of new foods and health-related products) label or your local Authority approved label.

  4. JOYCE LAIZER
    JOYCE LAIZER09-19-2013

    my Dad is 73 years old,he never got athma,but when he was 72 he develope asthma sympthoms, is it realy asthma and which treatment can he use,also he smokes cigarretes, can it be the reason for this problem??????

    • Webmaster
      Webmaster09-23-2013

      Hello Joyce Laizer,

      Thanks for the query.

      Smoke from cigars, cigarettes, and pipes harms your body in many ways, but it is especially harmful to the lungs of a person with asthma. Tobacco smoke is a powerful trigger of asthma symptoms.

      How Does Tobacco Smoke Trigger Asthma?

      When a person inhales tobacco smoke, irritating substances settle in the moist lining of the airways. These substances can cause an attack in a person who has asthma.

      In addition, tobacco smoke damages tiny hair-like structures in the airways called cilia. Normally, cilia sweep dust and mucus out of the airways. Tobacco smoke damages cilia so they are unable to work, allowing dust and mucus to accumulate in the airways.

      Smoke also causes the lungs to make more mucus than normal. As a result, even more mucus can build up in the airways, triggering an attack.

      As for the treatment recommendations,it’s highly recommended to contact your regular doctor for a check-up,as each and every asthma case are different under diagnosis.

      Dr.Kamz-MD

  5. inigo ebio jr
    inigo ebio jr08-13-2014

    please help me, i want to know the name of the medicines for asthma, now i’m just using a nebulizer. thank you for this very good article

  6. Taimi kandjibi
    Taimi kandjibi09-08-2014

    i m bronchial asthma, i m using swissgarde product,immune booster,defender,royal jelly,stress active,c. plus and cal-c-mag. is it good to use it? doctor give me asthavent 200 and beceze 200

    • Webmaster
      Webmaster09-09-2014

      Hello Taimi Kandjibi,

      Thanks for your query.

      As it’s a fact under research, there is no cure for asthma, but the good news is that asthma, whether mild, moderate, or severe, allergic or nonallergic, can be managed. Doctors who specialize in treating asthma can be very helpful. Every patient with asthma should see a doctor to be sure another cause of wheezing is not present and, if asthma is diagnosed, to develop a therapeutic program for managing the disorder.
      The key is to track down your triggers and, as completely as possible, eliminate them from your life,which is the BEST therapy.

      Dr.Kamini MD

  7. Taimi kandjibi
    Taimi kandjibi09-12-2014

    hello Dr kamini,

    Thanks for your answer

    The problem is this Namibisn Dr they did n’t check us, they only write, a medicine when i go back to checkup , i think swissgarde product it help, because since i start using them i didn’t get asthma attack and my tonsil stone and red throat is improve to normal.

    Taimi

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