Chronic Asthma Information
Not all with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD suffers from asthma, but many individuals who experience emphysema or chronic bronchitis have asthma-like symptoms. Medical experts continue to debate whether chronic asthma should be categorized as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, since asthma can be reversed.
Chronic asthma is an inflammatory disease of the airways; the term asthma is derived from an ancient Greek word which means panting. With this type of panting, the inflammation leads to the narrowing of the airways, which can cause wheezing, breathlessness, and gasping for air.
Studies indicate that this severe form of difficulty with breatjing involves two stages: the hyper-reactive response and the inflammatory response. The hyper-reactive response refers to the constriction of the airways in response to inhaled irritants, while the inflammatory stage involves the production of white blood cells in the airways.
In the event of a chronic asthma attack, the muscle tissue in the walls of the bronchi experiences spasms, causing labored breathing. This can lead to coughing, shortness of breath and wheezing occur almost everyday. In order to combat this ailment, several medications may be needed.
Some medical experts speculate that the persistent symptoms of this severe type of breathing attack indicates a food allergy. As a result, some doctors encourage those suffering from breathing difficulties to revise their diets in order to reduce the incidence of flare-ups.
There are some other simple strategies one can follow in order to alleviate symptoms of asthmatic attacks. These include removing the cause of chronic asthma, treating the symptoms, or altering the host to be more tolerant of the causes.
If you’ve been diagnosed with this form of asthmatic problem, medical experts suggest stopping all smoking and banning cigarette smoke from the house. Patients should also stop the use of volatile chemicals, which may exacerbate one’s symptoms. Ending contact with pets can also alleviate the problem.
The aims of any treatment program should include: avoiding the trigger factors for asthmatic attacks, eliminating symptoms, restoring normal lung function, reducing the incidence of severe attacks, and minimizing the side-effects of drugs.
Drug therapy can fall into three categories. Acute asthma can be attacked with preventors or anti-inflammatories; relievers, which provide acute relief of symptoms; and controllers, which provide a sustained bronchodilator action with a mild anti-inflammatory action.
It should be noted that there are some misconceptions about the treatment . For instance, antihistamines do not appear to be an effective treatment strategy as some have thought. Immunosuppressives such as methotrexate are rarely beneficial and acupuncture has a negligible effect.
The basic goals of educating those with this form of asthmatic attacks include an ability to understand the nature of the breathing difficulties, an understanding of different types of asthma medication, an understanding of prevention strategies, knowing the correct use of inhalers, and recognizing signs of worsening symptoms.
More frequently, chronic asthma is often misdiagnosed in the elderly. And, older people are more susceptible to the side-effects of drugs used to treat this chronic asthma. As a result, older people need special prevention techniques for acute asthma.