Surely, you know someone who suffers from asthma or, even, that person may be yourself.
Although this disease still has no cure, to date there is a wide variety of treatments to improve the quality of life of patients. However, it is still a complicated condition that deserves a lot of attention.
Having control over the disease and following medical indications is of vital importance to avoid complications in the future. If you want to know much more about this chronic condition, keep reading this article. Here’s everything you need to know.
What is asthma?
It is a disease chronic or, in other words, a prolonged illness which directly attacks the functioning of the respiratory system.
In some specific cases, the problem that most affects patients is inflammation of the respiratory tract. The latter is due to the irritation that, as a consequence, generates the swelling in that area.
However, this is not all that generates this disease. In other cases, patients suffer from contractions in the muscle fibers. This complication is defined as bronchoconstriction or bronchospasm.
In the worst cases, patients present both problems simultaneously on a greater or lesser scale. Bronchospasm and swelling in the airways cause the airways to become narrower and narrower. This is why an asthmatic patient has trouble breathing properly.
What are the symptoms?
At this point, it is important to mention that some people may have symptoms and others may be asymptomatic. asymptomatic until they encounter factors that generate the appearance of reactions. However, asthma usually presents with the following symptoms:
- Dry or phlegmy cough.
- Contraction of the abdominal area when breathing.
- Breathing problems during sports activities.
- Wheezing when breathing.
- Chest pain or a feeling of stiffness.
- Trouble falling asleep.
In any case, the symptoms that appear during the disease are related to the type of asthma developed by the patient. That is, if it is allergic o non-allergic asthma.
What are the causes?
To tell the truth, there is still insufficient scientific evidence to confirm the cause or causes of this disease. The reason for this is that this illness can arise differently in each patient.
However, in almost all diagnoses, an asthmatic condition is the consequence of an excessive reaction of the immune system to the presence of an allergen such as, for example, pollen, animal dander or dust mites, pollen, animal dander or dust mites, among others.
In addition, several studies have shown that there may also be a genetic connection to the development of the disorder. This statement helps to understand why some people tend to develop allergies more easily than others. Generally, it is possible to consider the following frequent causes:
- Respiratory infections.
- Irritation caused by smoking, vapor, smoke or dust.
- Inhalation of chemical substances.
- Aome medications.
What organs are affected by asthma?
Given the complexity and the way in which this disease evolves, the most negative repercussions are on the lungs, which are. However, it is important to keep in mind that, lacking sufficient oxygenation, many other organs end up functioning inadequately.
Treatment of asthma
As we mentioned before, there is not any treatment cures this disease. However, it is important to control it. For this purpose, there are different types of drugs and methods to improve the quality of life of those suffering from this disease.
It is necessary to keep in mind that each case is treated on an individual basis. The experts in charge of the diagnosis and treatment of this disease are pulmonologists and allergists, The latter whenever there is a case of allergic asthma. Under no circumstances should self-medication be resorted to in case of asthma or any other disease.
With this in mind, we will now describe some of the treatments frequently used in asthmatic patients:
- Inhalators: The asthma controllers are basically devices that deliver the necessary amount of medication to control an asthma attack. The component drifts to the respiratory tract. Not all inhalers have the same purpose. While some are for relieving the asthma attack (rescuers) others prevent the onset of symptoms (daily inhalers).
- Spacers: Spacers are useful for those who use inhalers. In fact, children often use this type of device. These are aspirations through a mouthpiece to activate the inhaler.
- Nebulizers: In this case, a combination of medicine and water is produced. This allows the medicine to perform its function in a more powerful way. It is recommended to treat severe asthma.
- Other medications: Depending on the severity of the case, the family doctor may prescribe pills such as prednisolone.
Difference between allergic and non-allergic asthma
As mentioned before, asthma can arise due to various antecedents, including genetic ones. Therefore, it is not always the same type of disease that develops.
To put it more clearly, intrinsic or non-allergic asthma does not involve the presence of allergenic components. This is the most important difference with respect to allergic asthma.
It is important to clarify that allergy is not considered a disease as such. On the contrary, it is an agent that intervenes in the development of a pathology such as, in this case, an asthmatic condition.
When is it necessary to visit the doctor?
As soon as the first symptoms appear, it is necessary to consult an expert in the field to prevent the development of the disease. However, there are situations in which it is essential to go to the emergency room, as in the following cases:
- Choking sensation when walking, talking or even sitting.
- Respiratory problems without improvement. This refers to cases in which despite using the inhaler, it is difficult to breathe properly or when there is no improvement with the treatment prescribed by the physician.
- Trouble sleeping or waking up during sleep with choking.
- When the lips, fingertips and tongue show blue coloration.
- If using the PEF measurement it is below 60% of its best PEF.