What is Asthma?
Asthma, asthmatic – a lot of people have probably heard these words. Even people far from medicine have understanding about this disease. Asthma is a dyspnea, it is coughing and choking, it is always a problem, it’s forever. Any person, hearing these words, thinks this way.
Patients themselves and their relatives know much more about their disease. They usually try subdue this disease, be less dependent on it and feel all pleasures of everyday life. But how much is it possible, what it depends on, how to help yourself to make this disease to yield? Why does disease appear and what its exacerbations connected to? What are the dangers of this disease?
Asthma is a condition characterized by recurrent episodes of dyspnea, coughing or wheezing caused by temporary narrowing of bronchial tubes that is not associated with cardiovascular system disease. Last clause emphasizes possibility of the so-called «cardiac asthma» – the result of cardiac insufficiency as a pump, pumping blood, and, as a consequence, development of similar symptoms. If symptoms are not connected to heart disease, then it is bronchial asthma.
Bronchial asthma is a very common disease, it covers all continents, affecting people of all ages, different cultures and lifestyle. According to official data, population of about 300 million in the world sufferers from asthma, i. e. they surround each of us. Theodore Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte and Russian Czar Peter I the Great suffered from bronchial asthma. Socio-economic impact of diseases in general and of asthma in particular is huge. And considering constantly growing prices for medical services, reduction of temporary disability payments, being sick became unprofitable. After all, the more time a person spends in a hospital room or at home while being sick, the greater the loss he carries.
Fortunately, most people suffer from milder forms of the disease and require minimal care. Exacerbations frequency and mortality are reduced thanks to modern medicine opportunities, but acute cases do not become less dangerous.
Of particular note is the fact that not all patients with asthma receive appropriate treatment. Reasons for that are different. Doctors’ neglect, lack of time for the patient, inability inform patients, sometimes patients themselves are irresponsible. Not all patients consider their condition seriously: postponing visit to doctor, not compliance to recommendations, ignoring disease requirements to provide rigid control over lifestyle. Many patients are not aware of the latest achievements in asthma treatment, do not know that their disease, in most cases, can be controlled, quite successfully, by the way.
Asthma Causes and Risk Factors
Currently there is no reliable information about disease causes. It can be both external factors and existing diseases, but more often combination of their actions.
- Hereditary predisposition. It is important to be aware of disease your parents and other close family members suffered, whether they had similar symptoms.
- Sex. Women suffer from asthma twice as often.
- Obesity also plays in an important role in asthma development.
- Allergens: of household and professional, animal and vegetable origin. We often do not even notice their presence in our environment.
- Where do asthma symptoms come from? Simply put, asthma is always a consequence of inflammation in bronchial walls, narrowing of their lumen and accumulation of viscous mucus that is difficult to cough up.
What causes asthma attack:
- allergens (atopic asthma);
- infections (infectious asthma);
- physical activity ( exercise-induced asthma);
- acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin) and drugs containing it ( aspirin-induced asthma).
Different combinations of initiating agents are also possible. Then we talk about mixed asthma type. Proper and timely determination of « triggers» is of great importance for prevention and relief of asthma attacks.
The disease has many faces and is not always immediately manifests in severe suffocation. It may just be a long dry cough. In freezing temperatures, during physical exercise, feeling strong smell…
Symptoms of asthma are episodes of dyspnea (difficulties with exhaling, rather than inhaling), wheezing, chest congestion, especially if it occurs during night and early morning hours.
Sometimes, the first asthma attack develops suddenly, as a result of above-mentioned reasons impact. There are cases when the disease manifests so seriously that you must act without delay. During severe attacks patient is sitting or standing, leaning on arms, breathing heavily and frequently, lips are cyanochroic. Often at the same time it is more difficult to exhale. Patient is afraid of this state, and this fear is especially pronounced if the disease has caught him off guard when he cannot take a breath of anti-asthmatic medication. In such situations experts help is necessary! Call an ambulance as soon as possible, because every minute counts.
Preliminary diagnosis in most cases can be made after thorough interview and doctor’s examination. It is confirmed, as a rule, by «respiratory function» study. The study is simple and not expensive. Patient only exhales into mouthpiece of special device – spirograph, which gives an accurate picture of bronchial obstruction and their response to special test with anti-asthmatic medication inhalation.
For patients with asthma there is a convenient device for self-control – peakflowmeter. The device determines expiratory flow rate and indicates at which control zone of the disease you are. The device is very cheap, but gives great information for patient and his doctor.
It is important to eliminate from your diet and environment those household allergens that are «responsible» for symptoms appearance. Allergologist helps to identify allergen provoking asthma symptoms.
Basis for modern bronchial asthma treatment all over the world are hormones. And this, in practice, frightens many patients – they either do not take the drug or reduce dosage by themselves.
Meanwhile, that very «harmful» hormone enters bronchi and lungs, namely where there is inflammatory process, to where it is needed to relieve painful symptoms. Thus hormone dose is so low that it has no overall adverse effect on organism. This can’t be said about those cases when a person who refuses from modern treatment, gets to the hospital with asthma exacerbation, where he receives these same hormones, but as dropper. Drug doses in these cases are not comparable with one another.
The disease is based on inflammation of bronchial wall, edema, viscous mucus accumulation. Hormones (glucocorticoids) application is based on their potent anti-inflammatory action, which affects all parts of pathological process.
Besides hormones, common means that expand bronchi lumen (beta-agonists, anticholinergics, phosphodiesterase inhibitors) are widely used in asthma treatment. Medicines of leukotriene receptor inhibitors group combine anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic and bronchodilatory effect. Remember that specific drugs and their dosage, indications and contraindications for use are determined by attending physician!
Complications, Prognosis, Prevention
With proper asthma treatment, complications are absent or extremely rare. For example, long-term course of the disease may cause emphysema when smallest lung structure is destroyed and there is an increase in airness of lung tissue. Sharp accumulation of air in pleural cavity during lung rupture (pneumothorax) is also dangerous. Status asthmaticus is a severe attack when bronchi are significantly narrowed and people literally suffocate in front of others. The last two states require urgent medical help and hospitalization.
Treatment forecast is favorable in most cases. You just need good doctor and patient interaction. Nothing should be left unsaid, misunderstood. Internal discipline should become life motto for patient with asthma – he can not forget to take medication or miss visit to doctor.
Disease prevention is simple and aims at avoiding external risk factors (allergens, dust, tobacco smoke), as impact on internal factors is yet a dream for scientists. But they are tireless in their searches. So we wish them good luck, to defeat the disease together.
Asthma Inhalers Online
Asthma Inhaler Online offers the latest phrmaceutical inventions in the field of respiratory tract diseases treatment. On our website https://onlineasthmainhalers.com/ you can find the most effective means for asthma treatment and a lot of usefull information about how to use them and the disease itself.
Flovent (Fluticasone propionate)
Fluticasone propionate belongs to glucocorticosteroids (GCS) of local action group and has pronounced anti-inflammatory and antiallergic effect, which when inhaled in recommended doses leads to decrease in symptoms severity and exacerbations reduction of diseases that are accompanied with airway obstruction (asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema). Fluticasone propionate inhibits mast cells, eosinophiles, lymphocytes, macrophages, neutrophils proliferation, reduces production and release of inflammation mediators and other biologically active substances – histamine, prostaglandins, leukotrienes, cytokines.
At chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) there is confirmed Flovent effectiveness on respiratory function that is characterized by decreased symptoms severity, exacerbations frequency and severity, decreased necessity for additional oral glucocorticosteroids and improved quality of life.
Flovent systemic action is minimally expressed: in therapeutic doses has almost no effect on hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis.
The drug restores patient’s response on bronchodilators by reducing frequency of their use. Therapeutic effect after fluticasone inhalation appears within 24 hours, reaches maximum within 1 to 2 weeks or more after treatment beginning and persist for several days after withdrawal.
Proventil Inhaler, Ventolin (Salbutamol, Albuterol Sulfate)
Salbutamol was released on USA pharmaceutical market in 1980, and was sold under the brand name «Ventolin». Oral version of the drug has become one of the most popular in history of acute asthma attacks treatment. As a result, many companies have started to invest in this preparation market.
Ventolin is still available in US, but FDA also approved a number of other generic and brand drug. In most developed countries Salbutamol now is also sold as inhalers and oral medications. Popular brand names include Aerolin, Airomir, Asmasal, Asthalin, Asthavent, Asmolov, Butahale, Buventol, ProAir, Proventil, Salamol, Sultanol and Volmax.
Albuterol sulfate acts directly on human nervous system and includes preparations of sympathomimetics category. Albuterol actively affects bronchi and instantly expands them by relaxing airways, allowing spasm to disappear and oxygen to get access to lungs. Therefore, this means is actively used in respiratory tract disorders such as asthma, because it greatly facilitates breathing. But in spite of its initial application, Albuterol can be very useful for some athletes. There are bodybuilders who claim that improvement of respiratory activity contributes to cardiovascular endurance. Regardless of admission purposes: medical prescription or sports results achievements, Albuterol works by stimulating beta2-receptors. Human body has a large number of different receptors, but the drug acts directly on beta2-receptors.
Besides the fact that Albuterol helps in case of respiratory diseases, it has pronounced thermogenic effect. This is why many bodybuilders use it for burning excess fat.
The process of body fat burning also occurs through interaction of drug components with beta2-receptor. When Albuterol begins to affect them, they contribute to body temperature increase. Although temperature increase will not be significant, it is enough to speed up metabolism. And as it is known, the more effective this process is, the more fat you will lose.
Advair Discus (Fluticasone Salmeterol)
Advair Discus is a dosed powder for inhalation, active substances are: salmeterol, fluticasone.
This means is used for treating bronchial asthma and maintenance therapy at patients with COPD. Inhaler is not intended for acute conditions relief.
Salmeterol prevents bronchospasm symptoms, fluticasone propionate improves respiratory function and prevents exacerbations. Advair for more convenient dosage regimen may be an alternative for patients who are at the same time use beta2-adrenoreceptor agonists and inhaled corticosteroids of different inhalers.
Salmeterol is a selective long-acting (up to 12 hours) beta2-adrenoceptor agonist having a long side chain which binds to external receptor domain.
Pharmacological properties of salmeterol offer more effective protection (at least 12 hours duration) from histamine-induced bronchoconstriction and longer lasting bronchodilation than short-acting beta2-adrenoreceptor agonists.
Fluticasone propionate is corticosteroid for local application, with anti-inflammatory and antiallergic effect on lungs, which reduces clinical symptoms and airway diseases exacerbations. Fluticasone propionate action, prescribed at recommended doses, is not accompanied by side effects typical of systemic corticosteroids.