Bronchial asthma is a chronic inflammatory respiratory tract disorder. This disease is characterized by such manifestations of asthma attacks as dyspnea, coughing and breathlessness attacks. This circumstance is caused by excessive airway responsiveness to various stimuli. Thus, in response to stimulation, they begin to produce sufficiently large amount of bronchial mucus, presence of which interferes with the normal flow of air during breathing.
Despite the fact that asthma can occur at people of all ages, children are the most susceptible to it, some of them with age simply «outgrow» their illness. To date, nearly 300 million of people worldwide suffer from this disease, and this number is constantly growing.
During asthma course patient’s airways become sensitive to allergens, tobacco smoke, chemical irritants, etc. During allergens and airway interaction edema and bronchospasm are formed representing bronchial asthma. At this point, there is a large release of bronchial mucus, which prevents normal air passage through airways during breathing process.
Depending on attack cause there are distinguished non-allergic asthma and asthma with allergic component predominance. Exacerbation occurrence when exposed to certain allergens (animal hair, pollen, certain foods, house dust) is a clear sign of allergic disease. Asthma of this type is accompanied by symptoms of vegetative dystonia, rhinitis, and urticaria fever. Often the disease is seasonal.
At non-allergic asthma there is an increased airway sensitivity. Bronchospasm occurs at any irritation, preventing air passage through them, resulting in coughing and choking attack.
Asthma at Children
One of the main asthma causes at children after birth is allergy to house dust. Microscopic dust mites have the greatest allergenic capacity. A huge number of these mites accumulate in bedclothes, as well as soft furniture, stuffed toys and other items that collect dust.
As a rule, asthma at children begins at pre-school age. In most cases, asthma is manifested at children under the age of three years. Asthma attacks at children develop on the background of acute respiratory and viral infections. In addition there are statistics, according to which, boys suffer from asthma more often than girls. Wool, as well as animal epidermis can also trigger asthma development at children. At the same time after removing pets from the house allergen concentration reduction lasts for several years.
The main asthma symptoms is frequent, painful and persistent cough, which may worsen after physical exercise, at night and after inhaling cold air. Expiratory (exhalation with difficulty) dyspnea is also a common asthma symptom. It is able to significantly limit breathing, which can lead to panic from inability to breathe. At this disease there are observed such asthma symptoms as wheezing, audible at a distance, and suffocation. Rales appear as a result of airway narrowing at air vibration passing through them with force.
At acute and severe disease course patient usually during asthma attacks breathes through the mouth, using neck, shoulders and body muscles to facilitate breathing. The fact is that inhale is a usual procedure for our body, for which chest muscles are already trained. Exhale meanwhile occurs passively, i. e., without any effort, so muscles are not sufficiently developed to remove air through narrowed airways. Thus, lungs are swelled due to air accumulation in them.
If you think you have asthma and are characteristic of this disease symptoms, you should consult allergist or pulmonologist.
Emergency Aid at Bronchial Asthma
If there is need for emergency aid at bronchial asthma, first it is necessary to remove cause-significant allergens. After that, it is recommended to provide fresh air, unbuttoning at the same time patient’s clothes. Emergency aid at bronchial asthma is based on appointing one of the drugs with bronchospasmolytic effect: Berodual, Salbutamol. As a rule, metered aerosol asthma inhaler or nebulizer is used. Emergency aid at bronchial asthma can also include repeated inhalation, if effect of the first one is not observed for 20 minutes. You can offer a patient to take one aminophylline pill. If asthma attack has intensified, and emergency aid does not bring desired effect, call the «ambulance».
Recently, bronchial asthma treatment principles suffer some changes. The fact is that scientists have finally identified crucial role of allergic inflammation in airways and bronchial hyperactivity (hypersensitivity). Thus, there are two main directions in asthma treatment: emergency aid during asthma attack, and basic anti-inflammatory therapy.
Asthma treatment should be based entirely on attending physician prescriptions, as treatment course depends on disease severity, which can be determined only after full examination and disease symptoms analysis.
- Mild asthma treatment (attacks appear 1 – 2 times a month) often do not require using medications. At this form health state is not suffering outside asthma attack.
- Moderately severe asthma treatment consists in inhaling bronchospasmolytics.
- Severe asthma treatment requires emergency measures. This disease form is accompanied by frequent attacks (2 – 3 times a week), as well as poses a real danger to life. Also in absence of seizures patient still has wheezing.
Basic anti-inflammatory therapy is based on corticosteroids (hormonal drugs), inhaled or in pills. Note that inhaled corticosteroids have a number of advantages. The drug produces maximal effect, goes directly into airways and does not cause severe side effects. In case of disease exacerbations additional medicines are prescribed. After the attack basic therapy is continued.