What Kind Of Medicine Is Involved
Asthma treatment serves two main purposes: long-term control and short-term symptom relief. Here are some of the asthma drugs your doctor could include in your asthma action plan:
Inhalers. These portable devices deliver a premeasured dose of asthma medicine into your lungs. You hold the J-shaped pumps to your mouth and press down on the canister. The pump sends out a mist or powder that you inhale.
Some inhalers contain corticosteroids that control swelling and irritation in your airways. These inhalers are for daily or seasonal use.
Other inhalers contain fast-acting drugs that can open your airways quickly if youre having an asthma flare-up.
Some inhalers may contain a combination of medicines to control your precise reactions.
Nebulizers. These freestanding devices turn liquid medicine into a mist you can breathe. The drugs used in nebulizers reduce swelling and irritation in the airways.
Oral medicines. Your long-term action plan may also include oral medications. Oral asthma drugs include leukotriene modulators and theophylline which opens your airways. Both are taken in pill form. Oral corticosteroid pills are also sometimes prescribed.
Biologics. You may have an injection of a biologic medication once or twice a month. These medicines are also called immunomodulators because they reduce certain white blood cells in your blood or reduce your sensitivity to allergens in your environment. Theyre only used for certain types of severe asthma.
Asthma Uk Is On A Mission To Help Find A Cure For Severe Asthma
Asthma UK has launched a landmark report revealing the challenges faced by people with severe asthma, and how Asthma UK, scientists, researchers and people with asthma can work together to find a cure.
Here we summarise our findings and explain how well find new drugs to treat people with severe asthma so they can live longer and live better. You can also read the full report here: Slipping through the net: the reality facing patients with severe asthma.
Severe Asthma Ruins Health Education And Family Lives
If you have severe asthma, youll know what it feels like to start your day breathless and tight-chested, with an irritating cough that wont go away. On top of this youll probably recognise what its like to feel exhausted because of broken sleep, and in constant fear of having an asthma attack at any time an attack so serious that you could easily end up in hospital.
Through all this, you may feel you have to remain bright and positive so your children, spouse, friends or colleagues who may well have seen you rushed to hospital many times dont worry that its going to happen again.
This is the reality of living with severe asthma a condition that affects 200,000 people in the UK, both adults and children. Every day these people are struggling with persistent symptoms and live in fear of having an asthma attack because current treatments dont work. Their medicines are only just about keeping their symptoms under control.
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The Impact Of Asthma On Daily Life
Asthma is often under-diagnosed and under-treated, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.
People with under-treated asthma can suffer sleep disturbance, tiredness during the day, and poor concentration. Asthma sufferers and their families may miss school and work, with financial impact on the family and wider community. If symptoms are severe, people with asthma may need to receive emergency health care and they may be admitted to hospital for treatment and monitoring. In the most severe cases, asthma can lead to death.
How To Treat Severe Asthma
Once your asthma specialist has determined the type of severe asthma you are suffering from, they can tailor treatment based on your specific type. Basic treatment for severe persistent asthma consists of inhaled corticosteroids. Additional long-term controller medicines, such as long-acting beta 2 agonists , montelukast or theophylline, are added if asthma is still uncontrolled. Oral corticosteroids can be added on to treatment if patients are still experiencing symptoms and flare-ups.
A personalized treatment plan may include:
Macrolide AntibioticsMacrolide antibiotics are used to help the body fight infection. These medicines control the number of white blood cells found in your airways. One study showed positive results using macrolide antibiotics in people with high counts of neutrophils in blood or sputum samples. Doctors dont suggest these medications be used long term though because side effects, such as antibiotic resistance, can be very serious.
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How Do You Monitor Asthma Symptoms
Monitoring your asthma symptoms is an essential piece of managing the disease. Your healthcare provider may have you use a peak flow meter. This device measures how fast you can blow air out of your lungs. It can help your provider make adjustments to your medication. It also tells you if your symptoms are getting worse.
Use A Peak Flow Meter
A peak flow meter is an inexpensive handheld gadget. You use it to measure how fast air comes out when you exhale hard after a full breath in. This number is called a peak expiratory flow .
Your doctor may want you to use a peak flow meter to help you recognize signs of trouble. Many asthma symptoms result from not being able to move air out of your lungs. If your PEF goes down, that’s a sign that your asthma is getting worse and that you need to do something.
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Manage Your Asthma: Know Your Triggers And Treatment Options
Asthma is a chronic lung disease that causes the airways to become inflamed and narrow.
Asthma is a chronic lung disease that causes the airways to become inflamed and narrow. Symptoms of an asthma attack can include coughing, wheezing , chest tightness, and shortness of breath. There are many other conditions that can have the same symptoms, so it is important to check with your doctor to be sure of the diagnosis.
About 8.3 percent of Americans nearly 27 million people have asthma, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Theres no cure for asthma and, in most cases, we dont know what causes it. However, we do know that people living with asthma can reduce the number and severity of their asthma attacks. Patients can better manage their asthma by working with their health care providers including an allergist or pulmonologist if needed to develop an asthma action plan.
Not everyone with asthma has the same symptoms or can take the same medicine. Putting an action plan in place can help patients understand their asthma triggers and ensure they have the medications they need to reduce the number and severity of asthma attacks. The plan should also include information on how to take these medicines, when to take them, and what to do if symptoms get worse.
History And Physical Examination
Acute attacks of shortness of breath and cough occurring early in the morning are typical of asthma. Auscultation of the chest reveals rales, rhonchi, and wheezes.
Standards and individualized norms exist for both PEF measurement and spirometry .
Whole-body plethysmographic pulmonary function analysis provides further information, e.g., for the demonstration of obstruction or overdistention . Objective criteria for the confirmation of the diagnosis of bronchial asthma are given in . An algorithm for the diagnostic assessment of asthma is shown in .
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What Causes An Asthma Attack
An asthma attack can happen when you are exposed to asthma triggers. Your asthma triggers can be very different from someone elses asthma triggers. Know your triggers and learn how to avoid them. Watch out for an attack when you cant avoid your triggers. Some of the most common triggers are tobacco smoke, dust mites, outdoor air pollution, cockroach allergen, pets, mold, smoke from burning wood or grass, and infections like flu.
Testing For Severe Asthma
Before you can be tested for severe asthma, you will need a referral from your primary healthcare asthma provider to either an asthma specialist or allergy specialist . The specialist will review your medical history, your current asthma treatment plan and do a physical exam to assess your symptoms. If the specialist thinks you may have severe asthma, they will discuss additional testing with you to determine your specific type. This often starts with testing to identify a biomarker.
Biomarkers help determine what is causing the inflammation in your airways. Taking a blood sample, analyzing a mucus sample or taking a breathing test that measure substances in your breath droplets are all common tests doctors use. These tests are performed in a doctors office or an outpatient clinic setting. Your specialist will recommend one or more of these tests based on your medical history and current symptoms. Once the biomarkers are identified, your doctor can determine the type of severe asthma and the different treatment options that are available to treat that specific type.
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Are There Natural Remedies For Asthma Attacks
The typical treatment for an asthma attack is a quick-acting inhaler with medication. Sit upright and take slow, steady breaths. Try to stay calm. Follow the asthma action plan that youâve set up with your doctor. If your breathing doesnât get better or if youâre so short of breath that you canât talk, get medical help right away.
Some breathing exercises can help with symptoms of an asthma attack.
- Pursed-lip breathing. This slows your breathing and helps hold your airways open longer so your lungs work better. With your mouth closed, breathe in slowly through your nose. Then breathe out through your mouth, with your lips pursed like youâre whistling, for twice as long.
- Belly breathing. This technique uses the same steps as pursed-lip breathing. But as you breathe in, focus on the movement of your belly. Picture it filling with air like a balloon. It may help to keep your hands on your belly so you can concentrate on the air going in and out.
What Are The Different Types Of Asthma Medicines And Treatments
There are four types of asthma medicines and treatments:
The difference between these asthma treatments can be confusing. It is important to understand what each treatment does and how they help your asthma. Learning how to use each correctly can you help keep your asthma well-controlled. Always take your medicines as directed by your doctor and follow your Asthma Action Plan.
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When Should You Call A Doctor For An Asthma Attack
If you think you or your child may have asthma, make an appointment with your health care provider. Some clues pointing to asthma include the following:
- pain or tightness in your chest, and
- recurrent, spasmodic cough that is worse at night.
If you or your child has asthma, you should have an asthma action plan worked out in advance with your health care provider. This plan should include instructions on what to do when an asthma attack occurs, when to call the health care provider, and when to go to a hospital emergency department. The following are general guidelines only. If your provider recommends another plan for you, follow that plan.
- Take two puffs of an inhaled beta-agonist , with one minute between puffs. If there is no relief, take an additional puff of inhaled beta-agonist every five minutes. If there is no response after eight puffs, which is 40 minutes, your health care provider should be called.
- Your provider also should be called if you have an asthma attack when you are already taking oral or inhaled steroids or if your inhaler treatments are not lasting four hours.
Although asthma is a reversible disease, and treatments are available, people can die from a severe asthma attack.
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If you are in the emergency room, treatment will be started while the evaluation is still going on.
Here Are The Main Steps Towards Optimal Care:
Get a quick and accurate diagnosis, based on your personal history and objective measurements of respiratory function
- Learn to recognize and understand the symptoms of asthma
- Control your environment and avoid triggers
- Make sure you understand how your emergency medication works and use it as prescribed
- Make sure you understand how your daily maintenance medication works and use it as prescribed
- Make sure that the medication inhalation technique is adequate
- Develop a personalized action plan with your doctor
- Regularly reassess control of your asthma by the required respiratory tests
- Check the air quality index before planning an outdoor activity.
* Air quality also affects the breathing of people with asthma. This is calculated based on ozone, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and fine particles in the air. Knowing the air quality index for your area allows you to better plan your outdoor activity schedule and prepare yourself adequately.
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Research For Your Health
The NHLBI is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health the Nations biomedical research agency that makes important scientific discovery to improve health and save lives. We are committed to advancing science and translating discoveries into clinical practice to promote the prevention and treatment of heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders, including asthma. Learn about the current and future NHLBI efforts to improve health through research and scientific discovery.
Additional Treatment To Manage Symptoms
Most asthma is well controlled by lifestyle changes and medications. However, in some cases, other treatment may be recommended.
Bronchial thermoplasty is used for severe asthma that is not improved with inhaled corticosteroids or other long-term asthma medications. Bronchial thermoplasty involves heating the inside of the airways using an electrode. This reduces the smooth muscle inside the airways, which limits their ability to constrict. This makes breathing easier and can reduce asthma attacks.
Bronchial thermoplasty is performed over a series of 3 outpatient visits.
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Take Asthma Medications As Prescribed
Long-term asthma medications are designed to prevent symptoms and attacks. You need to take them every day, even if you donât have symptoms. Theyâll ease inflammation in your airways and keep your asthma under control, so itâs less likely to flare up. If side effects bother you, talk to your doctor about switching to another treatment.
Creating Your Asthma Action Plan
People with asthma have highly individual triggers and responses. Some doctors believe there are actually many asthmas, each with its own causes, risks, and treatments.
If you have asthma, your doctor will work with you to create an asthma action plan that focuses on your own symptoms and the things that seem to trigger them. Asthma. .
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Can Asthma Be Cured What Are The Latest Treatments
- May 3, 1999
Javeed Akhter, M.D., Section Head of Pediatric Pulmonology at Hope Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn, Ill., offers the following answer:
|Image: STEVE KAGAN, M.D.MAST CELL. These large cells, filled with potent inflammation-inducing chemicals called leukotrienes, line the respiratory tract and play a central role in allergy-induced asthma.
Asthma is an eminently controllable illness. Indeed, for most sufferers, control is so effective that it amounts to a virtual cure. But asthma is not curable in the same way as, say, a bacterial pneumonia it never entirely goes away. Also, no one cure would ever suffice. It is becoming increasingly clear that there many types of asthma–and they differ greatly in their presentation and genesis. For example, asthma that presents as a chronic cough, the “cough variant of asthma,” appears to be very different from the life-threatening variety, which results in extreme respiratory failure and sometimes death.
Another effective strategy for preventing inflammation is the use of certain medications either daily during a season , during multiple seasons or year-round. One class of these medications stabilizes the mast cell, , which line the respiratory tract and play a central role in allergy-induced asthma. These mast cell-stabilizing inhalants include Cromolyn and Nedocromyl. Cromolyn is of particular interest as it is derived from the plant Ammi Visnaga, long used by American Indians as an herbal remedy for colic.
Tests Of Bronchial Hyperreactivity
When spirometry is normal, but symptoms and the clinical history are suggestive of asthma, measurement of airway responsiveness using direct airway challenges to inhaled bronchoconstrictor stimuli or indirect challenges may help confirm a diagnosis of asthma.
Tests of bronchial hyperreactivity should be conducted in accordance with standardized protocols in a pulmonary function laboratory or other facility equipped to manage acute bronchospasm. Bronchopovocation testing involves the patient inhaling increasing doses or concentrations of an inert stimulus until a given level of bronchoconstriction is achieved, typically a 20% fall in FEV1. An inhaled rapid-acting bronchodilator is then provided to reverse the obstruction. Test results are usually expressed as the provocative dose or provocative concentration of the provoking agent that causes the FEV1 to drop by 20% . For methacholine, most pulmonary function laboratories use a PC20 value less than 4-8 mg/mL as the threshold for a positive result indicative of airway hyperreactivity, supporting a diagnosis of asthma. However, positive challenge tests are not specific to asthma and may occur with other conditions such as allergic rhinitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease . Therefore, tests of bronchial hyperreactivity may be most useful for ruling out asthma among individuals who are symptomatic. A negative test result in a symptomatic patient not receiving anti-inflammatory therapy is highly sensitive .
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