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Key facts about Bronchial asthma

Bronchial asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the respiratory tract characterized by bronchospasm and asthma attacks. Asthma is the most common chronic disease among children and requires compulsory medication.

Causes of Bronchial asthma
Causes of Bronchial asthma (Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons – licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license)

What is Bronchial asthma?

Bronchial asthma is a serious non-infectious disease of the respiratory tract. According to official statistics, 339 million people worldwide suffer from asthma, while it is asthma that is the most common chronic disease in children. In America, 7.7% of adults and 8.4% of children and adolescents (more than 25 million people) suffer from bronchial asthma.

Bronchial asthma occurs due to hyperactivity (hypersensitivity to irritants) of the bronchi, resulting in their spasm. A large amount of mucus is formed in the bronchi. The wall of the bronchi thickens due to edema, due to which the lumen of the bronchi narrows. The patient has asthma attacks, wheezing, wheezing, and coughing, especially worse at night and in the morning. Attacks sometimes go away on their own, but usually, especially with severe bronchial asthma, stopping with medications is required.

Symptoms of Asthma

  • Paroxysmal dry cough, worse at night and in the morning;
  • shortness of breath;
  • wheezing and whistling in the chest;
  • feeling of lack of air;
  • asthma attacks.

Risk factors for developing asthma symptoms are usually inhaled allergens (certain foods, dust, pet hair, and plant pollen), cold air, or due to contact with household chemicals. By the way, physical activity, for example, running, and acute respiratory viral infections are also capable of provoking an exacerbation of bronchial asthma.

The severity of bronchial asthma can vary during the life of the patient. But even with a mild course of this disease, severe seizures are possible, requiring increased therapy. Often, exacerbation of asthma is so manifested, and it can even end in death.

How to control the disease of Bronchial asthma?

According to official data, 36 million people in the world suffering from asthma have a severe course of the disease. Such patients require high doses of inhaled glucocorticosteroids in order to keep the disease under control. However, some patients may experience unpleasant symptoms even with the maximum amount of therapy. Exacerbations of the disease in them occur 5 times more often compared with mild or moderate asthma. However, modern therapy is able to control bronchial asthma, as well as reduce or even prevent exacerbations of this disease.

“Control is the main goal in treating asthma,” doctors say. About 80% of patients with bronchial asthma are confident that they control their disease, but in fact, in 45% of patients, asthma is not controlled at all, and in 35% it is only partially controlled. Poor symptom control is associated with a risk of exacerbations.

To quickly and accurately determine the level of disease control in a particular patient, doctors use the international AST test. The test evaluates the following parameters:

  • restriction of activity;
  • shortness of breath;
  • how often the patient wakes up from a strong cough or shortness of breath;
  • use of drugs that make breathing easier;
  • general control of asthma.

Treatment

The first successes in disease control were achieved 50 years ago. For example, during that period with the advent of salbutamol, they learned how to stop asthma attacks.

To date, according to clinical recommendations, inhaled glucocorticosteroids (IHC) are the main drugs for the treatment and successful control of bronchial asthma. In patients, maintenance therapy with glucocorticosteroids allows you to control the symptoms of bronchial asthma. Patients note that seizures occur much less frequently, are easier, therefore patients with asthma can live a full life without experiencing serious discomfort from the disease.

However, in severe forms of bronchial asthma, when even high doses of IHC do not allow to take the disease under control, modern targeted therapy comes to the rescue, which helps to control the disease, reduce the frequency of asthma exacerbations, hospitalizations and significantly improve the patient’s quality of life.

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