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There is an inherited tendency toward the development of extrinsic asthma. It is related to a hypersensitivity reaction of the immune response. The patient often gives a family medical history that includes allergies of one kind or another and a personal history of allergic disorders. Secondary factors affecting the severity of an attack or triggering its onset include events that produce emotional stress, environmental changes in humidity and temperature, and exposure to noxious fumes or other airborne allergens.
Drugs given for the treatment of asthma are primarily used for the relief of symptoms. There is no cure for asthma but the disease can be controlled with an individualized regimen of drug therapy coupled with rest, relaxation, and avoidance of causative factors. Bronchodilators such as epinephrine and aminophylline may be used to enlarge the bronchioles, thus relieving respiratory embarrassment. Other drugs that thin the secretions and help in their ejection (expectorants) may also be prescribed.
The patient with status asthmaticus is very seriously ill and must receive special attention and medication to avoid excessive strain on the heart and severe respiratory difficulties that can be fatal.
Exercises that improve posture are helpful in maintaining good air exchange. Special deep breathing exercises can be taught to the patient so that elasticity and full expansion of lung and bronchial tissues are maintained. (See also lung and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.) Some asthmatic patients have developed a protective breathing pattern that is shallow and ineffective because of a fear that deep breathing will bring on an attack of coughing and wheezing. They will need help in breaking this pattern and learning to breathe deeply and fully expand the bronchi and lungs.
The patient should be encouraged to drink large quantities of fluids unless otherwise contraindicated. The extra fluids are needed to replace those lost during respiratory distress. The increased intake of fluids also can help thin the bronchial secretions so that they are more easily removed by coughing and deep breathing.
The patient should be warned of the hazards of extremes in eating, exercise, and emotional events such as prolonged laughing or crying. The key words are modification and moderation to avoid overtaxing and overstimulating the body systems. Relaxation techniques can be very helpful, especially if the patient can find a method that effectively reduces tension.
Asthmatic patients fare better if they feel that they do have some control over their disease and are not necessarily helpless victims of a debilitating incurable illness. There is no cure for asthma but there are ways in which one can adjust to the illness and minimize its effects.
Asthma is a common disorder, with a prevalence of about 5% in the U.S., and a leading cause of illness and disability in people between 2 and 17 years of age. It is responsible for 14.5 million outpatient visits and 5,000 deaths yearly in this country. The prevalence of asthma has been increasing during the past 25 years, particularly in children under age 5. Asthma first occurring in childhood is more likely to be allergic in origin and to show seasonal variation. Chronic sinusitis and gastroesophageal reflux disease are statistically correlated with asthma. A subset of people with allergic asthma also have nasal polyps and sensitivity to aspirin and other nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (Samter triad). Occupational exposure to airborne irritants or allergens causes at least 10% of chronic asthma in adults. Current views of the pathophysiology of asthma emphasize its inflammatory component and the risk of gradual, irreversible airway remodeling due to subepithelial fibrosis in poorly controlled asthma. Interleukin 13 has been implicated as a mediator of such fibrosis, and the presence of antibody to Chlamydia pneumoniae has been linked statistically to accelerated deterioration of lung function in patients with asthma. Current recommendations for treatment of chronic or severe asthma call for use of antiinflammatory drugs (particularly inhaled corticosteroids). Other treatments include β2-adrenergic bronchodilators (albuterol, terbutaline, salmeterol), xanthines (theophylline, oxtriphylline, dyphylline), mast cell stabilizers (cromolyn, nedocromil), and antileukotrienes (montelukast, zafirlukast, zileuton). Self-monitoring of peak respiratory flow rate with a simple portable device helps patients adjust drug doses for optimal effect. Avoidance of allergens, irritants, and other known triggers is essential to good control.
bron·chi·al asth·ma(brong'kē-ăl az'mă)
bronchial asthmaA tautological term; all ASTHMA is bronchial.
bron·chi·al asth·ma(brong'kē-ăl az'mă)
Patient discussion about bronchial asthma
Q. about asthma?
Q. ASTHMA how does it effect every day life?
Some experts believe that asthma has similar explanation with what happened to allergic reaction.
Asthma can't be cured. Even when you feel fine, you still have the disease and it can flare up at any time. The best way to avoid asthma attack is by staying away from its triggers.
But with today's knowledge and treatments, most people who have asthma are able to manage the disease. They have few, if any, symptoms. They can live normal, active lives and sleep through the night without interruption from asthma.
Q. what do i do with asthma i have asthma