Understand Asthma

Nov 26 09:16 2007 Juliet Cohen Print This Article

Asthma is more common in boys than in girls. But after puberty asthma is more common in females.

Asthma is a disorder affecting the airways of the lungs. The inflammation makes the airways very sensitive,Guest Posting and they tend to react strongly to things that you are allergic to or find irritating. People with asthma have very sensitive airways that narrow in response to certain "triggers", leading to difficulty in breathing. Asthma attacks are not all the same—some are worse than others. In a severe asthma attack, the airways can close so much that not enough oxygen gets to vital organs. This condition is a medical emergency. People can die from severe asthma attacks. Approximately 20.5 million Americans currently have asthma. Many people with asthma have an individual or family history of allergies, such as hay fever (allergic rhinitis) or eczema. Asthma symptoms can also be triggered by respiratory infections, exercise, cold air, tobacco smoke and other pollutants, stress, food, or drug allergies. Aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications provoke asthma in some patients.

Most people with asthma have wheezing attacks separated by symptom-free periods. Asthma is an allergic disease that affects the bronchi or air passages. When the allergic reaction takes place, the bronchi constrict and get clogged with mucous, making breathing very difficult. Asthma affects the airways, the small tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs. If you have asthma, your airways are sensitive and easily become swollen. A total of 47 patients had high levels of exhaled nitric oxide. Of those patients, 41 started using inhaled corticosteroids, and 36 noted improvement in their cough. Asthma may be very mild, or it can be very severe. An asthma attack can become very serious. Asthma is one of the leading causes of children missing school. Asthma coughs, on the other hand, are most often dry coughs caused by bronchial spasms. Asthma can be controlled by taking medicine and avoiding the triggers that can cause an attack.

Asthma is treated with two kinds of medicines: quick-relief medicines to stop asthma symptoms and long-term control medicines to prevent symptoms. Asthma and eosinophilic bronchitis can be treated with inhaled corticosteroids, which combat inflammation in the airways to reduce asthma symptoms. Antimuscarinics/anticholinergics (ipratropium, oxitropium, and tiotropium), which have a mixed reliever and preventer effect. Omalizumab, an IgE blocker; this can help patients with severe allergic asthma that does not respond to other drugs. Quick-relief medications and Long-term-control medications. These are used regularly to control chronic symptoms and prevent asthma attacks. Xolair is used in children over 12 years old and adults with moderate to severe asthma caused by an allergy, if all other treatments have failed. Short-acting bronchodilators — often called "rescue" or "quick-relief" medications —stop the symptoms of an asthma attack in progress. Allergy-desensitization shots may help if you have allergic asthma that can't be easily controlled by avoiding triggers.

Asthma. Treatment Tips

1. Antimuscarinics/anticholinergics (ipratropium, oxitropium, and tiotropium), which have a mixed reliever and preventer effect.

2. Omalizumab, an IgE blocker; this can help patients with severe allergic asthma that does not respond to other drugs.

3. Quick-relief medications and Long-term-control medications are used regularly to control chronic symptoms and prevent asthma attacks.

4. Xolair is used in children over 12 years old and adults with moderate to severe asthma caused by an allergy, if all other treatments have failed.

5. Short-acting bronchodilators — often called "rescue" or "quick-relief" medications —stop the symptoms of an asthma attack in progress.

6. Anticholinergic medications, such as ipratropium bromide may be used instead.

7. Antihistamines, often used to treat allergic symptoms that may underlie the chronic inflammation.

8. Cromolyn and nedocromil, which are used to treat mild persistent asthma.

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