About 7.9 percent of the population in the USA is suffering from asthma. It is more common in females and children between 5 and 14 years old. Allergy is the process in which the immunity of a person overworks. And due to this process, some chemical reactions occur in the body, and immunoglobin is released. Where this process starts to happen, symptoms start to appear. If allergic symptoms appear in the nose then the patient feels runny nose and Sneezing. Nose feels itchy and blocked. When this mucus reaches in the throat then throat becomes sore. Often tonsils become swollen. Then breathing tubes become narrow and patients feel difficulty breathing.
Allergy and asthma are different. Allergy is cause and its outcome is asthma.Sometimes peanuts, seafood, Chinese foods like ajino moto, or some chemicals can cause allergic reactions and the patient’s condition can be fatal due to these allergic reactions.
Clean your nose with water. Make sure water will not come into your wind pipe. Repeat this process in 2 hours. Patients will feel better.
Some anti-allergic medicines are safe, and others are not.Some anti-allergic medicines can be purchased in supermarkets like Citrazene, Loratadine and these have no side effects and can be used for the long term.
Asthma Symptoms :
- Shortness of breath.
- Chest tightness or chest pain
- Sleep problems due to cough , wheezing or shortness of breath or chest pain.
- Difficulty talking during asthma attack.
- Panic and anxiety.
Warning Signs of Asthma Attack:
- Breathing changes
- Mucous changing
- Runny or blocked nose
- Itching in eyes
- Sore throat
- Feeling tired
Tests for Asthma
Spirometry is the test to diagnose asthma. During the test, your doctor will first measure your height and body weight. Then you will be asked to put a clip on your nose so that you will only breathe through your mouth. Then you will be asked to blow into a tube connected with a computer. Then you will be given some inhaler and then again blow into the tube. The doctor will see the difference and diagnose whether you have asthma or not.
2 Methacholine challenge Test:
During this test, larger doses of methacholine are given by nebulizer. Then spirometry is conducted and your doctor will assess your asthma condition.
3 Nitric Oxide Test:
Nitric oxide is the gas that is produced by inflamed cells of lungs by allergic reactions. Your doctor will measure this gas to know inflammation of lungs.
4 Blood Tests
5 X-ray Tests
6 Skin Tests:
For skin testing, extracts from different allergens are used and these allergens are placed either on the skin or injected in the skin. These allergens could be grass, certain trees, weed, pollen, mold, animal dander, etc. Then the effect of these allergens is measured.
During bronchoscopy, your physician will insert a small tube with a camera into your nose and airways. This will inspect airways and collect a small portion of lung tissues and airways fluid. The procedure will be done under light sedation.
Severity of Asthma
1 Intermittent :
If a person has coughing and wheezing for 2 days in a week and nighttime flare-ups twice a month’s then he or she has intermittent asthma.
2 Mild :
If a person has asthma symptoms more than 2 days in a week but less than once a day and nighttime flare-ups more than twice and month but less than once a week then asthma is mild.
3 Moderate :
If symptoms of asthma occur daily and nighttime flare-ups occur more than once a week then asthma id moderate.
4 Severe :
If coughing and wheezing occur daily and nighttime flare-ups frequently occur then a person has severe asthma but this type of asthma is least common.
Other diseases affecting asthma:
- Dust mites
- Cigarette smoke
- Pets dander
- Cockroach dander
- Tobacco smoke
- Outdoor air pollution
- Smoke from burning woods.
- Physical exercise.
- Bad weather.
- Strong emotions i.e. stress.
- Some foods.
Quicker relief Medicines:
1 Short term beta agonists
These are quick-relief medicines. They can be taken before exercise in exercise-induced asthma. These medicines should not be used more than twice a week. If you need more doses it means your asthma is not managed properly. These include albuterol (AccuNeb, Proventil HFA, Ventolin HFA, ProAir HFA) and levalbuterol (Xopenex, Xopenex HFA), epinephrine ( Asthmanefrin, Primatene Mist).
These medicines like ipratropium (Atrovent)take a longer time than beta-agonists. They relax the muscles around airways in the lungs and make breathing easy. They also reduce the production of mucous.
3 Combination quick relief Medicines
They can be taken in inhaler form or through a nebulizer. These include both beta-agonists and anticholinergics.
4 Oral corticosteroids
These include prednisone and methylprednisolone can be used to reduce emergency room visits and hospitalization.
Long Term Asthma Medications
1 Long term beta agonists:
Salmeterol and formoterol, vilanterol are used to have a process of bronchodilation of 12 hours after a single dose. These are used in combination with an inhaled corticosteroids.
These are used for severe persistent asthma and for long term use. These are the most effective anti-inflammatory medications. These include budesonide (Pulmicort Flexhaler), Ciclesonide (Alvesco), beclomethasone ( Qvar RdiHaler), Fluticasone (Flovent HFA) and mometasone (Asmanex Twisthaler).
Biologics is a medicine made from living organism, for example mice bacteria which targets inflammation molecules in asthma patients. These include omalizumab ( xolair), mepolizumab ( Nucala) Reslizumab ( Cinqair) etc.
4 Leukotreine Modifiers:
Leukotrienes are chemicals which body released after coming in contact with allergens and this produces inflammation in the lungs. Leukotriene modifiers reduce the action of this chemical. These include zafirlukast ( Accikate)and Zileuton (Zyflo).
5 Long Acting Bronchodilators:
These are not quick-relief medicines. They act in the long run. These are used in combination with inhaled steroids. Never use this medicine alone. This might include tiotropium (Spirvia).
Avoid Asthma triggers by :
- Wash beddings to clean dust mites
- Avoid pollen or grassy areas
- Remove Mold
- Fix the problem of cockroaches
- Don’t have pets like cats, dogs, any bird in your house.
- Avoid foods that can trigger the allergy.