Asthma is an inveterate disease that can affect people of all ages, can be controlled with the right treatment, and when it cannot be controlled, severely restricts daily activities. It is a disease that manifests itself with the narrowing of the airlines and comes in attacks. Except for attacks, the patient is normal. Asthma is a non-microbial inflammation of the airways. For this reason, the airway wall is swollen and edema. This condition causes the lungs to become hypersensitive to stimuli. With stimuli such as dust, smoke, smell, complaints such as cough, shortness of breath and feeling of pressure in the chest occur immediately. In a crisis, the muscles surrounding the airways contract, edema and swelling increase, and with progressive inflammation, the airway wall thickens. A thick mucus (excreta - sputum) is released from the glands in the airways. All this significantly narrows the airways and prevents air from entering and exiting the lungs.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF ASTHMA ?
The main symptoms of asthma are shortness of breath, wheezing, a dry cough, and a feeling of pressure in the chest. Of course, these symptoms are not only seen in asthma, but the fact that these symptoms are recurrent, usually occur at night or in the morning, improve spontaneously or with medications, show seasonal differences is specific to asthma. Another important point that we should note is that patients feel good outside of attacks. Factors that cause asthma symptoms are called triggers. The factors that trigger asthma symptoms may be different for each patient. For this reason, patients should be well aware of these factors that bother them and stay away from them as much as possible. Common asthma triggers; upper respiratory tract infections, allergens (house dust mites, pollens, fungal spores, animal hair, and rashes, cockroaches), cigarette smoking, air pollution, drugs, nutrients, acid reflux, stress, and exercise.
HOW IS ASTHMA TREATED ?
The aim of asthma treatment is to eliminate the narrowing of the airways due to non-microbial inflammation and to ensure that the patient breathes comfortably. Expectations from treatment:
Controlling and maintaining symptoms
Maintaining a normal level of activity, including exercise
Keep lung function as normal as possible
Preventing the unwanted effects of asthma medications
In order to achieve these goals;
Developing patient / physician cooperation
Identifying trigger factors and reducing contact
Assessment of asthma control and drug treatment are necessary.
Asthma medications are divided into controlling drugs and breath-opening drugs: controlling drugs: they control non-microbial inflammation in the airways. These drugs do not immediately relieve the patient, so their effects are not noticeable in the short term, but their benefit is visible in the long term. For this reason, these drugs should be used regularly. Drugs containing cortisone, long-acting beta2 agonists, drugs affecting the leukotriene system, theophylline and Antillean are drugs in this group. Breath-opening drugs: these are drugs that relax the muscles in the airway by acting quickly when you use them and relieve symptoms such as shortness of breath, wheezing, a feeling of pressure in the chest. Some are used regularly when necessary. Beta agonists, anticholinergic drugs and theophylline are from this group. All these asthma medications are safe and have little side effects when used in the recommended doses and time. A significant portion is taken through breathing, so other drugs pose less risk of interaction.
WHAT IS AN ASTHMA ATTACK (CRISIS) AND HOW TO UNDERSTAND IT ?
An asthma attack is an asthma attack in which asthma symptoms appear or increase while they are present, and these are accompanied by deterioration in respiratory tests. A very large part of attacks progress slowly and develop within days. In very few patients, sudden onset attacks occur, sudden narrowing of the airways may occur. In summary,
If you go to a regular doctor's check-up, it is possible to completely prevent attacks if the medications given are taken regularly.
Drugs taken by a pulmonologist by inhalation at the dose given are safe.
Patients who do not get away from the trigger factors and are not under regular physician control can have fatal attacks.