Bronchial Asthma is another name for bronchial asthma or just asthma. This permanent inflammatory disease of the respiratory tract is the most common respiratory disease worldwide.
Asthma is not always easy to recognize because the symptoms are often temporary or are differently strong. They can sometimes fail for weeks or months. Especially at night, with physical and mental stress, they worsen. If you notice one or more of the typical symptoms, you should consult a doctor.
How is bronchial asthma developed?
Allergic and non-allergic variant
Allergic A is triggered by allergens, i.e allergy-causing substances that are found in the environment. In the body, immunoglobulins of type E are formed. These are antibodies which are formed in response to allergens, which act as antigens. They are involved in the distribution of the messenger’s histamine, leukotriene, and bradykinin, which cause allergy.
Susceptibility to allergic asthma is believed to be inherited from parents to children. Also, have a fever may become asthma when the inflammation of the Nasopharynx space overlaps the lower respiratory tract. Hay fever is also characterized by inflammation of the mucous membranes, which is also allergic.
If not allergens but other stimuli trigger asthma, it is called non-allergic asthma. Stimuli of this type can, for example, be infections of the airways or drug incompatibilities, for example by painkillers. In addition, toxic substances, solvents or cold air sensitivity come into question. Even major physical exertion or gastric acid reflux can trigger the symptoms.
What severity levels are there?
One can subdivide the symptoms of bronchial asthma according to different degrees of severity:
- If the symptoms occur less than once a week a day and less than twice a month during the night, the severity is called intermittent. This is the lightest form of bronchial asthma.
- Anyone who feels symptoms less than once a day during the day, but more than twice a month, has mild persistent asthma.
- Moderately persistent asthma is called when the symptoms occur daily and at night at least once a week.
- In the daytime and at night frequent complaints the severity is severely persistent.
What treatment options are available?
In case of bronchial A, one sets depending on the need for acute or long-term medications. Each asthma therapy has the goal that the affected persons can pursue their normal everyday life relatively unhindered. In addition to the classical asthma sprays, powder inhalers and tablets are also used.
Corticosteroids (corticosteroids) as a spray or tablet are, in many cases, the basic component of successful asthma therapy. It is only used for long-term therapy, as it does not develop its effect in the short term. The usual side effects do not occur today since the dosage is much lower today and the cortisone is used as a spray.
Other short-term and long-acting drugs are beta-2-sympathomimetics. They dilate and exhale the bronchi when inhaled. The short-acting form has a few hours, other anticholinergics have a longer lasting effect. Xanthine derivatives are often used as a substitute for beta-2-sympathomimetics.
In the case of allergic asthma, sometimes hyposensitization or antibody therapy may be considered.
In case of emergency, an asthma spray helps, which usually contains a short-acting beta-2-sympathomimetic. The primary effect is a relaxation of the bronchi. It is important to master the inhalation technique properly. At the same time, you have to breathe in deeply and spray, as this is the only way to optimally affect the content of the aerosol in your lungs.
The five-step plan for treatment
- In the first stage, asthma occurs occasionally, but not more often than once a week, in the form of a dyspnoea. The nightly dyspnea occurs at most twice a month. In between, there are times that run without complaints. At this stage, the patient uses a beta-2-sympathomimetic in the form of an asthma spray or inhaler only if necessary.
- In the second stage, the symptoms occur more than once a week, but not daily. It is regularly inhaled with a low-dose corticosteroid. If necessary, a beta-2-sympathomimetic is used.
- In the third stage, severe asthma persists. We now deal with a higher-dose inhaled corticosteroid and a long-acting beta-2-sympathomimetic. Theophylline and antileukotrienes can be taken additionally. In the short term, a bronchodilator (short-acting beta-2 sympathomimetics) can help.
- In the fourth stage, one speaks of persistent severe asthma. During the day and night symptoms occur despite medication intake. You treat as in level three.
- In the fifth stage, severe asthma persists. In addition, cortisone in tablet form is suitable.
A lasting therapy is important
The treatment goal in bronchial Asthma is to prevent future asthma attacks, to control, to improve lung function and to enable a largely normal life for those affected.
Many patients take their asthma drugs only when needed because they think that longer-term intake is harmful. In the case of bronchial asthma, however, it is important to take long-term effective medication for the prevention, either in tablet form or as an inhaler spray, in order to prevent asthma attacks.
In addition to drug therapy, it can be useful to do a psychotherapy to avoid triggers such as stress and better manage with asthma. It is important that smoking asthmatics quit smoking. Smoking leads to an inflammation of the bronchi and is therefore counterproductive for an effective treatment.