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Asthma Drugs

Asthma is a chronic condition of lung in which your airways become narrowed and inflamed with extra production of mucus. Asthma is also known as bronchial asthma. Asthma can lead to difficulty in breathing, chest pain, coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. Depending on the severity, in some patients, it is not a big nuisance. On the contrary, it can be a major issue and cause many problems in daily life activities in some patients. Asthma can be life threatening if it is left untreated at the right time. Asthma is a disease which can't be cured, but can be controlled with proper medication.

Causes of Asthma:

The exact cause of Asthma is not very clear. But according to the research, some environmental and genetic factors are presumed to cause asthma, such as:

  1. Some allergens like pollens, dusts, and mold can trigger asthma.

  2. Excessive exercise.

Chronic use of some drugs like beta-blockers, ibuprofen, and aspirin can stimulate to develop this condition.

  1. Air pollutant or smoking.

  2. Some respiratory infections such as, common cold.

  3. Some preservatives used in food.

  4. Sulfites added in food.

  5. Exposure to some viral infections.

Asthma can also be triggered by occupational place like exposure to chemicals, gases or fumes.

If any history of asthma in the family

Symptoms of Asthma:

The attacks of asthma may be frequent or only at certain time. Signs and symptoms may vary from person to person depending on the severity of the condition. Some common symptoms are:

  1. Breathing problem

  2. Shortness of breath

  3. Chest pain

  4. Cough with mucus

  5. Wheezing sound

  6. Trouble in sleeping due to difficulty in breathing

Risk Factors of Asthma:

There are many factors that can increase your chances to catch asthma. Some of these are mentioned below:

  1. If any of your blood relative like, your parent or sibling, have asthma.

  2. If you have other allergic conditions like hay fever.

  3. Obesity or overweight.

  4. Chronic smoking.

  5. Secondhand smoking.

  6. Exposure to occupational hazards like chemicals, fumes, dusts.

  7. Exposure to some germs or parasites.

  8. Exposure to some of viral or bacterial infections like flue, common cold.

Diagnosis of Asthma:

Diagnosis of asthma has several steps. The first and important step to diagnose asthma is physical examination. In physical examination, your physician will ask you about the signs and symptoms, other health issues and family history. Depending on the examinations, your physician may advice for the following tests:

  1. Lung Pulmonary Test: This test is advised to test how much air moves in and out during your respiration. There are two tests to detect this:

  2. Spirometry: This test gives your doctor an idea about the narrowing of the bronchial tube by observing how much air is moves out during your breathing and also how fast you breathe.

  3. Peak Flow: A peak flow meter is used to detect how hard you breathe-out. If peak flow label is lower than the normal range, then it is indicated that your lung is not working well and the condition (asthma) is getting worse. According to the reading of peak flow, your doctor will suggest you the instructions how to handle the situation.

  4. Lung Function Test: Lung function test is done after or before taking a bronchodilator. If your lung function is improved after taking a bronchodilator, you are likely to have asthma.

Other Tests:

  1. Nitric Oxide Test: this test is done to measure how much nitric oxide, gases you take in your breath. When you have a asthma or inflamed airways, you have higher label of nitric oxide.

  2. Imaging Test: Imaging tests involves ST scan of lungs and nasal sinuses, and chest x-ray. This test helps you rule out any structural abnormalities and infections which aggravate or worsen the condition.

  3. Test for Allergy: Allergy test is done by skin test or blood test to detect the allergens like pollens, dust, mold etc.

  4. Sputum Test: This test is performed to detect certain type of white blood cells.

Treatment of Asthma:

Asthma is fatal if it is not treated with proper medications at the right time. The treatment varies depending on the intensity of the condition. However, your doctor will decide which treatment mode is right for you. Some of the treatment aspects are described below:

Medications: The correct medicines for asthma depend on your age, symptoms, severity and the risk factors, that help keep the condition under control. Some of the types of medications are mentioned below:

Long Acting Asthma Medications: This type of medicine is the cornerstone of asthma and it is taken on daily basis. There are many subtypes of this category of medicine, such as,

  1. Inhaler: Some corticosteroids inhaler are very beneficial to control asthma and have a very few side effect which gives you a good result. Corticosteroids are inhaled for several days to weeks to get the maximum benefit.

  2. Leukotrin modifiers: The leukotrin modifiers works very fast and gives relieve within 24 hours. The side effects of this medication are very rare. Sometime, if you develop any psychological symptoms like agitation, depression or hallucination, you should immediately talk to your doctor.

  3. Combination inhalers: This medication is the combination of long acting beta blockers and corticosteroids, like fluticasone-salmetero, mometasone-fometorol are also available. But sometime they may higher the risk of asthmatic attack. So always follow the instructions of your doctor.

Medications for Quick Relief:

These type of medications are short-acting drugs taken for fast relieve. Some of the sub-categories are:

  1. Short-Acting Beta Agonists: These drugs acts within minutes and ease the asthmatic symptoms, such as albutarol, salbutorol etc..This type of medicine can also be used as nebulizer.

  2. Ipratropium: Ipratropium is a very popular bronchodilator which works very fast relaxing your airways and makes you comfortable to breathe.

  3. Oral or Intravenous Corticosteroids: This drug works by reducing the airway inflammation caused by the asthmatic condition. Some commonly used medications are prednisone and methylprednisone.

Medications for allergy: Asthma caused by allergy can be treated by some therapies like:

  1. Allergy shot or Immuno Thermotherapy: You should always take the advice from your health care provider before taking this therapy, because it may reduce the function of your immune system.

  2. Omalizumab or Xolair: This drug is given as an injection for the treatment of asthma, in every 2 to 4 alternate weeks. This medication is created mainly for the patients of severe asthma and allergies.

Other allergy medications: Some antihistamines and decongestants are used oral and nasal spray.

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