An overview of asthma management-Treatment for Asthma

Effective management of asthma

The Effective management of asthma includes four essential components:

  1. Routine monitoring of symptoms and lung function

 2. Controlling environmental factors -Asthma trigger (factors that start asthma symptoms are called “triggers.)

  3. Patient education about the Asthma. 

  4. Pharmacologic therapy

Effective asthma management requires a proactive, preventative approach. Routine follow-up visits for patients with active asthma are recommended, at a frequency of every one to six months, depending upon the severity of asthma. For an asthma patient we should assess the following things at each visit

  1. signs and symptoms,
  2. pulmonary function,
  3. quality of life, adherence with treatment,
  4. Medication side effects, and patient satisfaction.

CONTROLLING TRIGGERS:

The identification and avoidance of asthma “triggers” is a critical component of successful asthma management, and successful avoidance may reduce the patient’s need for medications. The most effective and simplest treatment of allergic asthma includes identifying and then avoiding allergens which may trigger symptoms.

PATIENT EDUCATION:

Doctors should enable patients to become active partners in managing their asthma. Patients must learn how to monitor their symptoms and they must understand what triggers their asthma attacks and how to avoid or decrease exposure to these triggers.

PHARMACOLOGIC THERAPY

Medication for asthma is broadly classified into two main categories

1.Quick-relief medicine

2. Long-term control medicine.

LONG-TERM CONTROL MEDICINES:

Long-term control medicines are designed to prevent asthma symptoms like airway inflation and are taken almost every day . These long-term control medicines are taken every day, even if you do not have symptoms. The most effective long-term control medicines generally decrease the  airway inflammation and help improve asthma control.

Inhaled corticosteroids are very effective long-term control medicine as these are the most effective drugs at relieving airway inflammation and swelling. However the downside of the corticosteroids is that they increase the risk of cataracts (clouding of the eye’s lens) and osteoporosis (weakening of the bones) when it is taken for long periods of time.

Quick-Relief Medicine:

Quick-Relief Medicine, also called broncho-dilators , actually expand the passageways into the lungs (the bronchi), allowing more air in and out and improving breathing system. Quick-relief medicines relieve asthma symptoms when they occur. However they do not control the airway inflammation that causes the symptoms