WORLD ASTHMA DAY

By Pharm. Glorious Attat

What you need to know about Asthma:

Asthma is a condition in which a person's airways become inflamed, narrow and swollen, producing extra mucus which makes it difficult to breathe. It is a chronic illness that can only be managed and not cured. Asthma affected an estimated 262 million people in 2019  and caused 455 000 deaths.

It is also referred to as BRONCHIAL ASTHMA.

Inhaled medication can control asthma symptoms and allow people with asthma to lead a normal, active life, also, avoiding asthma triggers can also help to reduce asthma symptoms

What Causes Asthma?

  • Genetics and family history: If you have a parent or anyone in your family lineage with asthma, you are 3 - 6times more likely to develop asthma.
  • Allergies: Allergens like dust, cold, air pollution, could lead to an asthmatic attack.
  • Viral respiratory infections can predispose one to asthma if not properly treated.
  • Smoking: Continuous exposure to smoking fumes which gets into the lungs can cause an inflammation, thereby resulting in asthma.
  • Air pollution: During air pollution, there is a release of allergens into the air that are not safe for the lungs. Living in an area where there is consistent air pollution which would be continuously inhaled can result in asthma.
  • Obesity: Fat tissue produces inflammatory substances that might affect the lungs. It leads to further inflammation of the lungs which could lead to an increase in the breathing rate and heart rate. Increased adipose tissue deposition in the pharynx and hypopharynx results in narrowing of the airway which could lead to asthma.

 

How Do You Know You Have Asthma?

People may experience symptoms like:

  • cough which could be dry or mild with phlegm.
  • Difficulty in breathing.
  • Breathing through the mouth.
  • Rapid breathing.
  • Frequent respiratory infections.
  • Shortness of breath especially at night.
  • Fast heart rate.
  • Chest pain
  • Chest tightness

How To Prevent Asthma

  • Avoid staying in an air polluted environment.
  • Avoid exposure to allergens.
  • Avoid smoking or staying with someone who smokes.
  • Carry out a health check; monitor your weight and Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • Ensure to treat respiratory infections properly, consult the right health service facility and provider.

Management of Asthma

Asthma can be managed Non-Pharmacologically and Pharmacologically.

Non-Pharmacological Management

Non- Pharmacological Management refers to the employment of any other method to manage a condition without initiation of medications.

  • Manage exposure to allergens.
  • Quit smoking
  • Drink sufficient water
  • Change your air filters
  • Oxygen therapy: This is referred to as supportive care; providing extra oxygen to the lungs of an individual with breathing problems.

 

Pharmacological Management

This refers to the initiation of medications in the management of a condition where the Non-Pharmacological method have not proved effective.

Medications used in the management of asthmatic conditions are classified into:

  • Bronchodilators: They help open up the airways of the lungs, making breathing easier example, the Beta adrenergic agonists.
  • Corticosteroids: Corticosteroids modify or stimulate hormone effects, often to reduce inflammation or for tissue growth and repair.
  • Anti-inflammatories: They prevent or counteract inflammation in joints and tissues. Example anti-leukotrienes.

 

In Conclusion, Asthma is not a death sentence, if properly managed, may not pose life threatening effects.

Consult the appropriate medical practitioner today for adequate medical attention and management.


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