Among all respiratory pathologies, bronchial asthma occupies a special place. It has a chronic course, requires constant monitoring and combating inflammation so that respiratory function does not suffer and seizures do not form. The provocateurs of attacks can act not only allergens (for example, parasite mites living in house dust), but also infection, temperature changes or other external factors.
Classification of bronchial asthma
Pathology can be divided into four forms, based on the frequency of seizures and assessment of respiratory function. It is important for the physician to determine the severity of asthma in order to build treatment tactics and select the necessary drugs. It is important to know that without constant therapy bronchial asthma they can progress from lighter to more severe.
Bronchial asthma of the lung, intermittent course:
- Manifestations usually occur less than twice a week, and symptoms at night less often than twice a month;
- Attacks are usually short, do not exceed several hours;
- Respiratory function impaired less than 20% of the normative.
Bronchial asthma pulmonary flow:
- Manifestations occur more often than twice a week, but the attacks are not daily;
- Night manifestations occur more than twice a month, but not severe;
- Attacks can affect physical activity and mood;
- Functional respiratory tests exceed 80% of the norm.
Moderate bronchial asthma with persistent seizures:
- Manifestations are possible daily, the attacks affect the usual activity, can be prolonged, up to a day;
- Nocturnal symptoms occur more than once a week;
- Daily medication is needed to eliminate the seizures;
- Functional tests determine the deviation in the range of 60-80% of the norm.
- The onset of symptoms daily, including at night;
- The habitual activity of the patient is severely limited, essential changes in lifestyle are necessary;
- Functional tests less than 60% of the norm.
Although asthma cannot be completely cured today, it can be controlled. Frequent attacks, problems with sleep, difficulties in the usual life can be avoided by adequate preventive measures and appropriate treatment.
Breathing problems in asthmatics
The respiratory tract of a person suffering from asthma is very sensitive to external influences, mucous and bronchial muscles can actively respond to contact with triggers (instigators of seizures). The effect of triggers provokes an aggravation of inflammation, a spasm of smooth muscle elements of the bronchi and an increase in the production of viscous mucus. All this greatly violates the breath.
An asthma attack is possible both directly after contact with triggers, and after a few hours or days. Triggers are individual for each asthma, the reactions of the respiratory system to them are also specific. For one patient, dust is a safe substance, while another breathing is severely impaired, coughing and shortness of breath occur.
Typically, there is not one, but several triggers at once, sometimes the patient himself and the doctor do not know what exactly provokes respiratory disorders. It is important to recognize all individual triggers as accurately as possible, preventing their influence in order to control the course of the disease.
The most frequent triggers that provoke inflammation
There are a number of the most common triggers that provoke airway inflammation and exacerbation of asthma. Among the most “popular” include:
- Acute infections, including a group of acute respiratory viral infections, bronchitis, sinus damage, flu;
- A variety of external allergens, including pollen, mold spores, insect poisons;
- Internal allergens: black mold, dander and saliva of animals, contact with parasites – dust mites, cockroaches, bedbugs;
- Food allergies, which are mainly relevant to children, in adults provokes seizures less frequently.
In addition, physical stress, exposure to cigarette smoke or smog, harsh smells of perfumes, volatile household chemicals and changes in weather conditions, sharp fluctuations in temperature or humidity can increase swelling and inflammation, bronchospasm. In some patients, inflammation can worsen due to stress, bronchospasm is provoked by emotions.
Asthma Triggers: Infection
Any asthmatics infection, be it a cold, flu, or childhood diseases, can lead to a lesion of the respiratory tract, causing inflammation and narrowing of the airways. An infection of the paranasal sinuses can provoke asthma attacks, and therefore requires immediate treatment. For the prevention of influenza and pneumococcal, hemophilic infections, vaccination is recommended to patients.
If any infection occurs, the temperature rises, difficulty in breathing, shortness of breath, or coughing up sputum, an immediate medical attention is required. No less dangerous are symptoms such as chills, fatigue or weakness, soreness, itchy throat, nasal congestion, headache and swelling in the projection of the sinuses.
Dust mites are dangerous parasites
Dust mites are microscopic parasites that inhabit human dwellings. The parasite lives in carpets, mattresses and upholstered furniture. The most comfortable conditions for it are high humidity and high temperatures. If these are patients with asthma, frequent contact with parasites for them threatens to worsen the condition. For the prevention of attacks, it is necessary to use protective hypoallergenic covers for pillows, mattresses and furniture, wash bed linen and blankets in hot water once a week, remove carpets and nap coverings from home, use special vacuum cleaners with HEPA filters.
The parasite dies when active dry air and the temperature drops, so it is useful often do spring cleaning, ventilate the room, keep the temperature around 18-20 ℃. Required wrestling with dust, storage of things at tightly closed closets .
Toys and books should be stored in closed bookshelves, in drawers or closets. It is necessary to regularly change the filters in heaters or air conditioners. For sleep it is important to use pillows and bedding that do not contain feathers, with artificial fillers.