Asthma is a chronic disease characterized by recurrent attacks of asphyxia and wheezing, the severity and frequency of which varies in different people. In people with asthma, symptoms may occur several times per day or per week, during physical activity or at night. During an asthma attack, the epithelial lining of bronchial tubes swell causing the airways to narrow and reducing the airflow to and out the lungs. Recurrent asthma attacks frequently cause insomnia, daytime fatigue, and reduced activity level.
Although asthma can not be cured, appropriate management of patients allows them to keep the disease under control and lead a good quality of life. Short-term action medications are used to relieve the symptoms. People with persistent symptoms should take daily medications of long-term action (e.g. Singulair) to control the inflammation the basis of asthma and to prevent the symptoms and attacks.
All medications which are used in prevention of asthmatic attacks are divided into two major groups:
- preparations for permanent use they do not abort the attack but are able to reduce the bronchial readiness to spasm. They should be taken on a long-term basis and include:
- stabilizers of mast cells' membranes
- anti-allergic medicines
- prostaglandins (Singulair)
- preparations for relief and prevention of bronchospasms taken by short courses or if necessary. They include:
- cholinesterase inhibitors
- beta-adrenoceptor agonists
Medications are not the only way to control asthma. It is also important to avoid contact with asthma triggers - stimuli that irritate the airways and lead to inflammation. With medical support, each patient with asthma must learn what triggers he or she should avoid.
Despite the fact that from asthma do not die as many people as from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or other chronic diseases, inappropriate use of medications for asthma attacks and avoiding your doctors recommendations may lead severe and even life-threatening conditions.