Asthma is a respiratory disease chronic caused by inflammation of the airways that affects people of all ages, cultures and geographical locations.
The asthma is a chronic disease that more quickly has increased in the western world, affecting about 6% of Europeans.
In Portugal are estimated around 600.000 asthmatic. Despite efforts to reduce morbidity and mortality, the disease seems to be on the rise, especially among children.
Patients with asthma, if the disease is controlled, can make their activities, either professional want sports, without any limitation of daily life. The proper treatment is fundamental to improving the quality of life.
WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF ASTHMA?
Risk factors the usual include:
- Exposure to allergens such as house dust mites (in bedding, in carpets and in upholstery shag);
- Animals with fur, cockroaches, pollen and mold;
- Annoying and occupational chemicals;
- Tobacco smoke;
- Air pollution;
- Infections respiratory;
- Exercise and strong emotions;
- Medicines (such as aspirin and beta-blockers).
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF ASTHMA?
As the typical symptoms of asthma has:
- Cough with worsening of night;
- Wheezing in the chest or wheezing;
- Shortness of breath;
- Chest tightness with physical exertion (oppression of the chest);
- Tiredness and difficulty in doing the activities or tasks of the day-to-day.
The symptoms can be occasional and sporadic, or held throughout the year, and can vary from mild to severe.
In asthma, the airways chronically inflamed are hiperreactivas. Become clogged, limiting the airflow (by bronchoconstriction, by plugs of mucosal secretions, and for inflammation increased) when they are exposed to multiple risk factors.
The asthma attacks (or exacerbations) are episodic, but airway inflammation is chronically present. For many patients, the medication should be administered daily for the purpose of controlling the symptoms, improve lung function and prevent crises.
TREATMENT OF ASTHMA
The case is really diagnosed with asthma, the doctor will outline a therapeutic plan for the patient. At this stage, it is necessary that the expert explain well the function and the mode of use of each drug and the measures to take to avoid allergens and other factors that trigger the disease.
The patient must be proactive, putting their doubts and questions. With the help of the doctor, as well as other elements of the health care team, patients should be actively involved in the control of their own asthma and in the prevention of crisis situations, and can, thus, living active and productive.
The objectives for the control successful asthma are:
- The absence of symptoms or low frequency of the same, including the night;
- Crisis minimal or episodic;
- There is no need for emergency consultations or hospitalization;
- You need the lowest possible medication relief;
- Does not have limitations in physical activities and exercise;
- Have a pulmonary function was almost normal;
- Do not have unwanted effects of the medication.
HOW IS THE QUALITY OF LIFE OF A PATIENT IS ASTHMATIC?
With the help of the health professional, patients with asthma should learn how to take the medicines correctly (devices for inhalation require a technique cared for), to understand the differences between the immediate relief of the crisis and the preventive treatment in the long term, monitor the state of your asthma, recognizing the symptoms and signs of worsening and take the necessary measures.
With developing of the knowledge about asthma and having the therapeutic arsenal current, it is possible nowadays to aspire to total control of the disease, while not affecting in any way all the daily activities.
ASTHMA CAN BE PREVENTED?
In infants (newborns) with a family history of asthma or atopy, it is very likely that avoiding exposure to tobacco smoke, some foods with potential allergenic to house dust mites (in mattresses, in bedding, in carpet, in pillows, on carpet, on furniture padded), allergens of domestic animals and of the cheap, can avoid the development of the disease.
In adults it is recommended to avoid exposure to chemicals, as well as to all the factors referred to above.
So, when patients reduce exposure to tobacco smoke, or to house dust mites, are not only helping themselves, but also to their family members. You can prevent the onset of asthma, especially in infants.