Can asthma be cured? – This is a question many asthmatics rightly ask. But even though the disease cannot really be cured, it can generally be well controlled. Successful asthma therapy involves a well thought-out combination of several measures. The ideal goal is to preserve quality of life with the best possible physical performance. Treatment involves effective asthma medications and, for those with allergies, hyposensitisation and avoiding the triggers. There are also a range of complementary measures. Patient examination is also important, as is keeping a watchful eye on disease progression and good emergency planning.
A series of highly effective medications is available to treat asthma. Corticosteroids (cortisone) for inhalation are very important: they prevent inflammation in the bronchial tubes. Over the longer term they reduce swelling in the bronchial mucous membranes and inhibit allergic reactions. The dosage depends on the severity of the asthma. The aim is to manage the disease as best as possible.
Another group of medications for the treatment of asthmaare the beta-2 agonists. Short-acting beta-2 agonists are used as on-demand medications for sudden shortness of breath. They are inhaled and expand the airways. Asthmatics should have medications like this on them at all times. For regular treatment, long-acting beta-2 agonists should be used. They also expand the bronchial tubes but their effect lasts longer. They are inhaled once or twice a day, usually in combination with inhaled corticosteroids. The doctor can also prescribe what is known as an anticholinergic. This product is also used to expand the bronchial tubes.
If you know what triggers the asthma attacks, it is essential to avoid these. This does not only apply to allergens or foods, but also for other irritants like cold air, fog or dust.
Asthma can also be triggered by certain medications. In this case the medication causing the asthma should be discontinued immediately. The patient then needs an allergy pass where the trigger is listed along with alternative medications. In the event of allergy to pollen or dust mites, another option is hyposensitisation in which the immune system is slowly adjusted to the substance triggering the allergy.
An acute asthma attack requires prompt and proper action. Sudden shortness of breath often leads to fear of suffocation and anxiety and so keeping calm is the top priority. The emergency medications should be immediately inhaled as prescribed by the doctor. A “coachman” sitting position can also make it easier to breathe. In critical cases you should immediately call an ambulance.
As well as medications,there are plenty of helpful measures the asthmatic can take for extra relief. These include learning special breathing or relaxation techniques, targeted endurance training or a temporary climate change. Patient training or occasional psychological support can also help people to deal with the disease.
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