Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the respiratory tract, the prevalence of which throughout the world has greatly increased in recent years. This disease is characterized by periods of difficulty in breathing due to the narrowing of the lower respiratory tract. The narrowing of the airway is either partial or complete. Many people do not really know that they have this disease, and therefore they do not receive proper treatment. At the same time, most patients achieve complete control of the disease with the help of treatment and thus preserve the quality of life and efficiency.
What happens in the airways in asthma?
In this disease, inflammation in the airways occurs, they are irritated and constricted, and the movement of air in them is difficult. This is due to asthmatic inflammation, which creates swelling in the mucosa and an increase in mucus secretion. Inflammation of the mucous membranes and the narrowing of the bronchi caused by them is a protective reaction against various external stimuli. In this disease, the airways are more sensitive than usual and respond easily to various stimuli. Narrowing of the airways can be caused, for example, by irritating odors, cold weather, severe stress and contact with animals or pollen.
The main symptoms of an attack are feeling of choking, lack of air (which can occur at night), wheezing, especially in deep expiration, a cough that occurs more often during the night and/or in the early morning, stress or heaviness in the chest.
Symptoms of asthma can manifest in a mild or severe form and last from several hours to several days (if you do not diagnose the condition and do not treat the symptoms). There may be several reasons for starting an attack: excessive exercise, various environmental factors, stress, or contact with allergens.
What is an allergy?
An allergy is a reaction of the body’s immune system to contact with traditionally harmless foreign agents (such as plant pollen, mold, wool, feathers, or animal saliva). In people with allergies, the immune system rises to protect the body from these dangerous substances, called “allergens”, and the normal functioning of the body is disrupted. Allergens cause a number of immune responses.
What is a link between asthma and allergy?
Allergies and asthma are not the same things. Allergies can “exist” without this chronic lung disease and vice versa. Substances that are safe for healthy people but cause hypersensitivity reactions are called allergens.
If the cause of an attack is the body’s reaction to any allergen (a substance that causes allergies), then this disease is called asthma with a predominance of the allergic component.
Risk factors include heredity, a frequent presence in dusty and smoky rooms, the tendency to allergies, smoking during and after pregnancy.
What allergens cause asthma?
The most dangerous are those allergens that are inhaled with the air. Hay fever or seasonal allergic rhinitis occurs when a person comes in contact with a substance to which he is susceptible. The most common allergens inhaled with air include animal hair (skin, saliva), house dust, the remains and traces of insects, mold, pollen. Experts recommend that patients suffering from allergies should try to identify possible allergens that are associated with the onset of symptoms.
Food allergens rarely cause a chronic disease of the airways but can cause severe life-threatening conditions. The most common food allergens include eggs, cow’s milk, peanut, soy, wheat, fish, shrimps and other crustaceans, salad and fresh fruit, canned foods, dried fruits and dry vegetables, potatoes (packaged semi-cooked), wine or beer, bottled lemon or lime juice.
For most people, food allergies are manifested by the following symptoms: urticaria, rash, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea. If you are prone to food allergies provoking asthma, most likely, you may also have a whistling sound when breathing. And if the symptoms do not stop in time, anaphylactic shock can occur – swelling of the laryngeal mucosa and blockage of the respiratory tract.
If you think that certain foods can cause an attack, discuss it with your doctor. A skin allergy test will help determine if you have a food allergy.
The goal of pharmacologic treatment is not only to alleviate the symptoms but also to achieve the necessary control over this disease with the least possible side effects. Some pharmacies sell OTC asthma inhalers, while others require a valid prescription. In any case, you should consult a doctor before using any medication. Below you can see the best medicines for this chronic lung disease available in Allergy Store:
|Combimist L Inhaler||Combimist L Inhaler is a popular product which eliminates constriction of airways, the inflammation of the lungs, the obstruction of the lungs airflow and other unpleasant symptoms. The medication can be used on a daily basis. Combimist contains the following active ingredients: Levosalbutamol 50 mg and Ipratropium bromide 20 mg.|
|Ventolin pills||Ventolin pills are used to cope with reversible diseases associated with bronchial obstruction. The main active ingredient is salbutamol. This substance causes bronchial dilatation in bronchospasm due to its antiallergic action. The drug prevents the release of histamine and other mediators (slow-reacting substance) from mast cells. The effect of salbutamol lasts for 4 to 6 hours.|
|Ventolin inhaler||Ventolin inhaler has a pronounced bronchodilating effect, preventing or relieving bronchospasm, reduces resistance in the respiratory tract, increases lung capacity. The drug is prescribed for a short (4−6 hours) expansion of the bronchi, relieving attacks in cases of diseases that are accompanied by an obstruction in the airways, prevention of attacks associated with the action of the allergen or physical exertion.|
|Proventil||Proventil is used to relieve and prevent the development of attacks of bronchospasm, as well as a component in the complex therapy of chronic lung diseases and asthmatic status. With the preventive purpose, Proventil is used before direct contact of the patient with the allergen or before significant physical exertion. The medication is used to treat a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease that is associated with reversible bronchial obstruction.|
|Theo-24 CR||Theo-24 CR is a bronchodilator that works by relaxing muscles in the lungs, making them less sensitive to allergens and other causes of attacks. The active substance theophylline relieves wheezing or shortness of breath and other breathing problems. The drug may also be used for other purposes.|
|Singulair||Singulair is a selective leukotriene receptor blocker. The active component of the drug is montelukast, which has a bronchodilator effect. This substance of the new generation is included in the list of the latest drugs that can effectively expand the bronchi. It selectively disables the leukotriene receptors of the bronchial tissues and lungs, preventing their spasm, prevents the formation of sputum, capillary permeability, and an increase in the number of eosinophils. Singulair is intended for systemic use in obstructive diseases and lesions of the respiratory system.|
|Theo-24 SR||Theo-24 SR is an oral medication used for the treatment of chronic asthma and other chronic lung diseases, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis. The active ingredient is theophylline, which classified as a methylxanthine. Theo-24 is available as capsules, containing 100 mg, 200 mg, 300 mg, or 400 mg of theophylline per capsule .|
|Advair Diskus||Advair Diskus is a combination drug that contains salmeterol and fluticasone propionate, which have different mechanisms of action. Salmeterol prevents bronchospasm symptoms, while fluticasone propionate improves pulmonary function and prevents exacerbation of the disease. Due to a more convenient dosing regimen, the drug may be an alternative for patients who simultaneously receive a β2-adrenoreceptor agonist and inhaled glucocorticosteroids from different inhalers.|
|Rhinocort||Rhinocort is a corticosteroid that is used for the treatment of the respiratory system. The active ingredient is budesonide, a remedy for nasal congestion and runny nose due to allergies. This medication is sometimes prescribed for other purposes. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, anti-exudative and antipruritic action.|
|Uniphyl CR||Uniphyl CR is a medication used to treat chronic lung diseases. This drug belongs to a group of methylxanthines. It works by relaxing the muscles of the airways, which opens airway passages and makes breathing easier. This action relieves wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness.|
How to prevent asthma and allergy?
Patients should avoid contact with allergens. Below there are a few ways to avoid interactions with the most common allergens and prevent an attack.
- Use hypo-allergenic bedding;
- Wash bedding at least once a week;
- Do not keep carpets at home. If you cannot get rid of carpets, vacuum them thoroughly every day using a multi-layer anti-allergic vacuum filter. Wear a mask during cleaning. Keep in mind that irritating substances can be released into the air during the cleaning;
- If possible, get rid of heavy curtains and curtains. Use mini curtains of smooth materials. Curtains and draperies should be washed every two to four weeks;
- Wipe dust from all surfaces (including lamps and window frames) using wet wipes for cleaning;
- Maintain order in the house. Children’s toys and books should be stored in closed cabinets, drawers;
- Replace plush toys with washable ones;
- Keep clothes in closets or drawers. Keep them closed;
- Cover the ventilation pipes with a filter or gauze. Change as contaminated;
- Do not use feather pillows or down bedding;
- Humidity in the room should be kept low (25-50%). Use a drier;
- Regularly change the filters on radiators and air conditioners.
- Air the room often. Use a dehumidifier to maintain air humidity at a level of 25-50%;
- Wash the bathroom regularly using products that eliminate mold buildup. Use the hood to absorb steam. Do not put terry mats in the bathroom;
- Do not keep indoor plants in the bedroom;
- When painting walls, use fungicides to prevent mold growth;
- Avoid external sources of mold, such as wet plant leaves from a garden;
- To eliminate visible mold, use a cleaning solution consisting of 5% bleach and a small amount of detergent.
Many homes have cockroaches and other insects. Some asthmatics have an allergy to the protein contained in their metabolic products. To control these allergens in your home, you can:
- Use trap for cockroaches;
- Use aerosols-insecticides (when no one is at home). After this treatment, the room must be ventilated for at least two hours;
- Since cockroaches survive well in humid environments, eliminate all sources of water leakage in your home;
- Cover food with a lid or store in containers. Wash the dishes and wipe the floor after eating.
It is practically impossible to avoid contact with pollen since it cannot be removed from the air. Plants have different flowering periods, shifting from year to year. Weather conditions affect the amount of pollen in the air – the amount of pollen is greater in warm, dry and windy climates.
You can reduce contact with pollen as follows:
- Limit your activity and the time spent on the street during the period of the highest concentration of pollen in the air (for example, in the early morning);
- On rainy and windy days, when there is a lot of pollen, it is better to stay at home or indoors;
- During flowering, keep windows as closed as possible.
- You’d better not have pets if you or your child are allergic to wool;
- Do not stay for a long time at your friends and acquaintances who have pets. If you still stay at them, do not forget to take medication for allergies. Contact with the animal should be kept to a minimum during such visits;
- If you have a cat or dog, limit their habitat. In no case do not settle them in your bedroom or in the bedroom of a child. If possible, keep the animal out of the house;
- Bathe the animal once a week;
- If possible, remove all carpets. Animal hair lingers in carpets for a long time, even after removing the animal from the house.
- If you are allergic, you should avoid products that cause it. Always read the product label. If you dine in a restaurant or cafe, ask how the dish is cooked, try to choose simple dishes.
You can temper your immunity and teach it not to react to allergens. Experts recommend that asthmatic patients undergo immunotherapy. “Allergic vaccination” contains a small amount of an allergic substance. By regularly repeating these “vaccinations,” you train your immune system, and over time it may stop responding to the allergen. Ask your doctor if it is possible for you to conduct such therapy.