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Asthma is a persistent inflammatory condition affecting the airways, characterized by recurrent symptoms like coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Diagnosis is based on patient symptoms, responses to various treatments, and classifications such as atopic or extrinsic asthma and non-atopic or intrinsic asthma.
This chronic inflammatory disease is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors, with some individuals developing it in response to allergens or irritants. Effective treatments and therapy can alleviate asthma symptoms, providing a generally positive prognosis for patients.
Symptoms include restricted airflow, leading to wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. Sleep disorders may result from airflow restrictions, and symptoms can worsen during specific triggers like exercise or exposure to allergens, occasionally leading to severe asthmatic attacks requiring emergency medical attention.
Treatment for asthma aims to prevent severe attacks, improve overall airflow, and restore respiratory system functionality. Researchers are making progress in finding cures, particularly for allergy-induced asthma. Initial findings suggest promise in preventing asthma attacks through the inhalation of specific synthetic molecules.
Treatment plans typically involve medication prescriptions tailored to individual patient needs and strategies to minimize exposure to triggering allergens. Avoiding irritants like cigarette smoke is crucial. Medications may include inhaled short-acting beta-2 agonists for acute symptoms, bronchodilators for attacks, and corticosteroids for more recurrent episodes, as they are more effective in suppressing inflammation.
Inhalers are a common method of administering asthma medication, providing quick relief during attacks. Metered-dose inhalers deliver measured medication doses as a light mist with the help of a propellant, making them suitable for patients with difficulty breathing deeply. Dry powder inhalers, propellant-free and delivering medication as a powder, are an alternative, though they may lead to throat irritation.
Choosing the right inhaler depends on individual needs, ensuring effective medication delivery and ease of use for patients.