It is important to lay down the guidelines for the treatment of asthma once a confirmatory diagnosis is made, in order to come up with preventive measures, which reduce the frequency of these attacks to a bare minimum.
One of the most common, yet dreaded condition that can affect an individual is asthma. It’s a condition wherein the airway passage becomes narrow due to inflammatory reaction and makes it difficult for the person to breathe, as insufficient amount of air reaches his lungs, which, in turn, leads to wheezing. It is important to identify and deal with an asthma attack at the earliest. For this, one needs to monitor the frequency, duration, and severity of attacks, as these factors play a crucial role in formulating the guidelines for the treatment of this condition.
Formulating a Treatment Plan
As soon as a diagnosis of asthma is made, the first and foremost thing that needs to be done, is formulation of a treatment plan. This plan will be specifically formulated by the doctor after taking into consideration the underlying trigger of the asthma attack. Environmental pollution and certain allergies are the most common culprits, though psychological stress has also been implicated in certain cases. Depending on the severity of the condition and the underlying trigger, it is classified as acute or chronic asthma, after which the treatment plan is formulated.
For acute asthma, short-acting beta agonists, such as albuterol, are given in the form of metered-dose inhalers. Anticholinergic medication can also help those cases that exhibit severe symptoms. For chronic cases, the frequency of attacks can be brought down to minimum by resorting to certain maintenance and preventive measures. That brings us to the second and equally important part, prevention and patient education.
Patient Education & Prevention
As they say, prevention is better than cure. This is the main reason why patient education and prevention of asthma episodes go hand in hand. As each case is unique in nature, the person first needs to identify the trigger factor that leads to these attacks. Thus, the person must at all times, avoid coming in contact with cigarette smoke, pet fur, or any kind of allergen that may be the cause of his asthma attacks.
In the long run, asthma treatment plan will stress on slowly bringing down the frequency of attacks to a bare minimum. For this, the best option available is to make use of glucocorticoids. This is a type of steroid that helps prevent occurrence and exacerbation of asthma attacks. Yet another option is to include the use of long-acting beta adrenergic agonists, which manage to stay effective for around twelve hours. However, these agonists need to be used in conjunction with steroids, so as to prevent the risk of attacks.
The drug safety office of the FDA has recommended the removal of this class of drugs from the list of medication administered to children. Other drugs that are only used in cases where mild symptoms are seen and where the frequency of attacks is minimal include leukotriene antagonists and mast-cell stabilizers. Eating healthy and ensuring that the immunity of the person is not compromised at any stage, is equally important, as these may be the factors which are co-responsible for an asthma attack.
The prognosis of asthma is largely dependent on the severity and frequency of attacks, and how well they are treated and controlled. The earlier this condition is diagnosed, the better is the prognosis. Although many people may feel that this is a highly enfeebling condition, it is not actually the case. Provided an early and effective treatment plan is made, one can always live a normal and healthy life, with minimal occurrences of asthma episodes.