From year to year the number of people suffering from asthma is growing.
In the world today there are about 300 million people with this health problem, and it is estimated that by 2025 will be around 400 million. There is not a precise register here, but on the basis of surveys and questionnaires indicated that this disease affects about five percent of the population.
There are many factors that affect this spiraling patients. An important role is played by heritage, allergies, diet, air pollution, obesity. There are experts who represent the “hygiene theory”, that is the theory that asthma often get kids who grew up “under a glass bell” than that from an early age was exposed to a variety of factors and thus strengthen the immune system. Rhinitis Allergy and asthma are generally associated diseases and in 80 percent of cases leads to their overlapping and both conditions must be treated simultaneously.
– Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the respiratory system, where there is a narrowing of the respiratory tube, aggravated by the passage of air and choking occurs. Coughing, choking and wheezing are the main signs of the disease. It may happen that the inflammation does not cause narrowing of the respiratory system, but only the mucous membranes is irritated. In such cases, there is no choking, but the disease only tracks cough. We have just asthmatics who are coughing – explains prof. Predrag Rebic, Deputy Director of the Clinic for Pulmonary KCS.
The disease can begin at any age. It is most common in childhood. Our source says that often at this age the disease remains unrecognized and you can hear that a child has bronchitis or asthmatic bronchitis. In those where the disease begins in childhood, usually calm before puberty. In some is quiet until the end of life, while in others, wakes up a provoking factor. This may be smoking, air pollution, various allergens, viral infections, stress.
Worst is at night
– A characteristic feature of this disease is that the symptoms occur at night or early in the morning before waking, when the defense of the organism is lowered. Problems are related to the season, depending on what the provokers are. For those that the attacks causes mites, attacks are more common in winter, when staying indoors – continues Dr. Rebic.
Besides the above-mentioned symptoms, shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing, to make a diagnosis needs to be done and spirometry, measuring the lung function. There are additional examinations, such as the recording of the lungs, but it is done to rule out other diseases. There is also the skin test to allergens to determine what is provoking asthma attacks.
Asthma in the majority of patients (80 percent) expressed in mild form, and when severe, may well be controlled. Those that it is still difficult for the patients is the fact that the pump or similar device for the inhalation of drug powder, through which corticosteroids are taken in small doses, often it need to be used for rest of their lives. Of course, if despite all these measures a strong attacks of suffocation appear, the patient always has to have a medication that currently helps to quickly relieve discomfort.
Dr Rebic says the asthma is well controlled when these drugs are up to two breaths per week. There are preparations that contain and corticosteroids and resources that quickly and long spread the respiratory system, making it easier to treat those patients who need multiple medications.
Our source says that today we take the therapy irregularly. Patients often, as soon as the situation improves, forget the pump, leading to new attacks of suffocation.
– Inhalation is the most secure method of treatment. There are corticosteroids in tablets and injections, but they are only used for short periods when it needs to stop strong worsening of the disease. Injections of corticosteroids that are given once a month have long been phased out in developed countries. In our country there are still doctors who prescribe them and patients are getting better, but are at risk of developing osteoporosis, diabetes and many other complications – says Dr. Rebic.
He says that asthma can not be prevented, but it can reduce the risk of attack in many ways. One way is when we know what the trigger is so that the bigger problem is excluded from the environment. Of course, it is very difficult if the trigger is pollen, dust mites, stress.
Asthma is mainly an easy disease and only at twenty percent of patients are appearing more difficult or severe forms. With regular therapy diseased persons live and work normally. Many asthmatics achieve top results in sport. Mark Spitz, for example, managed to win seven gold medals in various disciplines on the Olympics, and overthrew seven world records. An asthmatic conquered the Mount Everest, without oxygen.