Asthma is an inflammatory chronic disease of the airways, characterized by the so-called bronchial hypersensitivity and entails narrowing of the airways. This phenomenon (narrowing of the airways) responds well to medical treatment.
There is allergic asthma and non-allergic asthma, and they need to be distinguished. In the first case, the causative agents, or factors that cause the disease, are often plant pollen, house dust mites and animal proteins (proteins). In the case of non-allergic asthma, there is no allergic predisposition. An asthma attack is often triggered by infections or certain medications. At the same time, mixed forms of the disease are known.
Prevention of bronchial asthma is primarily the avoidance of active or passive smoking. With the diagnosis of "allergic asthma" it is necessary to avoid contact with allergens in every possible way.
Choking attacks, dry cough due to irritation of the respiratory tract and wheezing. All these symptoms can appear in combination with each other.
The diagnosis is based on the results of a comprehensive reconstruction of the history of the development of the disease, a general examination of the patient, auscultation (i.e. listening) of the lungs and a study of pulmonary function. Ideally, this should be plethysmography (examination of the functions of external respiration and minute volume of blood circulation) of the whole body. In allergic asthma, a test is performed to identify allergens.
Along with the exclusion of allergens, the exclusion of active and passive smoking, drugs are also used very successfully, leading to a significant control of asthma. Mention should be made here primarily of aerosols and powder preparations for inhalation containing corticoids or Beta-2 sympathomimetics (agents acting on the sympathetic nervous system). These medicines are able to expand the narrowed bronchi again. Treatment with a specific combination consisting of a cortisone preparation as an inhaler with a Beta-2 sympathomimetic agent is also very effective.
In the event that all the measures taken do not give a 100% therapeutic effect, the so-called systemic therapy in the form of tablets (Theophyllin, Montelukast) can be added to aerosols or powder preparations. Intravenous cortisone is currently indicated only in very severe cases of asthma.