17 April 2011

Treatment for Asthma

The two types of drugs used to treat asthma include medication long-term control and quick-relief medicines in the short term . Although the goal of both drugs is to treat the symptoms of asthma, are used for different purposes.
The medicines long-term control is usually taken every day to control asthma symptoms and prevent asthma attacks from occurring.
The quick-relief medication is primarily taken to relieve the sudden onset of symptoms of asthma (such as during an asthma attack), and in cases in which asthma symptoms only occur occasionally.
The type of medication prescribed by your doctor to treat your asthma symptoms depends on the type and severity of their asthma, and their individual medical needs.

11 April 2011

Use a peak flow meter

The peak flow meter is a device with which by a blow, measure the peak flow value. This value allows us to easily measure the severity of asthma .
The peak flow is the amount of air can be expelled, a forced, lungs, in the first part of expiration. Normal values ​​vary with age and height. In asthmatics these values ​​tend to be diminished, and much more during a crisis, being lower the more intense the crisis of bronchospasm .
It is important to know for each person what is your personal best peak flow . This is the value to be taken into account, since the figures are normal tables orientadoras.Es only the best value obtained by measuring 3 times per day, with the person without a crisis, for 15 days. When using bronchodilators, the measurement must be made ​​before and 20 'after ingestion.
Peak Flow Meter

The peak flow measurement is useful to know:

  • At what point may be useful to give a medicine or stop
  • Whether to modify or not treated (lets us know the degree of bronchial obstruction in that person throughout the day and week)
  • Identify the triggers that cause or increase bronchospasm (contact with an animal, dust, strong smells, emotions, etc ...)
In moderate to severe asthma over 5 years old, you should keep a record of a Peak Flow Meter

10 April 2011

Che Guevara and asthma

Che Guevara anecdotes of asthma asthma
The story goes that one of the meetings of Che Guevara's army and the troops of Batista, who had a military force far superior to the "commander", the latter fled climbing the steep slopes of a mountain to get cover. At the time Che was in one of the worst bouts of asthma
suffered by him so far, so much so that one partner had to carry him on their shoulders to avoid being captured. After a chase time of Batista's army began a strong attack with mortars and machine guns.
At that time the Che Guevara forgetting his shortness of breath and discomfort began to run ahead even beating their peers and the top and finding a safe place .
A reason for this Che Guevara used to joke ... "There is no best treatment for an asthma attack the fire of the enemy ..."
based on this anecdote we can ask ...
What is asthma?
How much affects the psychological factor asthma attacks?
Can we act on this factor for asthma?
Luckily today we have a very effective means to treat asthma and prevent attacks, but there are simple factors that together can change the course of asthma.

Other data about asthma

This disease is a public health problem that affects 10 percent of children and youth, and 5 percent of the adult population in industrialized countries. In Spain two million people have asthma, and in the world exceeds 150 million. On the death rate from this disease in our country die from this cause 2 x 100,000 h / a, and the world are produced 100,000 deaths per year. The deaths are caused by acute attacks can not be controlled, although there are other factors that prevent addressing the deadly crisis.
A multicenter study sponsored by the Spanish Society of Respiratory Pathologies (Separ) has shown a relationship between dying or suffering a near-fatal asthma crisis and alexithymia, a psychological disorder that affects 10 percent of the healthy population and prevents perceive and express emotions well and physical sensations. The work found that asthmatics with alexithymia, about 38 percent of patients taking part in the research, more often suffer near-fatal crisis, as they are not correctly perceive the symptoms of asthma are not able to act accordingly.
"The alexithymia could also be one of the causes of poor adherence to therapy than among patients with asthma, "said Vincent Square, Service of Pneumology, Hospital San Pablo, Barcelona. Asthma is the most common cause of emergency visits in childhood and the fifth leading cause of consultation in primary care. About 60 percent of emergencies treated in pulmonology services exacerbations of asthma are caused, most often, for lack of compliance with prescribed treatment.
This confirms that the disease is not well controlled, since more than half of diagnosed asthmatics, despite being on treatment, you need to use rescue medication to relieve your symptoms flare. Failure to comply could be solved with drugs more comfortable, better communication between doctor and patient and patient education. "They should inform the patient about everything related to their illness and train it to the correct use of medication, creating an active and continuous between the physician, the patient and their environment.
Thus, through acceptance and understanding of the disease the patient is co-responsible for their treatment, and no need to lie to the doctor or feel guilty for not following the treatment, "says Santiago Nevot, Chief of Pediatrics at Manresa General Hospital . So far it has been shown that compliance is better with oral drugs inhaled, and increases if it is a single daily dose.

How can occupational asthma be prevented?

Avoidance of triggers is the best prevention against asthma .
If you have symptoms of occupational asthma, you may need to change jobs to avoid exposure. However, certain steps taken in the workplace can help reduce the risk of occupational asthma:
  • Change the work process to better handle irritant exposure.
  • Use industrial hygiene techniques that are appropriate for the type of irritant you are exposed and that will keep exposure levels to a minimum. 
  • Get regular medical checkups to identify possible damage that may occur in the lungs or other medical conditions specifically related to exposure to the irritant.
  • Be aware of any personal or family history of asthma which may put you at greater risk for occupational asthma in certain industries.

How is occupational asthma diagnosed?

The diagnosis of occupational asthma usually includes a detailed medical history and physical examination to establish the relationship between symptoms and exposure in the workplace. Other diagnostic procedures may include pulmonary function tests before and after work to detect narrowing of the airways, laboratory tests of blood and sputum, and chest X-rays to rule out other lung diseases.

Treatment of Occupational Asthma

Treatment for occupational asthma usually includes avoiding the substance that triggers the attack or asthma symptoms. People with occupational asthma should avoid inhaling gases such as chlorine, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide, as these substances may aggravate asthma symptoms. Other treatment may include medications to control asthma. If occupational asthma is advanced, treatment may also include:
  • Medicines.
  • Physical therapy.
  • Devices for assisting the respiratory apparatus
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