Tips for treatment of asthma and COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Asthma and COPD
Asthma and COPD - chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, are chronic diseases of the respiratory system that are increasingly growing. Their symptoms, such as narrowing of the respiratory tract and shortness of breath, are actually the result of the inflammation. Inflammation in asthma is a consequence of the immune response, or some form of allergic reaction, and in COPD inflammation occurs as a result of chronic bronchitis or pulmonary emphysema, that cause frequent and severe infections in younger age, contaminated air and especially smoking.
Symptoms of asthma
The specific symptoms of asthma are:
- Persistent dry cough, especially at night and early in the morning.
- A feeling of pressure and tightness in the chest with shortness of breath (especially during exhausting activities).
- Loud wheezing.
During an asthma attack, respiratory paths are tightening, the patient cannot breathe, which enhances the feeling of fear.
Attacks may occur periodically, after exposure to "triggers", such as colds, stress, great physical effort, contact with allergens, or frequently, especially if the disease is not treated properly. If the disease is properly treated, attacks and symptoms can be completely avoided for a long time, even several years.
Symptoms of COPD
- COPD initially appears as difficulty breathing, shortness of breath and intermittent dry cough.
- With the progression of the disease symptoms become more pronounced, and there is the excessive production of mucus in the airways, which aggravates breathing, causes coughing with secretion and inability of expectoration.
- Viral and bacterial infections often occur together with COPD.
|COPD, unfortunately, is not curable, but regular and proper administration of medicines can slow the progression of the disease.
Treatment of asthma
Asthma is treated with medicines: bronchodilators which facilitate breathing and inhaled corticosteroids which soothe inflammation.
- Bronchodilators work only to relieve symptoms; they widen respiratory pathways and allow breathing.
- Inhaled corticosteroids soothe inflammation and reduce the severity of the disease.
- For the treatment of severe forms of the disease there are inhaled medicines that contain bronchodilator and corticosteroid, and oral corticosteroids have to be applied sometimes.
|People with asthma often make mistakes when during the absence of symptoms they voluntarily stop taking corticosteroids, which leads to recurrence of symptoms.
In fact, the lesser the need for application of a bronchodilator, the better the control of the disease and the decision to stop taking medicines or reduce the dose can only be made by a doctor.
Treatment of COPD
- COPD is treated as asthma: with bronchodilators and inhaled corticosteroids which, unfortunately, are not as effective as in asthma and a real cure for COPD is not available.
- There are inhalable medicines comprising a corticosteroid and a bronchodilator, and patients often use theophylline.
- Patients are, due to infections, often prescribed antibiotics, and patients with a severe form of a disease should receive oxygen.
Asthma and COPD are treated with inhaled medicines, which are inhaled through the mouth with the special aids, i.e. applicators.
For proper treatment, or to achieve the desired effect of the medicine, it is important that patients and their caregivers learn how to take/give the medicine.
They need to learn how to use the applicator, whether it has propellant gas or it should be taken by using one’s own breath, how to breathe in when taking the medicine, how to exhale, how to rinse the mouth after administration. The procedure should be practiced together with health professionals, nurse and pharmacist, because patients often have problems when taking the medicines, especially children and elderly.
ASTHMA AND COPD are treated with inhaled medicines that are inhaled through the mouth by applicators. Use of the applicator it is sometimes difficult for children and elderly, so the process of using it should be practiced with health professionals, nurses and pharmacists.
Good habits to control asthma
Asthma can be successfully controlled with lifestyle changes.
- It is important to regularly measure PAF (peak air flow), as instructed by the doctor, in order to better control the disease.
- If the cause of asthma is allergy, one should avoid allergens.
- If you know the "triggers" for the attack, they should be kept to a minimum: avoid stress, have enough rest, introduce a diverse and regular diet, and implement appropriate physical activity.
- The patient must practice what to do during an attack and how to calm down without fear and panic.
COPD requires a lifestyle change
- Patients with COPD must change the way of life, above all, stop smoking, and avoid staying in places where there is smoking or unclean air.
- One must introduce a diverse and regular diet, and regular compulsory and adequate physical activity.
- It is important to be protected from infection, with good hand hygiene and avoided encounters with persons who have cold.
- Vaccination against influenza is especially recommended for all suffering from COPD.