It is a disease that directly affects the breathing pathway of the lungs. Asthma is caused due to chronic or long-term inflammation of these airway passages. This makes the breathing pathway, or the airways, of a person highly sensitive to various “asthma triggers.” (Asthma Medicines)
- When the inflammation is “triggered” by any factor, the walls of the pathways swell, and the openings are filled with mucus.
- Muscles of the breathing pathways contract (bronchospasm), which further narrows the airways.
- The narrowing makes it difficult for the air to be breathed out or exhaled from the lungs.
- This resistance during exhaling leads to the symptoms of an asthma attack.
As asthma leads to resistance and obstruction, to the exhaled air, it is known as an obstructive lung disease. In medical term of this condition is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD. It is a group of diseases that includes not only asthma but also diseases like chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
A person experiences an asthma attack any time as the person is exposed to any of the asthma triggers. Asthma is a reversible disease:-
- Asthma cannot be cured completely, but the symptoms can be controlled.
- A person has a better chance of controlling asthma if it is diagnosed during early stages and the treatment is started immediately.
- With the proper treatment, people having asthma can have very few and less severe attacks.
- Without any treatment, the asthma attacks would be more frequent and severe and one can even die. Persistent airway inflammation leads to the progressive deterioration of the lung function and results in some kind of disability and even cause death.
The main symptoms that signal an attack are as follows:
- Chest tightening
- Coughing with pain in the chest
- Difficulty in speaking.
Wheezing is one of the most common symptoms of an asthma attack.
- It is a musical, whistling, or a hissing sound while breathing.
- Wheezes are often heard during exhalation, but they can also occur during breathing in or inhaling.
- Not all of the asthmatics wheeze, and not everyone who wheezes is an asthmatic.
ASTHMA ATTACK SEVERITY:-
The severity of an asthma attack can be determined by seeing the following symptoms and care can be taken as per the symptoms:-
- Mild intermittent:- This includes the attacks no more than two times a week and at nighttime attacks no more than two times in a month. These attacks last not more than a few hours to few days. The severity of these attacks varies, but there are no proper symptoms between the attacks.
- Mild persistent:- This includes the attacks more than two times a week, but not each day, and at the nighttime symptoms more than two times a month. The attacks might be severe sometimes and can interrupt regular activities.
- Moderate persistent:- These includes daily and regular attacks and the nighttime symptoms more than a single time in a week. More severe attacks occur two times a week and might last for few days. These attacks require daily use of the quick-relief medication and lifestyle changes.
- Severe persistent:- This type of attack includes regular and severe attacks with some continual daytime symptoms and regular nighttime symptoms. Symptoms minimization requires a change in the lifestyle activities.
COMMON ASTHMA MEDICATIONS:-
Below described are some of the asthma medicines.
Long-Term Control Medications
Some of these drugs should be taken every day to control and keep asthma away. These are the most effective drugs to stop airway inflammation. Drugs are prescribed in combination as the inhaled corticosteroid with an anti-inflammatory drug with some other drugs like:-
- Long-acting beta-agonists:- A beta-agonist is a drug known as a bronchodilator. which opens up the airways.
- Long-acting anticholinergics:- They relax and enlarges the pathways in the lungs, which makes breathing easier. Tiotropium bromide is an anticholinergic drug available for the age of 6 years and older.
- Leukotriene modifiers:- These block the chemicals that cause inflammation.
- Mast cell stabilizers:- These lowers the release of the chemicals that lead to inflammation.
- Theophylline:- It is a bronchodilator, which is used as an add-on medication for the symptoms that are not responding to the other medications.
- An immunomodulator:- It is an injection given to a patient having moderate to severe asthma due to allergies or some inflammation caused by the immune system as the counter effect.
- Reslizumab is an immunomodulator regulating medication. It is used along with the normal asthma medicines. This medicine is prescribed every 4 weeks as an IV injection over a period of one hour. This drug acts by decreasing the number of the white blood cells known as eosinophils. These cells play a major role in causing the asthma symptoms.
- Mepolizumab targets the levels of the blood eosinophils. It is given as an IV injection every 4 weeks and is mainly used as a maintenance therapy medication.
- Omalizumab is an antibody that blocks the immunoglobulin E (IgE) and is used as asthma regulating medication. This prevents the allergen from triggering the asthma attack.
Quick-Relief Asthma Drugs
These medications are known to provide fast relief during an asthma attack and reduce its symptoms such as a cough, chest tightness, and wheezing. They include the following drugs:-
- Short-acting beta-agonists/bronchodilators
- Systemic corticosteroids are the anti-inflammatory drugs that get symptoms under control.
ASTHMA INHALER NAMES:-
Here is the list of top asthma inhaler brands. These are the asthma medications list of inhalers.
- Oxis International
- Ventolin Evohaler