General Concepts of Asthma

General Concepts of Asthma

Today we will discuss general concepts because we can move only when we understand the basics.

So, bronchial asthma (BA) is a disease in which inflammation occurs in the bronchi. Most often, it’s of an allergic nature.

This inflammation is not caused by microbes or viruses, it arises from the contact of a person with allergens, irritating substances, occupational factors.

Inflammation involved different cells – eosinophils, neutrophils, mast cells, lymphocytes

Usually, with allergic inflammation of the bronchi, the hyperreactivity of the airways occurs – this means that the bronchi redundantly narrow after the contact with the allergen-stimulus.

As a result of such an allergic inflammation, various substances are released in the bronchi that lead to their spasm, edema, accumulation of mucus.

A person with asthma experiences:

  • a feeling of difficulty breathing,
  • the feeling of heaviness in the chest,
  • whistles and wheezing in the chest,
  • a cough,
  • suffocation (in rare cases).

These symptoms may worsen at night and / or in the early morning.

The violation of bronchial patency, which we described above, is called “bronchial obstruction”. In allergic diseases, it is reversible under the influence of drugs or spontaneously.

Allergens that can cause asthma are diverse:

  • scrub, dander, and saliva;
  • plant pollen;
  • home dust;
  • grings;
  • professional allergens;
  • nood foods and nutritional supplements.

Often, bronchial asthma is accompanied by allergic rhinitis, which occurs due to allergic inflammation in the nasal mucosa.

The disease develops mostly in childhood or adolescence but it can also develop at an older age.

Factors that affect the development and manifestation of asthma:

  • genetic predisposition to atopy;
  • genetic predisposition to bronchial hyperreactivity;
  • pol (in childhood, asthma is more likely to develop in boys, in adolescents and adults, in women);
  • fatting;
  • allergens: house dust mites, pet allergens, cockroach allergens, fungal allergens, plant pollens, fungal allergens;
  • infections (mainly viral);
  • professional factors: pollutants of the atmosphere: ozone, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide, combustion products of diesel fuel, etc.;
  • tobacco smoke (active and passive smoking).

Diagnosis of asthma is based on the clinical picture of the disease. There are no special analyzes!

The diagnosis is based on the characteristic symptoms, if there is no alternative explanation for their occurrence.

Symptoms of asthma:

An asthmatic patient has more than one of the following symptoms: wheezing, choking, feeling of congestion in the chest and cough, especially in the following cases:

  • worsening of symptoms at night or in the pre-morning hours;
  • the onset of symptoms during physical exertion, exposure to allergens and cold air;
  • the onset of symptoms after taking aspirin or beta-blockers.
  • common dry whistling rales (throughout the chest) that are heard at a distance, as well as when listening (auscultation) of the chest;
  • presence of atopic diseases in the anamnesis or presence of BA and / or atopic diseases in relatives;
  • low spirographic indices, the presence of obstruction which is not explicable by other causes (if a spirogram was performed);
  • the increase in the level of eosinophils in the blood, which can not be explained by other causes.

Category: Asthma School

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19 responses to “General Concepts of Asthma”

  1. lolafun_2 says:

    Are there any age criteria for diagnosing bronchial asthma?

  2. lolafun_2 says:

    Since what age bronchial obstruction against a background of viral infection can be the debut of bronchial asthma? After all, for infants, obstructive bronchitis with the ARVI is common. It is clear that we take into account allergic anamnesis. But still, there is such an age?

    • Asthma.School says:

      There is no clear age boundary. Usually, these are children of up to 5-6 years of age. But if the obstruction in a young child continues not only against the background of ARI, if there is an allergic anamnesis, if the mother or father has bronchial asthma, then we can diagnose it earlier.

      • Asthma.School says:

        In such a situation, a trial basic therapy can be prescribed for 30 days, and then the doctor diagnoses or excludes asthma based on the results.

      • Asthma.School says:

        The diagnosis is clinical and mainly based on complaints. If all other possible causes of a cough (lop-pathology, reflux) are excluded, and anti-asthmatic treatment gives a positive effect, then we diagnose asthma.

        • lolafun_2 says:

          Are inhaled glucocorticosteroids are considered a trial basal therapy? Without bronchodilators?

          • Asthma.School says:

            Inhaled steroids or antileukotrienes. Bronchodilators are an emergency medicine

            • lolafun_2 says:

              I see. Sometimes allergists prescribe basic therapy with combined drugs.

              • Asthma.School says:

                Do you mean drugs combined in one inhaler? Combined drugs include bronchodilators that are more long-lasting. Combined drugs are prescribed from the third stage – persistent bronchial asthma. Usually, doctors prescribe an inhaled steroid and salbutamol.

  3. lolafun_2 says:

    If the child has only night coughs and allergic anamnesis from the complaints, the examination did not reveal any auscultatory abnormalities, how to confirm or exclude asthma

  4. sunnygirl says:

    Is it necessary to identify allergens for skin tests, if there is no runny nose, seasonal lacrimation, skin allergies and allergies to foods. There is only an obstruction with ARVI.

  5. loganm says:

    Is asthma really diagnosed for life? Cannot this diagnoses be reversed later?

  6. loganm says:

    And why do the bronchi react with constriction? For example, in allergic rhinitis, the body uses a cold to pull out the allergen as quickly as possible, am I right?

  7. loganm says:

    I see, thanks!

  8. Ani_cross says:

    What if the child (4-year-old) had 4 obstructions within 3 months after removing adenoids? Then Pulmicort was prescribed. There were no obstructions. But at the same time, there was a constant coughing. Does the drug work?

  9. Asthma.School says:

    Yes, the drug does work but either it is not enough or the reason of a cough in something else.

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