The respiratory system, like other human organs, is subject to intense exposure to internal and external negative factors. Under certain conditions, this can lead to bronchial asthma.
The most dangerous form of the disease is uncontrolled asthma. According to statistics, it develops in 20% of the population.
This pathology cannot be completely cured, but there are ways to achieve full or partial control over the course of the disease, which will allow the patient to lead a full life.
About bronchial asthma
Bronchial asthma is a common disease of the lower respiratory tract with the direct involvement of cellular elements. It is characterized by hyperreactivity of the bronchi, to which the body responds by narrowing their lumen.
In this case, there is bronchospasm, edema of the mucous membrane, accumulation of a large amount of sputum and, as a result, a violation of gas exchange and the occurrence of attacks of suffocation.
Controlling the patient’s condition in most cases reduces the risk of exacerbation of the disease and the development of asthmatic status.
Classification of the disease by the level of control
The disease is classified not only by the severity, characteristics of the course, the presence of complications [M9] , but also by the degree of control.
It is determined by the following parameters:
- symptomatic manifestations of the disease at different times of the day;
- limiting activity;
- functional state of the respiratory system;
- the frequency of asthmatic attacks;
- the need to use emergency medications.
There are three types of asthma, which differ in the degree of control:
- Controlled bronchial asthma – there is no clinical manifestations during the treatment period. Indicators of diagnostic tests are within the norm. Drugs in a controlled form are prescribed to patients in a minimal amount.
- Partially controlled – the presence of individual symptoms of the disease is noted. In this case, it is recommended to change therapeutic measures to return the disease to a controlled form.
- Uncontrolled bronchial asthma is the most dangerous form of the disease, in which there is a pronounced symptomatology and frequent exacerbations with asthmatic attacks, repeated repeatedly during the week. During this period, every effort is required to return the disease to a controlled form.
Disease control consists in continuous monitoring of its development (accompanying signs, frequency of recurrence of attacks) and the selection of individual treatment. Complex therapy is able to transfer the disease into a state of long-term remission.
The causes of uncontrolled asthma and its symptoms
The reasons for the development of uncontrolled asthma are:
- hereditary predisposition;
- unsuitable climatic conditions;
- work associated with exposure to chemically active substances;
- hormonal disorders;
- structural features of the respiratory organs;
- incompletely cured infectious diseases;
- weakening of immunity.
Triggers (provoking factors) that trigger pathological processes in the body and lead to an exacerbation of a chronic disease can be:
- household and construction chemicals;
- down and hair of pets;
- dry animal feed;
- house dust.
Asthma can develop under the influence of one or more reasons, but the clinical manifestations of the disease do not change from this.
The disease is characterized by the following symptoms:
- spasm of the smooth muscles of the bronchi;
- breathing disorder (wheezing, hoarse, labored);
- shortness of breath;
- a large amount of mucus discharge;
- the occurrence of coughing fits.
With uncontrolled asthma, suffocation occurs, which can be fatal. To avoid this, it is necessary to consult a doctor in a timely manner and undergo the prescribed examination (to determine the severity of the disease, select the appropriate treatment and restore control over bronchial asthma).
The main goals of asthma treatment are:
- reduce sensitivity to the influence of provoking factors;
- gain complete control over asthma;
- reduce the frequency of exacerbations;
- prevent conditions that threaten the patient’s life;
- normalize respiratory processes;
- reduce the need for medication.
One of the methods of dealing with bronchial asthma is basic therapy.
It includes the use of the following drugs:
- corticosteroids (in the form of aerosols) that help relieve inflammation in the airways;
- bronchodilators that improve mucus discharge;
- anticholinergics (with a large accumulation of sputum and its poor discharge), causing expansion of the bronchi, reducing shortness of breath and cough;
- long- and short-acting beta-2-adrenergic agonists, which prevent obstruction of the bronchial branches, promote their expansion;
- systemic glucocorticosteroids used as maintenance therapy and during asthmatic attacks.
Medicines of these groups have been used for a long time. They can stop the development of asthma, reduce its manifestations and reduce the likelihood of exacerbations.
Taking medications is adjusted individually (depending on the patient’s condition and the manifestation of clinical signs).
With an asthma attack, you need:
- keep calm;
- remove everything that interferes with free breathing;
- take a sitting or standing position, rest with your hands, take your elbows to the side;
- use an inhaler.
If the attack cannot be relieved on your own, you must call an ambulance.
Evaluation of the effectiveness of treatment
Treatment is successful if asthma is under control
The effectiveness of the therapy is assessed according to the following criteria:
- the appearance of side effects from the prescribed drugs is not noted;
- there are no exacerbations and there is no pronounced symptomatology of the disease;
- no need to take fast-acting drugs;
- there is a steady decrease in the dosage of medications taken;
- the respiratory function is stabilized;
- the general condition of the patient at rest and during physical exertion improves.
A controlled form of bronchial asthma is an indicator of the success of the therapy.
Risk of complications of uncontrolled asthma
With an uncontrolled course of the disease, the risk of complications increases. Frequent exacerbations lead to disruption of gas exchange (air enters the lungs in an insufficient volume).
Asthma can trigger the development of secondary infections (pneumonia, purulent bronchitis), as well as:
- emphysema (swelling) of the lungs – leads to respiratory failure;
- respiratory failure;
- pneumothorax – accumulation of air in the pleural cavity;
- atelectasis – collapse of the lung due to partial or complete closure of the bronchial lumen;
- status asthmaticus – a serious life-threatening condition that occurs as a result of a prolonged attack.
Uncontrolled asthma can lead to irreversible consequences – disability and even death.
Prevention of exacerbations
To reduce the effect of uncontrolled bronchial asthma on a person’s quality of life, it is necessary to adhere to some recommendations:
- avoid heavy physical exertion;
- strengthen the body’s defenses;
- exclude exposure to allergens that can exacerbate the disease;
- control the emotional state;
- do not abuse alcohol;
- avoid smoking and inhaling cigarette smoke;
- use an inhaler during an exacerbation;
- undergo regular examinations by a pulmonologist, allergist and other specialists.
It should be remembered that bronchial asthma needs constant monitoring. Every person with asthma should have an inhaler with them, which will help in an emergency to relieve the condition and prevent the development of status asthmaticus.