Intermittent bronchial asthma is a special type of asthma that is also known as episodic asthma. The course of the disease is mild.
Asthma attacks are rare and are associated with sudden exposure to certain allergens, colds, and exacerbation of chronic inflammatory processes.
Despite the fact that intermittent asthma is considered the mildest form of the disease, it reduces a person’s quality of life. The greatest danger is presented by night attacks of suffocation.
It is for this reason that every asthmatic person needs to know how to stop an attack at home and improve their own well-being.
Classification of asthma by severity
The severity of asthma is determined based on several factors. First of all, the intensity of symptoms and the frequency of asthma attacks during the day and night are taken into account.
The severity of the disease:
- Intermittent asthma is characterized by rare exacerbations that occur no more than 2-4 times every 4 weeks against the background of sudden exposure to various irritating factors.
- Mild persistent – attacks disturb the patient 1-2 times a week, at night – up to 3 times a month.
- Persistent moderate severity – suffocation can occur 3-4 times within 7 days, daytime attacks occur every 24-48 hours.
- Persistent severe course – suffocation gives the patient serious discomfort, as it occurs every day, disrupting the normal rhythm of life.
Treatment of a severe disease is carried out in a hospital setting, under constant medical supervision.
Forms of intermittent asthma
Bronchial asthma intermittent divided into several varieties, depending on the factors that triggered the development of the pathological process. In most situations, the disease is associated with various allergens or physical activity.
Depending on these reasons, the disease is classified into several types.
- exogenous – allergic-type bronchial asthma, in which the respiratory system reacts to pollen, fluff, dust and other allergens;
- endogenous – non-allergic intermittent asthma, asthma attacks occur against the background of increased physical activity or stress;
- mixed – is a combination of the two previous types of the disease;
- unexplained – diagnosed if it is not possible to find out the exact cause of the disease.
In addition, intermittent bronchial asthma is subdivided into occupational (caused by hazardous working conditions), aspirin (develops against the background of the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), reflux-induced form of the disease.
Risk factors for occurrence
Patients suffering from intermittent asthma note that asthma attacks disturb them no more than 2-4 times during a month. The duration of the exacerbation period in most cases does not exceed 2-3 days.
All risk factors that can provoke an exacerbation of intermittent bronchial asthma are divided into two main categories – exogenous (allergic) and endogenous (internal).
- Eating certain foods – honey, chocolate, fruits.
- Taking medications.
- Ingestion of allergens from the external environment – fluff, house and street dust, plant pollen, contact with pet hair, mold or household chemicals.
- Respiratory system infectious diseases.
- Various types of physical activity.
A person suffering from a disease of the respiratory system may experience a negative reaction to several irritating factors simultaneously.
In some cases, the causes of the development of intermittent bronchial asthma may be of endogenous origin.
Common endogenous factors:
- Obesity of varying degrees – with it, the diaphragm shifts upward, which makes it difficult for pulmonary ventilation.
- Age features.
- Hereditary factor.
It is believed that diseases of the respiratory system are most often diagnosed in men in childhood and adolescence, and in women at an older age. This is due to the anatomical features of the structure of the bronchi.
Features of the course and symptoms
The intermittent course of bronchial asthma is accompanied by rare attacks of suffocation, dry cough of an unproductive type, which can disturb the patient both during the day and at night.
In most cases, a suffocating state occurs in a person in the morning, immediately after waking up.
In the process of progression of bronchial asthma of the intermittent course, there is such a symptom as severe shortness of breath during exercise.
The patient is worried about rapid breathing, due to which he is not able to take a deep breath with a full chest. With a disease of the respiratory system, severe wheezing appears in the bronchi, a feeling of pain and heaviness in the chest area.
Exacerbation of intermittent bronchial asthma has a negative effect on the general well-being of the patient – weakness, apathy, lethargy, tachycardia, frequent headaches, bouts of vomiting and dizziness develop.
The period of exacerbation of the disease lasts several days and causes mild sleep disturbance. In the days between attacks, the human respiratory system functions completely normally.
Possible complications and consequences
Complications of intermittent asthma can have extremely dire consequences for a person’s health and life. One of the most dangerous is the development of status asthmaticus – a condition in which the bronchial cavity is filled with viscous mucous secretion, which provokes exacerbation of respiratory failure.
With status asthmaticus, an attack cannot be stopped on its own with the help of drugs, the patient needs emergency hospitalization. The pathological condition can lead to suffocation and death.
Complications of lung disease are associated with sleep disorders and a deterioration in the overall quality of his life. The patient is forced to refrain from many types of physical activity, as this leads to an exacerbation of the pathology and the subsequent suffocating attack.
Most often, with timely treatment, the disease of the intermittent course does not cause severe complications. The progressive development of negative signs indicates that the therapy was chosen incorrectly or the patient does not follow all the doctor’s recommendations.
In order to diagnose intermittent bronchial asthma, a complete medical examination is required. Also, urine and blood tests are mandatory.
Basic diagnostic techniques:
- chest x-ray;
- laboratory examination of sputum separated during coughing;
- measurement of readings of external respiration;
- skin tests to determine a possible allergen.
In order to independently control the level of external respiration, the patient can purchase a special device called a peak flow meter at the pharmacy . It allows a person to monitor the course of bronchial asthma without visiting a medical facility.
Intermittent asthma treatment
Intermittent bronchial asthma cannot be completely cured, the disease progresses slowly throughout life. Therapy of the pathology of the respiratory system is aimed at eliminating the factors provoking an exacerbation, as well as stopping attacks of suffocation.
The main directions in the treatment of bronchial asthma:
- prevention of asthmatic attacks, minimizing their frequency and severity;
- reduction or complete neutralization of the symptoms of the disease;
- reducing the likelihood of complications;
- reducing the risk of death;
- improving the functioning of the respiratory system;
- increasing the level of immunity for the body’s independent fight against the disease.
Doctors suggest the use of drugs from the group of corticosteroids, cromoglycates and theophyllines. Nocturnal attacks and increased dyspnea are relieved by short-acting oral or inhaled b2-agonists. But such medications cause multiple side effects, so they cannot be taken on their own.
In most cases, a mild form of bronchial asthma does not need long-term therapeutic measures.
In order to control the disease, the patient must be under constant medical supervision. This is necessary in order to prevent the exacerbation of the pathology and prevent its transition to a more severe form.
Mild asthma is treated with minimal doses of corticosteroids and other medications. It is very important to strictly follow all the doctor’s recommendations and in no case self-medicate as this can lead to an exacerbation of the disease.
To avoid asthma attacks, you must try to exclude from your life all allergens that can cause exacerbation of intermittent asthma .
Important prevention rules:
- To give up smoking.
- The maximum restriction on the use of alcoholic beverages.
- Prevention of stress.
- Regular wet cleaning in the apartment where the allergic person lives.
- For allergic-type asthma, do not have pets and do not wear wool.
- Limit as much as possible the time spent in nature during the flowering of plants.
- Eliminate from the diet all foods that can cause allergies.
- Do not take aspirin and other medications without first consulting your doctor.
- Inhaled medications are used only as directed by a specialist.
- Increased immunity contributes to the body’s resistance to various viral and inflammatory diseases.
Spa treatment is of great benefit to people suffering from intermittent bronchial asthma. It aims to relieve symptoms of illness and improve overall well-being.
Compliance with the basic rules of prevention helps prevent exacerbation of the disease and avoid the development of severe complications.