Intermittent asthma is mild asthma that is episodic in nature. The form of this disease got its name from the word ” intermitto “, which is translated from Latin as “to interrupt.” It is characterized by short exacerbations that occur more often at night, while the rest of the time there are no symptoms, and normal lung function can be maintained.
Causes of the disease
The reasons influencing the appearance of the disease are divided into external (exogenous) and internal (endogenous). The main reason for the development of asthma lies in the increased sensitivity of the respiratory system to various irritants. Inflammatory processes occurring against the background of irritation provoke attacks of suffocation.
The internal causes of the disease include obesity at any stage. This condition is accompanied by impaired ventilation of the lungs, which occurs due to the raising of the diaphragm. The predisposition to the development of asthma is also at the genetic level.
Among the external causes, the frequent consumption of food with increased allergenicity (citrus fruits, strawberries, chocolate) is distinguished . The disease can develop due to colds, mold in the room, medications taken. Household allergens such as animal dander, pollen, cleaning products, dust mites can also cause illness. Excessive physical activity and prolonged use of certain medications can also provoke asthmatic attacks.
Symptoms of intermittent asthma have short-term manifestations. During the period of exacerbation, the activity of the respiratory system decreases by no more than 20%.
Symptoms of the disease
- dry cough of a spasmodic nature without phlegm or with a small amount of it;
- vomiting provoked by coughing fits;
- noise and whistling when breathing;
- difficulty exhaling, accompanied by shortness of breath;
- rapid breathing;
- heaviness is felt in the chest.
Symptoms of the disease most often appear after sleep. During the week, intermittent asthma occurs up to 2 times or less often. With an exacerbation, the symptoms can last up to several days, and at night, attacks occur 2-3 times a month.
During remission, all indicators are completely restored.
Bronchial intermittent asthma is more common in patients with allergies.
If the disease makes itself felt more than 2 times a week and the attacks also occur at night, this is evidence of the development of pathology. The disease flows into the stage of moderate severity.
The symptoms of intermittent asthma in pregnant women differ from the general symptoms of other patients. Women awaiting the birth of a baby feel suffocated. They have difficulty taking deep breaths, and exhalation is difficult. Before the first signs of asthma appear, women may experience coughing, frequent sneezing, and body rashes.
To determine the patient’s disease, it is necessary to take blood, urine, sputum tests, examine skin samples and make a chest x-ray. External respiration is examined. The patient is referred to an allergist.
In addition to well-known diagnostic methods, doctors can take narrow-profile tests, which include:
- Research of the FVD. In this case, a thorough study of beta-2-agonists is carried out.
- Study of total or non-standard IgE .
- Testing the patient with possible irritants. Samples take place under the strict supervision of a doctor in a specialized hospital. For their implementation, bronchoconstrictors are most often used .
Treatment of the disease
The intermittent course of asthma can be accompanied by several irritants at once. Therefore, having identified one cause of the disease, you should not underestimate the influence of other factors.
Therapeutic measures are aimed at reducing and severing the symptoms of the disease, as well as the number of attacks. Timely therapy prevents complications and minimizes mortality. There is an improvement in the functioning of the respiratory system and strengthening of the immune system.
An atopic disease with mild intermittent manifestations does not need long-term therapy with anti-inflammatory drugs. Treatment is directly related to the forced expiratory volume and peak velocity.
The basis of medical procedures is inhalation and the use of medications. For example, they are used in spring at the time of flowering plants or before physical activity.
Patients with intermittent asthma rarely stay in the hospital, since almost all treatment procedures can be performed at home. The patient can use a peak flow meter to determine the effectiveness of treatment .
Drugs for treatment
For the treatment of asthma provoked by an allergen, inhaled beta-2-agonists are applicable – Nedocromil , Sodium cromoglycate . The funds are very effective and can be used for spasms caused by increased physical activity and other factors. Beta-2 agonists are useful for shortness of breath and dyspnea. Therefore, to localize an asthmatic attack, you must immediately take one of these drugs.
To stop choking, you can use inhaled drugs without therapeutic effects – Salbutamol , Fenoterol. Medicines with a therapeutic anti-inflammatory effect – Intal , Tayled .
Anticholinergics or short-acting theophyllines can also be used. Medicines of these groups are used with caution, as there are risks of side effects.
Traditional medicine is also used to treat asthma:
- herbal medicine ;
- Ayurvedic practice.
Experts admit the use of traditional medicine, but only as additional measures to the main drug therapy.
The prognosis for children with asthma is unpredictable. The disease may recede with age or begin to progress. If symptoms disappear with age, this does not mean complete recovery. The patient is left with a slight deviation in the immune system and possible disturbances in the functioning of the respiratory system. In older people, the prognosis is predictable. Patients most often have severe asthma and difficulties with therapy.
Asthma is considered an incurable disease, but with the right approach, you can achieve control over it. To avoid asthma formation, doctors recommend resorting to preventive measures.
Prevention includes strengthening the immune system. This will help reduce the risks of viral infections.
It is necessary to limit interaction with pollen, which causes a strong allergic reaction. During flowering, ventilation of the premises should be minimized and all windows should be tightly closed.
Wool is also one of the strongest allergens. Therefore, in order to prevent it, it is necessary to abandon pets and the use of things made of wool.
In addition to avoiding allergens, the patient should stop smoking . Parents with children with asthma should also quit smoking.
Premises must be damp cleaned and ventilated. It is necessary to abandon the air freshener and, if possible, other chemicals.
It is necessary to dry bed linen in the sun or wash at a temperature of 55 ̊С or more weekly. Curtains, stuffed animals, furniture covers should be washed or knocked out frequently. This will help localize the presence of a dust mite in the room.
If the patient during the mild stage of the disease takes control of the symptoms of asthma, drug therapy may not be required.
During therapy, the patient must strictly adhere to the prescribed treatment and not increase the dosage of drugs.
Physical activity is a common trigger in asthma patients. Unlike other stimuli, physical activity should not be avoided. Before playing sports, it is recommended to take specialized medications.
Intermittent atopic asthma can be exacerbated by excessive exercise or respiratory infections.
If the patient has more frequent manifestations of symptoms of the disease or has developed additional negative symptoms, then this may indicate an incorrectly selected treatment. The situation leads to aggravation of the disease and the formation of complications associated with obstructive pulmonary diseases.
The most severe complication is status asthmaticus. This is the formation of plugs in the narrowing bronchial passages that have the consistency of mucus. Shortness of breath becomes more prolonged in time, and inhalation procedures do not help. The patient in this case is urgently sent to the hospital. There are risks of death.
An overdose of beta-2-adrenergic agonists can lead to complications. The patient may have drug resistance. This occurs against the background of the fact that after 1 inhalation, the patient, without waiting for the therapeutic result, begins to take additional drugs. This provokes the formation of resistance to them in the body. Instead of stimulating the receptors, the opposite reaction occurs.
One of the complications is asthmatic coma, which can occur due to abrupt disturbances in the gas composition. With spontaneous pneumothorax, air ceases to escape from the lung tissue. Under the influence of pressure, air begins to flow into the pleural area. At the same time, the patient feels severe chest pains. The disease can also trigger lung failure.