Asthma Diagnostics and Treatment

If you have typical symptoms of asthma, it is already enough to make asthma diagnosis. Therefore, the first step in diagnosing bronchial asthma is careful collection of medical history: how long ago symptoms began, what is asthma symptoms duration, what causes their strengthening or relief, what allergic reactions you have, and whether there were cases of bronchial asthma in your family history.

Nevertheless, several asthma diagnostic measures are still necessary to confirm diagnosis.Asthma Diagnostics

Spirometry. The most important way to assess pulmonary function – spirometry is to evaluate how well your lungs work. You will be asked to breathe by means of special device called spirometer to prove asthma diagnosis.

Spirometer estimates two indications: volume of air exhaled in one second (the so-called forced expiratory volume in one second), and the total amount of air expelled (called forced vital capacity). Indications are compared with average values of normal indications for people of your age, allowing you to determine whether your airways are actually blocked.Sometimes spirometry is performed after medication intake directed to open airway. It allows to assess how your breathing improves, or rather, how airflow, that enters lungs, increases. And if spirometry indication is significantly higher after taking medications, it helps to confirm bronchial asthma diagnosis.

Peakflowmetry. Peakflowmetry is a method of determining expiratory flow rate. A small hand-held device, known as peak flow meter, can be used to assess how quickly you can blow air out of your lungs in one breath. This is your peak expiratory rate, and test is usually called peak expiratory flow rate test.

You may be offered to take peak flow meter at home and keep diary of measuring your peak flow, which is usually measured in the morning and evening. It will be ease asthma diagnosis establishment.

Expiration rate is calculated individually, taking into account:

  • gender;
  • age,;
  • growth.

To diagnose occupational asthma, your doctor may ask you to measure your peak expiratory flow rate both at work and out of working place.

Respiratory system reactivity. This study allows you to assess how your airways react when they come into contact with asthma trigger. You will be asked to alternately inhale an increasing amount of dry powder containing allergen. This intentionally causes asthma symptoms and leads to airways narrowing. After that, spirometry is performed and change in respiration is evaluated in response to a potential bronchial asthma stimulants.

Laboratory research. You may need sputum sample to check if you have lungs inflammation, as well as blood test to assess body general condition and estimate number of eosinophils (type of white blood cells) and IgE (immunoglobulin).

Concentration of nitric oxide. The level of nitric oxide is measured when exhaling. A high level of nitric oxide can be a sign of respiratory tract inflammation.

Allergic tests for asthma indentification.

Skin or blood tests can be useful for confirming how asthma is associated with a specific allergen, for example:

  • dust mites;
  • pollens;
  • food.

It also can help detect asthma provoking factor. Allergy tests can be useful for detecting allergens in people with chronic and long-standing asthma.

Chest x-ray. Chest X-ray may be necessary to exclude other bronchial or lung diseases, for example:

  • pneumonia;
  • bronchitis;
  • tuberculosis.

Asthma Treatment

Asthma TreatmentThe main goals of asthma treatment:

  • to control asthma attacks;
  • to normalize respiration;
  • to maintain respiratory function at a level close to normal;
  • to eliminate asthma triggers.

There are two main types of medications for asthma treatment:

  1. Preparations for asthma seizures prevention, anti-inflammatory drugs
  2. Preparations for rapid relief during attack – bronchodilators and inhalers – Ventolin, Flovent, Advair, Spiriva.

Oral steroids. Oral steroids belong to the first group of drugs that are prescribed for long-term use in bronchial asthma treatment.

As a rule, these drugs are taken orally in the form of:

  • tablets;
  • capsules;
  • inhalers;
  • liquids.

Corticosteroids for asthma treatment:

  • prednisone;
  • prednisolone;
  • methylprednisolone.

Their reception lasts from 3 to 10 days.

Long-term therapy for asthma treatment is indicated for asthma symptoms prevention in people with moderate and severe disease course. They are taken every day, even when you feel good.

Inhaled steroids can prevent symptoms by eliminating the risk of respiratory tract edema. They work very well and are almost always the first choice in asthma treatment.

Long-acting beta-agonists. Beta-agonists are long-acting asthma inhalers will also help prevent asthma symptoms. These drugs should be used together with inhaled steroids.

Other medicines for monitoring asthma condition that can be used for bronchial asthma treatment:

  • Leukotriene inhibitors reduce inflammation by blocking leukotrienes action – chemicals that cause inflammation during allergic reaction;
  • Omalizumab (Xolair) is a selective immunosuppressive agent;
  • Sodium cromoglicate (Intal, Lomudal, Kromolin), which is non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug of non-systemic action;
  • Nedocromil sodium;
  • Tilade;
  • Glucocorticosteroids.

There are also asthma inhalers which are taken to relieve asthma attacks which you may buy online at Canadian Health&Care Mall.

As a rule, medication is taken with the help of inhalers, devices that ensure delivery of the drug directly to respiratory tract through mouth, during inspiration. Inhalers are effective way of taking asthma medicines, as they fall directly into lungs, almost without contacting other body parts.

Preparations that thin sputum. It is known that excessive amount or increased viscosity of phlegm hinders gas exchange, creates conditions for pathogens reproduction, hinders coughing, thereby aggravating asthma course. Therefore, such drugs are usually used in complex therapy with other medications to treat bronchial asthma.

Nebulizer therapy. Very effective in asthma treatment may be nebulizer therapy, when drug is delivered into the lungs with special nebulizer – nebulizer that generates not vapor, but aerosol cloud consisting of drug solution microparticles.