Asthma is basically a disorder of respiration in which only moderate amount of air reaches the lungs. Due to swelling of the nerves which supplies air to the lungs, the passage of air gets blocked. The respiratory tract connected to the lungs, are divided into two parts and each part is known as bronchia further this bronchia is subdivided into narrow nerves which are known as bronchioles. These bronchioles are very sensitive and it is not able to bear any kind of adverse conditions.
Due to allergy and infection, swelling appears which leads to the blockage and passage of air becomes difficult.
Some of the common symptoms of asthma are shortness of breath, chest tightness, coughing and wheezing etc.
Many patients with asthma should have an agreed written preplanned peak flow meter with regular checks of inhaler technique and compliance. They should know when and how to increase their medication and when to seek medical assistance.
The basic principles of care are the following.
- We should assess the severity of the attack early.
- Inhaler short- acting beta agonists should be used early and frequently.
- If there is not immediate and marked response to the inhaler then systemic glucocorticoids should be started.
- Frequent assessments should be made to check the status of the therapy or the improvement of the patient.
- If the patient will not respond quickly within 4 to 6 hours then he/she should be admitted to the hospital under doctor’s care and surveillance.
- The most important and initial care is to educate the patients about the principles of self-management for early recognition and treatment of the attack.