Medications used to treat asthma

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Asthma is a chronic disease which affects lungs and is a result of airways inflammation. The internal walls in this case are swollen. Such a swelling causes a lot of sensitivity in the airways in terms of irritations and it raises sensibility to allergic reactions. They become too narrow for the air to move back and forth by forming bronchospasms and obstructions, along with a number of recurring symptoms. Such symptoms usually include recurring coughing, wheezing, tightness of chest and shortness of breath. The cough normally happens early in the morning or during the night.

The cause of asthma is considered to be a set of environmental and genetic components. This diagnosis is generally based on the list of symptoms, spirometry and response to therapy in some period of time. Asthma is also classified as atopic and non-atopic condition, in which cases atopy suggests the tendency of an individual to develop hypersensitivity reactions of type one.

Acute symptoms of asthma are treated with inhaled asthma medications such as oral corticosteroids and short-acting beta-two agonist. In especially severe cases during asthma attacks intravenous corticosteroids and magnesium sulfate are implemented with compulsory hospital admission. The symptoms may be averted by avoiding triggers (allergens, irritants) and with the help of inhaled corticosteroids use. In addition long-acting beta and leukotriene agonists may be utilized as effective medications to treat asthma whenever symptoms of asthma get out of control.

Medications for asthma attacks can be divided into two major classes: quick-relief and long-term medications. Quick-relief drugs help with acute symptoms and long-term medicaments are for avoiding exacerbation in future.

Asthma medications are usually taken with a so called spacer and a metered-dose inhaler, or in dry powder inhaler. A nebulizer is another device with similar effectiveness as the spacer for moderate and mild symptoms.

In the US over 25 million individuals have asthma, 7 of whom are kids. In the world every 10th child and every 20th adult has asthma.

Asthma often leads to other health disorders such as GERD, obstructive sleep apnea, rhinosinusitis and psychological disorders.