Difficult-to-treat asthma’ may be due to difficult-to-treat patients
Researchers in Northern Ireland have revealed that patients who avoid taking their medication as prescribed may fall in the category of “Difficult-to-treat-asthma”. Dr. Liam Heaney, principal investigator of Belfast City Hospital informed in the study that “significant proportion of patients with difficult asthma is poorly adherent to inhale and oral corticosteroid therapy”. The results of the study were published in the November 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, an official publication of the American Thoracic Society. The study was carried on almost 200 patients. They were referred to a tertiary referral clinic which specializes in curing difficult asthma.
According to a report issued at the Fourth Triennial World Asthma meeting in Bangkok, it was revealed that approximately 300 million people worldwide are suffering from asthma and are responsible for one in every 250 deaths globally. According to Asthma and Allergy foundation of America an estimated 20 million Americans suffer from asthma (1 in 15 Americans) and 50% of asthma cases are “allergic-asthma.” Almost 40,000 people in US miss school or work every day due to asthma. Approximately 11 people die of asthma everyday in US. Asthma is a controllable but not curable disease.
Asthma occurs due to the inflammation of the air passages which results in the short-term narrowing of the airways that carry air from the nose and mouth to the lungs. Its symptoms are triggered by allergens or irritant which are inhaled into the lungs resulting in inflamed, clogged and constricted airways. The symptoms of asthma include difficulty in breathing, coughing tightness in the chest. When not controlled properly it can result deadly.
On what causes asthma, Professor Duncan Geddes of Asthma UK has informed in one of his lectures that women who smoke during pregnancy are much more likely to have asthmatic children. Moreover, it could also occur due to poor ventilation, damp housing, and illness during childhood. Presence of more carpets and dust in the house or offices could also be the reasons for asthma attack. Microscopically small particles emanating from coal burning, mining, diesel engines, construction and quarrying are also responsible for spreading asthma. Irritants in the air such as dirt, cigarette smoke, gases, and odors’ are all responsible for its spreading.
Asthma is commonly divided into two types: allergic (extrinsic) asthma and non-allergic (intrinsic) asthma. People can do different things to control their asthma and minimize their impact on their activities. Almost each case of asthma is different and is treated according to the necessity of the case.
Treatment of asthma consists of two main aspects – environmental control and medication. By environmental control it means simply keeping away from factors – like tobacco smoke or allergens – likely to trigger an attack. Medication is the basis of asthma therapy. There are two groups of asthma medications: Long term controllers and quick relievers. Long term control medications help you keep control of your asthma.
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