Types of Asthma

INTRODUCTION

To properly treat asthma it is important to classify a patient’s current severity to determine the appropriate therapy choices; therefore a stepwise approach is used. Asthma is classified as either mild intermittent or persistent. Persistent asthma is further classified as mild, moderate or severe. Regardless of the classification there may be periodic exacerbations ranging from mild to severe which can make therapy quite challenging and requires the patient, patient’s family and physician to watch closely for any changes. Even a mild intermittent asthmatic can have severe life threatening episodes. These episodes may be separated by months or years with no symptoms at all. A patient’s asthma classification certainly can and probably will change (in either direction) over time so just one symptom characteristic of a given classification level is enough to raise a patient into that severity class thereby providing the best control possible. Due to the overlapping nature of the categories if the classification seems a bit fuzzy, the patient should be staged in the highest class for which any characteristics are seen.

LUNG FUNCTION TESTING

Before beginning a discussion of the classification of asthma it is important to understand the common tests that are used to determine a patient’s level of pulmonary function. It is very helpful to perform at least a basic pulmonary function test and not base a diagnosis of the severity (type) of asthma only on the signs and symptoms presented. The most common office test is spirometry which measures the maximal volume of air forced on exhalation from the point of maximum inhalation (forced vital capacity (FVC) and the volume of air exhaled during the first second of the FVC (FEV1). A patient can also use a peak flow meter at home to check the peak expiratory flow (PEF) variation between morning and in the afternoon (after using a short acting beta-agonist inhaler) to get the PEV variability. To determine the predicted PEF get a peak flow reading in the afternoon when the patient feels as close to normal as possible (even if a couple of puffs of a short acting beta-agonist are needed). These two PEV markers will be referred to in the subsequent sections.

MILD INTERMITTENT

Many asthma patients fall into the mild intermittent category. This group of patients may be symptom free for extended periods of time or may have short exacerbations on a fairly frequent basis. To be classified as mild intermittent a patient will have symptoms such as wheezing or shortness of breath no more than twice per week and nighttime symptoms no more than twice per month. The symptomatic exacerbations may last from a few hours to a maximum of a few days (although the severity may vary from one episode to the next). Between episodes there will be no symptoms and lung function tests will be normal. In this group lung function tests will show a PEF that is at least 80% of the predicted (best afternoon) value and have a variability of less than 20% (between morning and afternoon). This type of asthma patient usually will not require medication on a daily basis and can use a short acting rescue inhaler such as albuterol if needed for symptomatic control. A rule of thumb is that if the rescue inhaler is used more often than twice per week or if a canister lasts less than a month then there may be need for some type of controller medication. An occasional flare-up can be treated with a short course of steroids such as prednisone. A special class of asthmatics should be mentioned here, these are those with exercise induced asthma. A patient with exercise induced asthma typically will only be symptomatic during times of physical stress and usually can be controlled by pretreating with a short acting inhaler such as albuterol or even cromolyn. A diagnosis of exercise induced asthma although often easy to control should not be taken lightly for without pretreatment to prevent symptoms an attack could become a medical emergency.

MILD PERSISTENT

This class of asthma presents with patients who have symptoms more often than twice per week but less than once per day. Mild persistent asthmatics often have nighttime symptoms more often than twice per month but less than once per week. Lung function testing would show a PEF of greater than 80% of the predicted value which is similar to mild intermittent but with the difference of more variability in the 20 to 30% range. Most mild persistent asthmatics can be best treated with inhaled corticosteroids with a rescue inhaler used only on an as needed basis. Other treatment options exist but will not be covered here. This is the class of asthmatic that seems to often be mis medicated because although a rescue inhaler will often keep many patients essentially symptom free it will do nothing to decrease the inflammation that is a component for even the mild persistent asthmatic. This point should be reinforced: you do not treat persistent asthmatics with a short acting inhaler as mono therapy and the rule of thumb should be considered and a patient considered not under suitable control if they exceed one inhaler per month.

MODERATE PERSISTENT

Prior to treatment the moderate persistent asthmatic typically has daily symptoms with exacerbations at least twice per week on average. These flare-ups affect normal daily activity and often last for a number of days. Nighttime symptoms are seen more often than once per week. Lung function tests will show a PEF in the range of 60 to 80% of the predicted value with a variability of greater than 30%. Like the mild persistent asthmatic there are many moderate persistent asthmatics that are not being treated correctly. A short acting rescue inhaled used as monotherapy for an asthmatic at this level is simply bad medicine. It must be remembered that any one of the classifying symptoms is enough to place a patient in a given level so for example if a patient has nighttime symptoms more than once a week (one of the features of this class) then they should be considered to be moderate persistent even with out any of the other features. Remember if uncertain where to stage a given patient the physician should move in the direction of higher rather than lower classification. The moderate persistent asthmatic is usually best treated with a low to medium dose inhaled corticosteroid in combination with a long acting beta-agonist. Other treatment options exist but this is the best for most moderate persistent patients. Once again it needs to be reinforced that excessive use of short acting inhalers on a regular basis is a sign of poor control and the need for reevaluation of the treatment plan!

SEVERE PERSISTENT

This is the highest classification of asthma patient. The severe persistent asthmatic is always symptomatic with the ability for only limited physical activity. Both daytime and nighttime exacerbations are frequent and can last for extended periods. Lung function testing will show a PEF of 60% or less of predicted value with a variability of greater than 30%. The severe persistent asthmatic is usually best treated with a high dose inhaled corticosteroid combined with a long acting beta-agonist. To achieve long term control oral corticosteroids are often needed with the goal of achieving control with the lowest daily dose possible thereby reducing systemic side effects.

CONCLUSION

This article has focused on the importance of correctly determining the type (category) of asthma that a patient has thereby providing their physician the information needed to deliver optimal therapy. The levels can certainly change (either up or down) over time because asthma categories are not static.

Although as current and accurate as possible, the information contained in this article or provided to you by the author in an email or any other manner, may not relate to your particular medical condition and is not intended to be used in the diagnosis or treatment of any specific medical condition. Always refer to your healthcare provider before making any changes in your treatment plan.

Magnetic Healing Does Miracles in Asthma Cure

Magnetic healing, an alternative form of healing, is a non-invasive method, which provides relief for several ailments. Known to have great healing properties, magnetic healing has shown to be effective for pains and other disorders. Recent researches have also shown it to be effective for Asthma.

Frequent use of magnets has shown that it can improve breathing and improve the duration of asthma attacks. Magnets have shown to prevent the allergic reaction in lungs that causes asthma. It has the power to reopen the congested lung, expand the tissues and improve breathing, which is part of asthma healing.

Placing a magnet both in the front and back of the chest, covering the bronchial tubes, is highly recommended for people with acute asthmatic problems. It helps in easy breathing and also stops cold and coughing. Sleeping on a magnetic pad also helps in getting back your normal breaths. Instead of steroids and other drugs, use the magnetic healing methods, which are less harmful. Magnets have to be worn continuously to get the desired results and there is no harm in wearing it. Magnetic therapy is good for both adults and children with asthma.

Magnetized or ionized water is another form of magnetic therapy, which helps in controlling the symptoms and improving the condition of an asthma patient. Though it has not been scientifically proved that drinking magnetized water could improve the asthmatic conditions, there are several testimonials to prove that it improves the situation.

Well, in the market you can come across magnetic pillows, blankets, mattresses, jewelery and belts, which goes a long way in improving the conditions of many ailments. Magnetic therapy is also safe as there are no side effects as in the case of drugs and other medications. All over the world, the use of magnetic fields has been accepted.

5 Best Homeopathic Medicines for Asthma

Homeopathy is a secure science that offers an everlasting therapy for asthma. Homeopathic medicines work splendidly nicely to remove asthma at the root. Those treatments activate the body’s own restorative processes, mainly strengthening its natural recuperation system to make it strong sufficient to combat the situation. In case asthma is allergic in origin, Homeopathic start by way of treating the hypersensitive reactions inflicting the asthma to completely uproot the disease. Homeopathic medicine treatments are herbal, safe and free from any adverse side effects. They may be prescribed to people of all age groups. Top listed Homeopathic medicines for asthma encompass Arsenic Album, Antimonium Tart, Spongia Tosta, Ipecac and Drosera Rotundifolia.

Homeopathic Medicine for Asthma

Arsenic Album

Arsenic Album is one of the best Homeopathic medicines for asthma. The signs and symptoms indicative of use Arsenic Album are suffocative cough, wheezing, and shortness of breath. That receives worse round midnight is likewise dealt with nicely with this medicine. Every other critical guiding feature for the use of Arsenic Album is bronchial asthma that alternatives with skin rash or eczema.

Spongia Tosta

Spongia Tosta is a help for asthma with dry cough. The cough in this situation can be deep, barking, hacking kind. The cough is attended with excessive dryness of all the air passages. Together with dry cough, whistling from the chest on inspiration in noted. Respiratory is likewise tough. In most instances, warm liquids deliver remedy from the cough.

Antimonium Tartaricum

Antimonium Tartaricum is an extremely good for asthma with immoderate, rattling cough. The cough is loose, rattling and the lungs experience complete of mucus. Mucus from the lungs is raised with lots trouble. Respiration is rapid and difficult. Excessive suffocation is located. The suffocation worsens on lying down, with a need to sit up.

Ipecac and Sambucus Nigra

Ipecac and Sambucus Nigra are tremendous for treating asthma in kids. Ipecac works well when there’s excessive cough with mucus rales in chest. The cough is observed by means of suffocation, shortness of breath and gasping for air. The kid may additionally emerge as blue and stiff all through the assault. Homeopathic medicine Sambucus Nigra is indicated for night time episodes in kids. A child in want of Sambucus Nigra wakes up abruptly at night time, with cough and suffocation.

Dulcamara and Natrum Sulphuricum

Dulcamara and Natrum Sulphuricum are very beneficial for asthma in damp weather. Amongst them, Dulcamara is the high quality prescription for loose, rattling asthmatic cough in damp weather where the person has to cough a long time to expel phlegm. Natrum Sulphuricum is the maximum beneficial Homeopathic medicinal medicine in which cough with thick, ropy, inexperienced phlegm is present. Natrum Sulphuricum also works properly in which the asthma worsens round 4 am and 5 am. Natrum Sulphuricum is also most of the top grade Homeopathic medicines for treating in kids.