Introduction to Asthma Therapy

Introduction to Asthma Therapy

Aim of therapy: Asthma cure?

Whenever an asthmatic patient consults a doctor he always wants to know whether asthma will be cured or not? Though symptoms of asthma can be cured for varying periods tendency of the disease continues in the body silently. Worldwide studies on the subject suggest the following patterns: 

  • Approximately one-third of the children complaining of asthma get a complete cure but the remaining two-third have to live with the disease in adulthood as well. 
  • Asthma cure in adulthood is less clearly understood, still, it has been suggested that much less proportion of patients get complete cure. However, there are many symptoms-free periods. 
  • It is not uncommon to see the patients having severe attacks for 4-5 years and then remain symptom-free for years, sometimes even for decades. But even such patients also have a tendency to have asthma if exposed to very high levels of dust mite and other strong trigger factors. When asthmatic patients shift from one town to another many become symptom-free for many years. The majority of patients have symptoms-free periods of 4-6 months when they do not require any medicine and become symptomatic during the period of August-September and February-March.  

The doctors of alternative medicine do claim a complete cure of all types of asthma but it has never been substantiated by any of their studies.

Why tendency of asthma persist in the body?

Asthma is an allergic disease. In order to understand the answer, you have to understand the nature of allergic diseases. Cold, urticaria, eczema, and asthma are caused by allergens and termed atopic diseases. Around 25% of people of the general population have a predetermined genetic tendency to have atopic diseases, called atopy. Atopy is inherited through genes and it is a body tendency since birth.

When an atopic person comes in contact with an adverse environment he may suffer from an allergic disease. Though 25% of the general population is atopic yet asthma or other atopic diseases develop only in half of the atopic subjects. The tendency of developing asthma is inherited through the atopy gene. Hence it depends on the genes of the parents. However, a number of patients develop asthma even without an obvious history of atopy in their long chain of family.

The majority of asthmatic patients have mild asthma and remain symptom-free even without drugs for months, provided trigger factors are tackled properly. The tendency of developing asthma can be reduced by proper care. Since the tendency to develop asthma is inherited through genes, it can not be lost altogether hence it would persist.   But you should not feel depressed because having asthma tendency in the body is not a serious problem. There are many people who have inherited asthmatic tendencies even without having asthma once in their life.

If not cure what are realistic goals?

Minimal goals of asthma therapy should be as follows,

Symptom-free lifestyle

You should not have asthmatic symptoms during work or rest. You should not feel cough, wheeze, or breathless during exertion or exercise.

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Normal lung functions

Morning and evening records of peak flow should be normal.

To achieve these goals following therapeutic modalities are adopted.

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