Asthma Treatment
Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Asthma is the most common chronic disease in children and is the number one cause for children being admitted to the hospital. In todayís 60 Second Housecall, Dr. Edward Hill discusses primary treatment strategies to contain this potentially deadly disease.

Asthma is a long-term disease that canít be cured. The goal of asthma treatment is to control the disease. Good asthma control will:

* Prevent chronic and troublesome symptoms such as coughing and shortness of breath

* Help you maintain good lung function

* Let you maintain your normal activity levels and sleep through the night

* Prevent asthma attacks

There are two primary treatments for asthma, medications for the chronic inflammation and medications to treat the acute attacks.

For chronic inflammation in the bronchial tubes, people with asthma use steroids, either oral or inhaled, cromolym sodium, or a class of medications called leukotriene modifiers. The daily use of these medications helps prevent asthma attacks.

For acute attacks, inhaled bronchodilators, methylxanthines, or anticholinergics are used.  These medications relax bronchial smooth muscles and improve airflow.  For asthmatics with allergies, desensitization shots may be helpful.

 It is critical that patients with asthma avoid asthma triggers, especially smoke.   Secondhand smoke worsens the chronic inflammation in the bronchial tubes.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Iím Dr. Edward Hill.