Asthma: How To Avoid Complications.

Asthma is caused by an inflammation of the bronchi that causes mucus generation and a muscle reaction that leads to bronchoconstriction. That is, the bronchi are obstructed for the passage of air. It is a genetic disease that has no cure, and crises are triggered by external factors, allergens such as dust mites, dust, mold, pollen, infections by viruses, and bacteria, among other factors that vary from one person to another. The cold and dry climate also facilitates the appearance of more severe crises.

Since there is no cure, the secret of the disease is to maintain control. There are several medications for asthma, and the choice of the best treatment depends on each patient. There are relief medications when attacks are sporadic and mild, and others for when attacks are more severe or asthma is more persistent. According to Dr. Fátima Fernandes, allergist and immunologist at Sabará Hospital Infantil, the patient must make periodic visits to his doctor.

“Often, patients only treat crises and do not value those symptoms between crises that are indicative of persistent inflammation in the lungs, such as tiredness from exercise, nocturnal awakenings with coughing or shortness of breath, and intermittent wheezing attacks. When the patient has these symptoms, it indicates that the asthma is not under control and should seek a specialist”, explains the doctor.

The conduct depends on the patient. In general, in crises, treatment is started with inhaled bronchodilators, the famous pumps. If the pump does not respond properly, the patient should seek immediate medical assistance. “If crises are frequent, patients will be advised to use anti-inflammatory drugs, inhaled corticosteroids, so that they are less frequent and less intense”, explains Dr. Fátima. She also points out that there are innovative treatments for patients with more severe asthma immunobiological.

 

Here are some tips to avoid crises:

 

  • Maintain adherence to the treatment proposed by the specialist physician;
  • Avoid closed, poorly sunny, and unventilated environments;
  • Air the house;
  • Wash bed linen frequently and reinforce care with house cleaning;
  • Avoid exposure to cigarette smoke, dust, and other factors identified as triggering crises;
  • Exercise regularly and in a controlled manner.

 

Recognizing the crisis

In general, the symptoms are dry cough, wheezing in the chest (wheezing), difficulty expelling the air we inhale, shortness of breath, wheezing, and symptoms that culminate in altered blood oxygenation be visible through purplish lips and fingers purplish, in some severe cases. In crises, if there is no immediate improvement, the patient must seek medical assistance.

“Adequate treatment is the mainstay that allows asthma control and prevents severe attacks. The treatment must be personalized according to the patient’s severity”, emphasizes the doctor.

With the end of winter and the arrival of spring, the season begins for seasonal illnesses such as allergic rhinitis, asthma, allergic conjunctivitis, and chickenpox.

Allergies, in general, get worse with seasonal changes because of climatic changes such as low relative humidity, temperature variation, and pollution levels. “In the spring, we can have the impact of particles, such as pollen from grasses and trees, dispersed in the air, worsening respiratory allergies”, explains Dr. Fátima Rodrigues Fernandes, coordinator of the Department of Allergy and Immunology at Sabará Hospital Infantil. The main way to prevent, in these cases, is to leave the environments clean, ventilated, free from mites and dust. Avoiding exposure to plants in the process of pollination can also help.

 

Asthma

At this time, the pollen of flowers and grasses is carried by the wind and can act as an allergen in asthma attacks.

Asthma is a chronic disease that has no cure. The bronchi are inflamed, especially when they come into contact with a triggering factor (dust, pollens, mites, pollution, cigarette smoke, cold air, or exercise), making breathing difficult.

Symptoms

  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing or chest tightness
  • Cough

Treatment

Treatment is patient-dependent, usually involving bronchodilators and the use of inhaled corticosteroids to improve bronchial inflammation. Today there are drugs called immunobiological for the most serious cases.

Prevention

  • Avoid closed, poorly sunny, and unventilated environments;
  • Air the house;
  • Wash bed linen frequently and reinforce care with house cleaning;
  • Avoid exposure to cigarette smoke, dust, and other factors identified as triggering crises;
  • Keep vaccinations up to date;
  • Exercise regularly and in a controlled manner.

 

Allergic rhinitis

The illness looks like a cold, with the difference that the patient experiences an itchy nose, eyes, or throat, and the symptoms are more persistent than a common cold. It is the most common allergy in children, affecting about 30% of them. Allergic rhinitis is triggered by factors such as animal mites, pollens, and dandruff (epithelium). Climatic variation, pollution, and dry weather worsen the symptoms.

Normally, a child with rhinitis is genetically predisposed: if one of the parents is allergic, the child has a 30% chance of being allergic. If both parents were allergic, the child has an 80% chance of being.

Symptoms

  • coryza
  • sneeze
  • Itchy nose, eyes, or throat

Treatment

Treatment depends on the symptoms: whether they happen only in attacks or whether they are quite frequent. To treat seizures, antihistamines are used. In more persistent cases, it is necessary to treat with nasal steroids continuously. But these medications will depend on the child’s age. As a preventive measure, nasal lavage with the saline solution should be performed.

Prevention

  • Remove objects that accumulate dust from the environment, such as stuffed animals;
  • Vacuum the mattress or use a waterproof cover;
  • Do not use a feather pillow (animal origin);
  • Do not sanitize the environment with strong-smelling products;
  • Use a vacuum cleaner with a suitable filter or damp cloth instead of sweeping the house (which raises the dust);
  • Do nasal wash daily;
  • Do not leave the animal in the allergic child’s room;
  • Ventilate rooms by opening windows.

 

Allergic conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is inflammation of the membrane covering the eye. It can happen for various reasons, such as a viral, bacterial infection, chemical irritation, or even an allergic reaction. Allergic conjunctivitis can be triggered by dust, mites, animal dandruff, and pollens, often in spring. It is often related to allergic rhinitis. Unlike viral and bacterial conjunctivitis, allergic is not transmissible.

Symptoms

  • Itch
  • Red eyes
  • tearing
  • puffy eyes
  • light sensitivity

Treatment

It is usually done by eye drops, but it is very important to consult a specialist to correct the type of conjunctivitis.

Prevention

  • Avoid strong-smelling cleaning products;
  • Cover pillows and mattresses with waterproof fabrics;
  • Change bedding frequently;
  • Do not leave animals in the allergic child’s room;
  • Avoid smoking near the child or where they are staying.

 

Chickenpox

It is not known exactly why chickenpox (or chickenpox) occurs more frequently in spring. Unlike the diseases mentioned above, this one is not allergic, and it is caused by a virus (Varicella-Zoster) and is very contagious. The risk of transmitting chickenpox only ends when all skin lesions are in the crust stage.

Symptoms

  • Small blisters and red rashes on the skin
  • Itch
  • High fever

Treatment

The treatment of chickenpox is based on medical recommendations that alleviate symptoms during the disease cycle, such as antipyretics and analgesics. Parents must follow the pediatrician’s instructions and among them is the restriction on the use of acetylsalicylic acid (ASA).

It is recommended to avoid scratching and peeling off the scabs. To relieve itchiness, cold water compresses and cold baths help.

Prevention

The best way to prevent the disease is to get a vaccine against the virus. The chickenpox vaccine is part of the national immunization calendar and, therefore, is available in the public network for all children from 1 year of age. 

The unvaccinated child who has had contact with another child with chickenpox or is suspected of having the disease should not go to school, shopping malls, and parks to avoid further contagion, as the disease begins to be transmitted two days before the onset of the first symptoms. It is very important to avoid contact of the chickenpox patient with people who have an immunity problem.

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