What is asthma?
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by reversible narrowing of the airways. In asthma there is a variable airway stenosis. Asthma is characterized by symptoms such as wheezing, shortness of breath, cough, and chest tightness.
What is an asthma attack?
Patients with asthma have periods of worsening called asthma attacks. In such cases, airway stenosis is greatly increased. Sometimes severe asthma attacks can result in death. In particular, regular use of inhaled steroids can prevent asthma-related worsening and death. Frequent and prolonged use of salbutamol (without inhaled steroids), known as the rescue medicine, may pose a risk for severe and fatal asthma attacks.
How is asthma diagnosed?
The patient’s complaints and history are very important in the diagnosis of asthma. After excluding diseases with asthma-like symptoms, asthma can be diagnosed in patients with asthma-specific symptoms, detailed history and physical examination compatible with asthma (if respiratory function test results also support asthma).
Is there a cure for asthma?
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease and there is currently no known cure. In other words, asthma cannot be completely eliminated in a patient with drugs or other treatment methods. Asthma is a disease that can be controlled mainly with inhaled steroids and bronchodilators. Asthmatic patients should avoid factors that initiate the symptoms of asthma. Asthma medications prevent symptoms from occurring and relieve symptoms if they occur. If asthma attacks occur, the attacks should be treated quickly. The conditions of patients whose diseases cannot be fully controlled despite medications and precautions should be evaluated in detail. In such patients, the diagnosis may be reviewed and additional treatment modalities may be required.