Asthma and Step Wise Approach
Long-term control and quick-relief treatment options for asthma patient and the impact these drugs
Asthma is a long-term disease whose cure is unknown. However, there are treatment options whose goal is to control the disease. Among these treatments are quick a relief and long-term treatment options that may include long-acting bronchodilators that enhance the breathing system through opening the airways and relaxing muscles that tighten up when one has asthma. Another long-term control medication is inhaled anti-inflammatory drugs, which prevent or reduce the swelling of the airways. Ideally, the purpose of these medications is to prevent and also reduce swelling in the airways that can prompt asthma attacks (EPR, 2011, p. 3). Markedly, these long-term options can be recommended for persons who usually experience asthma symptoms mostly at night or many times in one month.
The most common control methods for asthma include inhaled nedocromil and cromolyn, inhaled corticosteroids, leukotriene modifier, sustained-release theophylline, and inhaled long-acting beta 2 agonists. Although these medications are highly effective, studies show that inhaled corticosteroids can have an adverse effect on some people, especially children. For instance, the rate of growth in children can slightly reduce by once centimeter a year.
The stepwise approach to asthma treatment and management
The stepwise approach to managing asthma follows a systematic and significant method. The first step consists of a SABA prn. Markedly, SABA is the only treatment that is necessary for patients who only have intermittent symptoms. However, for patients with mild persistent asthma, they should consider taking a low-dose SABA prn, and ICS daily. Alternative therapy is listed at every level of therapy. However, this therapy is only used on occasions when the patient is not able to tolerate the suggested therapy. It is vital to consider that the treatment of choice is ICS. The evidence typically favors ICS over other medications. During the 3rd and the 4th step, either a LABA is added, the ICS dose is increased, or both are used. The ICS dose increases at step 5, and 6 and omalizumab are considered. Chronic oral corticosteroids are considered at step 6 (Mortimer, 2008, p. 2). Although the medications used at every step are significant, they only represent a section of the plan. The patient has to receive the right education about asthma at every step. How to manage comorbidities and steps in environmental control are some of the lessons a patient must learn about asthma. Additionally, if a patient requires step 2, 3 and 4, subcutaneous allergen immunotherapy must be considered. Markedly, this is highly recommended for patients with allergic asthma.
How the stepwise management assists health care providers and patients in gaining and maintaining control of asthma
The stepwise approach to asthma treatment and management assist both the patients and the health care providers. Firstly, the stepwise approach assists the doctor’s decision making that is paramount in meeting the needs of the individual. Secondly, it helps the physician to make informed decisions based on the condition and the severity of the disease. On the other hand, it enables the patient and the health care provider to gain and maintain control. Most importantly, the patient is a good position to know exactly the right and most effective medications to use at each stage (Smith, 2005, p. 10). Also, the patient can lead an active and normal life where they can engage in activities without the fear of the condition interfering.
EPR, M. (2011). Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of asthma.
Mortimer, K., Neugebauer, R., Lurmann, F., Alcorn, S., Balmes, J., & Tager, I. (2008). Air pollution and pulmonary function in asthmatic children: effects of prenatal and lifetime exposures. Epidemiology, 19(4), 550-557.
Smith, A. D., Cowan, J. O., Brassett, K. P., Herbison, G. P., & Taylor, D. R. (2005). Use of exhaled nitric oxide measurements to guide treatment in chronic asthma. New England Journal of Medicine, 352(21), 2163-2173.