Fatal Wheezes: New Treatments for Asthma

What Happens With Asthma? 

Asthma happens as a result of the inflammation of the airways due to exposure to an allergen (dust, pollen, and animal dander), chemical or stress. Once these substances are inhaled, the airways react to them and become inflammed. When the airways are inflammed, air cannot easily pass through the airway into the lungs; this makes breathing difficult and labored a hallmark sign of asthma.  Not only that, exposure to the said substances also causes the airways to produce excessive mucus, this mucus then obstructs the airway, again making breathing difficult.

Conventional Treatment for Asthma

Before we try to find out the new treatments for asthma, let us first have a brief overview of its conventional treatment. Treatment for asthma primarily involves the use of therapeutic drugs to alleviate the symptom and measures to decrease exposure to the allergen. The latter would be quite difficult to pursue, as allergens are present everywhere and eradicating them from the environment would be quite impossible. And so management for asthma also employs the use of drugs such as bronchodilators and corticosteroids to manage the symptoms. Bronchodilators such as albuterol and salmeterol widens or dilates the diameter of the inflammed airway, corticosteroids on the other hand act on the inflammation by decreasing it. Since asthma is a chronic disease the combination of these two drugs are essential, bronchodilators relieve constriction of the airway in cases of asthma attacks and corticosteroids maintain a patent airway by controlling the inflammation, use of these drugs (especially long term use) can bring about certain side effects. Which brings us to explore the new treatments for asthma.

New Treatments for Asthma

Gradual desensitization – Conventional treatment for asthma dictates the person to avoid exposure to allergens, gradual desensitization suggests the opposite. In this treatment modality, the person is gradually exposed to the allergen. By gradually exposing the person to the allergen, the body is allowed to adjust, cope and build the necessary mechanisms to withstand the allergen.

Antileukotriene treatment – This type of treatment is well suited for asthmatic children, aside from corticosteroid treatment, antileukotriene treatment is seen as an effective treatment of asthma for children in the future, although studies are still ongoing about the treatment, the results are seen to be promising. With this type of treatment, children with asthma may be given the possibility to live the adult life asthma free.

Heliox Treatment – A combination of Helium and Oxygen treatment, since asthmatic patients experience difficulty of breathing, a supply of oxygen is given; however combining this with Helium makes the air less dense thereby decreasing airway resistance. This means oxygen flows more easily and freely into the airway. Heliox treatment is seen to decrease labored breathing, delay muscle fatigue during attacks, and also decreases pulsus paradoxus (seen in patients with acute severe attacks).

New treatments for asthma prove to have promising results, and in the future may provide the cure for the world’s most common chronic inflammatory disease.

The Best Treatment For Asthma

Asthma is a very common illness affecting the young and old.  It is thought that up to 7% of people are suffering from asthma, and that has increased as society has become more modern and cleaner.  That is not to say that being clean is a bad thing – the most common factor behind asthma is genetics.  If there is a family history of asthma or hayfever, or eczema, asthma becomes more likely.  Once you have asthma there are many treatments depending on the severity.  The best treatment for asthma that you can do is change your lifestyle.

Lifestyle changes in asthma

The most important change you can do in asthma is to stop smoking, or if you are around smoke to stay away.  Smoking will reduce your lung capacity and increase the amount of mucous that you produce.  Smoke also contains many chemicals that can cause our airways to constrict.  If exposed for a long time then the airways can constrict permanently and the inflammation can turn into scar tissue which is not reversible.  If you are smoking, and you have asthma it is a time that you should consider seeing a specialist on how to stop.  If you are considering the best treatment for asthma, you should also think about doing more exercise and improving your lung capacity through sports, yoga, or going to the gym, or going for walks.  Anything you can do to improve your fitness will improve your lung capacity.

Medication changes in asthma

Many people think that the bronchodilator medication is the best treatment for asthma.  When asthmatics take the puffer it will instantly dilate the airways making breathing easier.  However it does not effect the long term results in asthma, and only effects the symptoms – that is the way you feel for that instant.  The best long term treatment for asthma are steroid based inhalers.  They do not contain enough steroid to cause any of the side effects, but enough is absorbed by the lungs to bring down the amount of inflammation and reduce mucous production.  Taking a steroid inhaler if recommended by your doctor is the best treatment for asthma in the long term.

Alternative medications in asthma

There are medications which can improve asthma by breaking down the mucous.  These mucolytics are not thought to be terribly effective in the long run, and make very little difference in clinical studies.  Asthmatics should also receive a influenza vaccination which will prevent them from getting as many colds and coughs as well as influenza which can be very serious.  Some serious attacks of asthma can be improved by taking steroid tablets prescribed by your doctor, or by using a nebuliser.  A nebuliser can deliver medication more efficiently to the lungs so you can take them up and can be the best treatment for asthma in an emergency.  Steroid tablets can dampen down an attack over a few hours to days, but are not suitable for long terms use.  Ultimately you should discuss with your doctor the best asthma treatment for you.

Are Cold Sores Contagious

Cold sores are mouth or lip infections coming from the herpes simplex virus type 1. Small blisters appear on the infected areas and are quite painful. It is very common and has no known cure at this time. A lot of people wonder, are cold sores contagious? We see it around us all the time, and we often hear people complain about the pain they are going through. To understand the nature of a cold sore, it is necessary to know how it starts, how to prevent it, how to treat it, and how to avoid contamination.

Upon original infection, the virus lies dormant and may not necessarily manifest itself immediately. It could remain latent for years, but it is just waiting for a trigger to be activated. The most common reasons for setting it in motion are anxiety, stress, exposure to the sun or a simple cold. If this virus has previously infected you, it would be necessary to keep your immune system strong to keep it at bay. Stress is something that should be avoided, and avoid activities that may lead to anxiety. Know your personal limits and make sure that you don’t put yourself in a high pressure or a no-win situation. Sun exposure may be avoided by using products with sun protection. Avoid going to the beach, or at least don’t stay under direct sunlight especially at noontime.

To address the question “are cold sores contagious?” it is important to note that it may vary during the different levels or stages. During the prodome stage, the virus is not too contagious. You will just notice the start of soreness, swelling and reddening of you lips. This stage is characterized by a tingling sensation that accompanies the tautness. Dryness of the mouth also occurs. During the inflammation stage the virus begins to surface and has started winning against your body’s immunity system. There is a lot more swelling and redness at this point, and your cells have been basically taken over by the virus. The next level would be the appearance of small vesicles, or small blisters that are grouped together. The pain intensifies a little more at this point.

The open sore stage is the most painful and the most contagious stage. The tiny vesicles run open at this time, and combine to create one open sore. Going back to the question, are cold sores contagious? The rapture results to weeping fluid, which has an abundance of new viruses waiting to spread out. This is the most contagious stage there is, and it would be wise not to engage in activities that would cause contamination to others.

The suffering continues until the crusting stage, when scabs start to appear. The healing process begins at this point but it would still be best to avoid direct contact with other people. The scabs easily crack when dried, and simple gestures like smiling or talking may be a bit painful. The final stage is the healing stage, and at this point the virus retreats and will remain dormant. It will wait for the next activation trigger.

The loved ones or friends of the sick person are usually the ones who ask the question “are cold sores contagious?” The bad news, obviously, is that is. The good news is that there are multiple preventive measures that can be taken to avoid contracting the disease. For starters, exchange of saliva needs to be avoided at all costs. Kissing is not allowed, and so is sharing personal items such as toothbrushes and drinking glasses. When sharing a dish at dinner, always use a serving spoon and never double dip. It is also important to remember to always wash or disinfect, particularly after application of ointments or remedies. Finally, the virus may be avoided by having a good immunity system. Always make sure to stay healthy, stay clean and drink lots of Vitamin C – also check out these cold sore home remedies.

In summary, the answer to the old age question “are cold sores contagious?” is quite simple. Simpler still are the various ways in which you can keep this virus at bay. Learning the nature of the herpes simplex virus is winning half the battle, and the rest remains up to you.

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