Asthma Management: New Developments – Nurse Practitioner
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects over 339 million individuals worldwide. Characterized by variable airflow limitation and bronchial hyperresponsiveness, symptoms include wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and/or cough. Asthma symptoms are episodic in nature, often worse at night or in the early morning, and can be triggered by factors such as exercise, airborne allergens, pollution, cigarette smoking, weather changes (eg, very cold, low humidity), and viral upper respiratory infections. To diagnose asthma, patients must have a history of variable respiratory symptoms, as well as limited expiratory airflow that has been confirmed with spirometry. The long-term goals of asthma management are to achieve good symptom control that enables patients to maintain normal activity levels, to minimize persistent airflow limitation, side effects from treatment, and asthma-related exacerbations, and to prevent asthma-related death...