What is Refractory (Non-Reversible) Asthma?

Asthma is a heterogeneous disease or an inflammatory disorder of the airway related to the airflow impediment and bronchial hyper-responsiveness which ranges in severity across the continuum of the diseases.

Most of the patients with asthma are diagnosed easily and are provided with standard and effective treatment for control of symptoms with long term therapy for the control of airway inflammation.

However the things are not as easy for patients suffering from severe refractory eosinophilic asthma.

Wondering what is refractory asthma and how it can be controlled? Read on…

Refractory Asthma Definition

Basically, the term refractory asthma is referred to those group of patients who suffer from problems which are difficult to control.

Brittle asthma, irreversible asthma or poorly controlled asthma are additional names which are given to these types of asthma problems.

Patients are considered to suffer from refractory asthma (stubborn, severe or unmanageable) when they feel or experience certain importunate signs and symptoms like frequent asthma attacks, chest tightness, sputum production, cough mainly at night (or in the morning hours), feeling breathlessness and low lung functioning.

Here, adequate control cannot be achieved in a considerable ratio through the application of possible treatment options as it involves severe constriction and inflammation of the airways, making it much difficult to breathe.

The rate of Refractory Asthma increases when the communities adopt the western style and get urbanized. Here, in spite of the extensive re-evaluation of the diagnosis and the management over an observation period of nearly 6 months patients find it difficult to control their severe asthma symptoms.

The worse thing being, even with regular asthma medications they did not seem to get the relief. Few of the refractory asthma patients in this case need to take the oral steroids like prednisone in order to manage the attack of asthma.

Diagnosis

Most of the test for Refractory asthma involves the assessment of a person’s capacity to inhale and exhale the air under changing conditions.

A bronchoscopy presents more direct examination of the lungs during which a physician or a specialist inserts a stretchy and a small tube into the nasal passage and threads it into the airways safely.

The bronchoscope has a small camera to present visual inspection of the airways. In such condition, fluid can be gathered from the airways and a biopsy can regain small samples of the lung tissue. The method is performed with a patient under light sedation.

Refractory Asthma Treatment

While normal anti-inflammatory treatment with inhaled corticosteroids supports and helps numerous asthma patients, there are certain numbers of patients who require more modified diagnosis with treatment.

Patients with this sort of non-reversible asthma require a systematic and rigorous approach to the treatment. In order to control it, treatment with oral corticosteroids and high dose inhaled corticosteroids are required.

Fortunately, comprehensive individual education is also now available and have been provided which encourages asthma management skills for early identification and treatment.

This helps to reduce the emergency attacks and visits to the hospitals regularly for the patients.

The refractory period after asthma (such as exercise-induced asthma) can vary in individuals with different immunity and severity.

While following the above treatment guidelines can help, leading a healthy and organic is mostly recommended for avoiding the severe conditions.

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