Exhaustive definition of asthma is still not there. However, most researchers recommend that highlight the main features of the disease, which describe the most important clinical and pathologic changes. We propose in this paper the following definition:
Asthma - a chronic inflammation of the airways, leading to their narrowing, as a consequence of changes in sensitivity and bronchial reactivity to several factors. The narrowing of the airways is reversible and is caused by a hereditary predisposition to allergic disease, extrapulmonary allergy symptoms, blood eosinophilia, and (or) sputum. Asthma manifests asthma, status asthmaticus, or symptoms of respiratory discomfort (paroxysmal cough, wheezing and shortness of breath distant).
This disease has been known since ancient times. The term "asthma" is derived from the Greek word for shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. The ancient Greeks considered sacred asthma disease caused by the gods.
In recent years, the disease is becoming more common. The disease occurs more and more difficult, more and more often require hospitalization. In Russia, the incidence of asthma is not less than 5-6% of the adult population.
The international medical community is making intensive efforts to develop common approaches to diagnosis and treatment of this pathology. Created recommendations of the European Respiratory Society, American Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
The main clinical manifestation of asthma, typical of this disease is choking. During an attack of bronchial smooth muscle spazmiruyutsya and tissues lining the airways swell from inflammation and produce excess mucus. The diameter of the airways is decreased (a condition called bronchospasm), and the person requires more effort to inhale and exhale.
Studies show that the disease is caused by many reasons. In bronchial asthma, the airways narrow in response to factors in the respiratory tract of healthy people are not affected. Narrowing can be caused by certain foods, pollen, house dust mites, animal dander, smoke, cold air and exercise, and various microorganisms and drugs.
As the severity of asthma are classified as mild, moderate and severe disease. The severity is determined by a physician on the basis of complex clinical and functional features, which include the frequency, severity and duration of attacks, as well as the condition of the patient during periods free from attacks.
Thus, when mild, the disease is usually characterized by the absence of classic developed attacks of breathlessness, symptoms observed at least 1-2 times a week and short-term. Night sleep of patients characterized by a revival of respiratory discomfort at least 1-2 times per month. In mezhsimptomny between the condition of patients is stable.
Bronchial asthma is characterized by the emergence of moderate flow developed attacks of breathlessness, often occurring 1-2 times per week. Attacks recur nocturnal asthma more than twice a month.
Bronchial asthma is characterized by frequent severe exacerbations of the disease, which constitute a danger for the life of the patient, persistent symptoms, frequent nocturnal symptoms, reduced physical activity, the presence of persistent symptoms in the interictal period.