Asthma is a disease of the airways that sometimes makes it difficult to breathe. The cause is chronic inflammation in the mucous membranes of the trachea, which causes the mucous membranes to swell and it becomes difficult for air to get to and from the lungs. The mucous membrane in the trachea also becomes extra sensitive due to the inflammation. During an asthma attack, several things happen simultaneously in the airways. The mucous membrane swells, the musculature around the trachea contracts and tough mucus forms which can clog the small trachea leading to the lungs.
Asthma often causes symptoms such as attacks of shortness of breath, a wheezing and wheezing sound when breathing, prolonged coughing during colds, prolonged, often nocturnal, unexplained coughing and heavy breathing and coughing during physical exertion. The problems come in periods, in between you can feel completely healthy.
Asthma can be divided into two types, non-allergic and allergic asthma. In adults, non-allergic asthma is most common, while allergic asthma is most common in children.
Non-allergic asthma: cold air, strong smells and smoke are examples of things that can cause asthma symptoms. Also, for example, stress, physical exertion and respiratory infections can cause you to have more asthma symptoms.
Allergic asthma: you who have allergic asthma can get asthma symptoms if you come into contact with what you are allergic to. It could be, for example, pollen, fur animals, mites or other allergenic substances.
In asthma, lung function is examined, usually by spirometry and/or a PEF measurement. The treatment is often drug-based, for example a combination of cortisone and bronchodilator drugs through inhalers. An important part of the treatment to control asthma is also that the patient learns more about the disease and the effect of the drugs.
Remote patient monitoring in asthma
Remote patient monitoring is good for you who have asthma because you can measure your lung function and answer questions about your asthma symptoms wherever and whenever it suits you.
You get access to a Bluetooth-connected spirometer that you pair with an app that records your lung function values. You may also answer questions about your symptoms in a validated and scored questionnaire called the ACT. The scores on the questions are added up to give a total score. The total score indicates whether your asthma is controlled or uncontrolled. The values are automatically entered into the app and sent to your caregiver. You and your caregiver can both see how the values have changed over time through graphs and tables. If your values get worse, your caregiver will be notified of this and can contact you for possible measures. By detecting deteriorating values in time, it is easier to keep your asthma under control.