The control of asthma in both adults and children has proven to be a challenge owing to the intricacy involved in the management of the disease. According to the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA 1), the term refers to a clinical syndrome of “intermittent respiratory symptoms triggered by viral upper respiratory infections, environmental allergens or other stimuli and is characterized by nonspecific bronchial hyperesponsiveness and airways inflammation.” The severity of the disease is measured based on an individual’s lung function (FEV1), the number of times a patient uses a bronchodilator, and the symptoms a patient portrays at night (GINA 1).
The pathophysiology of Asthma includes bronchoconstriction which is the first step; refers to the narrowing of the airway as an immediate response to exposure stimuli such as allergens, aerosols or irritants. Allergen-induced acute bronchoconstriction occurs when an IgE-dependent initiate the release of mediators from mast cells including histamine, tryptase, leukotrienes, and prostaglandins which cause the contraction of airway smooth muscle (Busse and Lemanske 363). Other stimuli include cold air, irritants and exercise. Also, stress may be an exacerbating factor to an asthma attack. The next step of the disease involves the inflammation and oedema of the airway as an attack further progresses. The other changes that take place include hyper secretion of mucus, formation of “inspissated mucus plugs”, hypertrophy and hyperplasia of the smooth muscle of the airway. An attack may also be characterized by airway hyperresponsiveness which is a severe response of bronchoconstriction as a response to multiple stimuli. In very severe cases, airway remodelling may occur leading to progressive lung function loss. Airway remodelling occurs when there is activation of multiple structural cells which cause permanent changes that eventually render a patient non-responsive to therapy (Holgate and Polsa 785).
Asthma is a common problem in many health institutions and has afflicted many individuals on a global scale. The result is high costs of treating the disease, worsening of the condition and excessive cases of hospital admission. There are several factors that might be related to this situation including the inaccurate utilization of the inhalers that are used to administer drugs such as β-antagonists, corticosteroids, and anticholinergics. However, studies in the medical field depict that there the patients as well as caregivers may not adequately know how to administer the drugs using the inhalers. There is therefore need to establish whether patients are aware how to utilize inhalers.
Various literatures note that emergency departments in hospitals are always filled with asthmatic patients; a situation which is associated with substantial costs of treatment Adams et al. (566) Lenney et al. (496) posit that inefficient use of inhaler or poor technique results in poor delivery of the drug being delivered, a...