Brittle Asthma Symptoms and Treatment

Brittle AsthmaLess than an estimated .05% of asthma sufferers are plagued with brittle asthma, a severe and often times difficult to treat sub type of the breathing disorder. This serious illness is made up of yet two different types, (type 1 and type 2). Type one is indicated by constant, daily, severe symptoms, while type 2 is manifested as sudden and severe, life threatening attacks in people who normally have well controlled asthma. Only your doctor can tell you if you have brittle asthma, but if you are finding that your normal asthma attack treatment is not working, or if your symptoms are worsening even with an increase in medication, it might be worth considering a consultation with your doctor.

The symptoms of brittle asthma are similar to the expected symptoms associated with the disease, although abundantly more severe. Wheezing, shortness of breath, and a tightening sensation in the chest are the most commonly reported. In people with Type 1, these severe symptoms are consistent and often daily occurrences. Even with the maximum amount of medication given, many sufferers still have frequent attacks. In Type 2, because of the unpredictability of the potentially life threatening attacks, some victims carry medical alert devices and epinephrine injectors.

There are no natural remedies for asthma that will work on this more severe form, and asthma medications over the counter will do little to relieve the symptoms of brittle asthma. In fact, the typical asthma attack treatment for Type 1 sufferers is often massive amounts of corticosteroids, along with injections of beta agonist. For type 2, the treatment is often little besides avoiding triggers and allergens and normal asthma care. The critical care for Type 2 lies in the “during” and “after attack” stages, where traditional asthma attack treatment is often not enough.

If you think that your asthma is not being well controlled or more severe than it should be, talk to your doctor. He or she will likely discuss your medications and make changes to better suit your body and environment, while also discussing trigger avoidance and proactivity with you. Remember, brittle asthma is extremely rare, and likely if you are concerned about the severity of your circumstances, your doctor will be able to change your treatment plan to better manage your condition.