Therapy and Management | Management | Prevention

Approaching asthma prevention on different levels

Although asthma symptoms can be well controlled with appropriate pharmacological therapy every effort must be undertaken to prevent development and worsening of this chronic incurable disease.

Primary prevention is introduced to prevent the onset of disease in individuals at risk. Allergic sensitisation, which can occur pre- or postnatally, seems to be the most common precursor in the development of asthma. Yet little evidence has been established concerning particular interventions. However it is generally accepted, that prenatal maternal smoking increases the risk of respiratory diseases during infancy and childhood.

After sensitisation has developed secondary preventive measures aim at preventing the establishment of chronic persistent disease. Recent focus lies on interventions during the first two years of life. Like in primary prevention studies on particular measures have to be confirmed before recommended.

Tertiary prevention aims at avoiding the exposure of susceptible individuals to particular allergens after asthma is established. Although histopathological evidence suggests that disease is fully established by the time asthma symptoms occur avoidance of identified allergens is essential for the prevention of acute exacerbations and emergency situations. Additionally patients with moderate to severe asthma should be advised to have an influenza vaccination every year.


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Primary, secondary, and tertiary measures of prevention

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