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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Things asthmatics can be thankful for

The following post was originally published at on 11/14/11

"10 Things We Asthmatics Should Be Thankful For."

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, here's a list of things we asthmatics ought to be thankful for:

1.  Hippocrates recognizing asthma as a medical condition around 400 B.C.
2.  Seneca describing what it was like to live with asthma at the time of Jesus.
3.  The invention of the stethescope in 1816, and the invention of all the other tests that have made it possible to diagnose this disease.
4.  The invention of epinepherine in 1901 that provided the first opportunity for asthmatics to get instant relief from an asthma attack.
5.  The invention of the first effective electric nebulizer in the 1930s that made it possible for asthmatics to take breathing treatments at home.  The first medicine used was liquid epinepherine.
6.  The invention of the metered dose inhaler (the rescue inhaler) in the early 1950s that made it possible for asthmatics to carry their asthma rescue medicine with them at all times.
7.  The invention of Albuterol in the early 1980s that made it possible for asthmatics to have access to a rescue medicine that provided relief without all the undesired side effects of older rescue medicines.  Albuterol has become the most popular asthma medicine of all time.  Chances are you have one close by like I do.
8.  The invention of inhaled corticosteroids in 1900, and the discovery of prednisone in 1955.  Prednisone was found to be a very effective medicine to treat an acute asthma attack.  Later it was learned it reduced inflammation in asthmatic lungs, thus making breathing easier.
9.  The discovery that asthma was a disease of chronic inflammation in the late 1990s, and that a small amount of corticosteroids in your lungs at all times was a safe and effective way of treating this inflammation and controlling and preventing asthma.  Daily inhaled corticosteroids are now a top line therapy to prevent and control asthma.
10.  The creation of asthma guidelines in the late 1990s that made sure all doctors were aware of the latest asthma wisdom, and were all on the same page in treating their asthma patients.  
Asthmatics in the year 2011 have it better than asthmatics at any other time in history, and for this we ought to be thankful.  

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