Bronchial asthma | TO | 10 11 2022 | 4:05 p.m

Radio Doctor – Medicine and Health

New drugs and some unresolved issues

During an acute asthma attack, sufferers can no longer breathe – they feel suffocated. From personal experience, up to 10 percent of children and 5 percent of adults know this feeling of panic.

Many causes and triggers

According to the current state of knowledge, there is no “one” cause.
It is a multifactorial disease. If the parents also have this lung disease, the children’s risk increases greatly. Allergies play an important role. In addition, sufferers are hypersensitive to various stimuli, such as cold, physical stress, psychological factors and, above all, tobacco smoke.

Various shapes

There are two main forms of asthma: allergic and non-allergic. And then there are mixed forms.
The first usually begins in childhood, and the allergic symptoms of colds often appear at the same time.
In the non-allergenic variant, allergens play no role. Rather, it is triggered by viral infections of the respiratory tract, certain drugs, etc. This form usually occurs in adulthood and often has a severe course.

What happens in the airways?

Bronchial asthma is based on chronic inflammation of the airways.
As a result, the airways spasm and narrow and thick mucus forms: suffocation, shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing are typical.
The body’s immune system plays a fatal role in this. Because there are many immune cells in the mucosa and blood vessels of the respiratory tract, including mast cells, various white blood cells, and T cells. These defense cells and their messenger substances are key to the development of the disease.

Diagnosing children is not easy

The first symptoms can appear already in early childhood. In half of cases, regression may occur during puberty. The other 50 percent may develop a chronic form.
It is absolutely necessary to prevent this.
Although the symptoms are so clear, diagnosis in children under 5 is not at all simple. Because when they visit the pediatrician, the children are often fine. Seizures occur in stressful situations at other times. The new guidelines are intended to ensure that objective testing procedures are used in suspected cases of young children.

Asthma therapy

Unfortunately, chronic respiratory disease still cannot be cured – but it can be well treated with medication. The goal is for affected children and adults to be largely symptom-free and as physically fit as possible.
Medicines with anti-inflammatory and bronchodilating effects are available.
There is a graduated plan depending on the severity of the disease. If necessary, cortisone preparations in the form of asthma sprays are also prescribed

New Hope

Antibodies are a new therapeutic strategy. They block substances responsible for the body’s defenses at various points in the inflammatory cascade. And there are tests that—done before treatment—will show which of the new antibodies might work best.
The range of therapeutic strategies has thus expanded.

Unresolved “Legacy Issues”

The first major problem is that too many sufferers are still being treated with cortisone tablets – and when taken long term, they have unacceptable side effects.
Second, there are too few pediatricians and pulmonologists in Austria who specialize in asthma.

This time inform Univ.-Prof. Dr Manfred Götz and his guests about new asthma drugs and what you should look out for so that you or your children get the best possible treatment.

Broadcasting from Dr. Christopher Leprich
Editing: Lydia Sprinzl, MA

Have your say too! We look forward to your questions and suggestions. Our number: 0800/22 69 79, free from anywhere in Austria.

Do you or your children suffer from asthma?
Was the disease detected early?
Which therapies have helped you or your children?
Are you well taken care of?
Have you gained experience with new antibody therapies yourself?


View guests:

Primaria Angela Zacharasiewicz
Specialist in pediatrics and youth medicine
head of the Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine at the Ottakring Clinic
Montleartstraße 37
1160 Vienna
Tel.: +43/1/491 50 -0
By email
Home page

Prim. Univ.-Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Pohl
Specialist in pulmonology
Althietzing Health Center
Kuppelwiesergasse 15/5
1130 Vienna
By email
Home page

Other contact points and information links:

Austrian Lung Association
Asthma Support Group
Austrian Society for Pneumology
Asthma in children and adolescents
basics of disease
Asthma treatment options
New antibodies at a glance
pollen warning service

Book tip:

respiratory diseases
Prof. Dr. Rainer Dierkesmann, Sonja Kaiser
Trias publishing house
ISBN-10 3432114575
ISBN-13 978-3432114576


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