Prevention and long-term control are primal in stopping asthma attacks before they start. The medications depend on a number of things- age, symptoms, asthma triggers and what seems to work best to keep asthma under control.
The preventive, long-term control medications reduce the inflammation in the airways that leads to the symptoms. The quick-relief inhalers can quickly open swollen airways that are limiting breathing and in some other cases, allergy medications are necessary. The long-term asthma control medications has to be taken daily and are the cornerstone of asthma treatment. These medications can keep asthma under control on a day-to-day basis and make it less likely to have an asthma attack.
The asthma medications include preventers, relievers, symptom controllers, and steroid tablets.
The preventers are the most important medications as they treat the inflammation inside the airways, and reduce the likelihood of an asthma attack. The preventive medicines should be taken every day, even if there are no symptoms. The preventers make sure that the airways stay clear and prevent redness, mucus as well as swelling. It is important to take preventive medicines even when the symptoms are not there, otherwise the lungs will be weaker and more vulnerable to an asthma attack.
The relievers act quickly and bring short term relief to asthma. But one should see the doctor if the reliever usage is more than 3 to 4 times a week, as this indicates that the asthma is not under control.
The symptom controllers are long acting relievers that helps to keep the airway muscle relaxed, and lasts for 12 hours. Symptom controllers do not replace preventers, rather used in addition to the preventer inhaler. People who wake with asthma at night or who have difficulty when exercising should take the symptom controller medicines. They are not advisable to use in-case of emergency.
The combination inhalers have the attributes of both preventer and symptom controller medicines and should be taken regularly.
The steroid tablets are used in severe occurrences of asthma and they work slowly over several hours to cure the swelling of the airways. These tablets needs to be continued for several days after the asthma symptoms have settled, to make sure the swelling doesn’t occur again.
It is advisable to take the preventer and symptom controller medicines every day for a long-term asthma control. Keep inhaler for asthma as a preventing measure for a sudden asthma attack. When there is a prescribed preventer medication, it is advisable to use the preventer inhaler every day.