Asthma: Prevention and Medication

Prevention and long-term control are primal in stopping asthma attacks before they start. Asthma medications depend on several things, like 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 asthma inhaler can quickly open swollen airways that limit breathing, and in some cases, allergy medications are necessary. Long-term asthma medications must 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.

Role of asthma inhalers in asthma treatment

Asthma inhalers are portable devices that deliver medicines to your lungs. Different types of inhalers are available to help control asthma symptoms. Finding and using the inhaler appropriately can help you get the required medicine to prevent or treat asthma attacks. For the best medicine for asthma and allergies, finding the balance that suits your requirements and your ability to use asthma inhalers correctly is important. Learning the correct use of your asthma machine is essential for best results.

Metered dose inhalers
These inhalers contain a pressurized canister containing medicine that fits into the plastic mouthpiece. With these, medicine is released by pushing the canister. Some types of metered dose inhalers automatically release medicines when you inhale. Some metered-dose inhalers have built-in dose counters, which help you know how many doses remain.

Using a spacer makes inhaling the full dose easier for children and adults. A spacer holds the medicine in a tube between the inhaler and your mouth after it is released.

Dry powder inhaler
Instead of a chemical propellant to push the medicine out of the inhaler, you release the medicine in these inhalers by breathing in a deep, fast breath. Multiple-dose machines can hold up to 200 doses, and single-dose devices are to be filled with capsules before each treatment.

Soft mist inhaler
These are the types of inhalers for asthma that are propellant-free and are slightly larger than conventional metered dose inhalers. These asthma machines release a low-velocity aerosol mist that can be slowly inhaled over a longer period than dry powder and metered dose inhalers.

Other devices
Sometimes, dry powder inhalers and standard metered dose inhalers can’t be used. Other types include:

    • Metered dose inhaler with a face mask – It is generally prescribed to infants or small children. It involves a standard metered dose inhaler with a spacer. The face mask that sticks to the spacer fits over the mouth and nose to ensure the right medicine dose reaches the lungs.
    • Nebulizer – The nebulizer for asthma is made in such a way that it turns the medicine into a fine mist breathed in through a mouthpiece or mask worn over the mouth and nose. Nebulizer medicine for asthma is generally recommended for people who can’t use an inhaler, such as infants, young children, and people who are ill and require large doses of medicine.  

nebulizer for asthma

Type of asthma medications

Different types of medication are available to treat asthma in adults and children, including preventers, relievers, symptom controllers, and steroid tablets.

    1. The preventers are the most important medications as they treat the inflammation inside the airways and reduce the likelihood of an asthma attack. Preventive medicines should be taken every day, even without symptoms. The preventers ensure the airways stay clear and prevent redness, mucus, and 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.
    2. The relievers act quickly and bring short-term relief to asthma. However, 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. A fast, fast-acting bronchodilator inhaler expands the airways in the lungs and offers quick relief. The best medicine for asthma cough should be prescribed by your allergist, which helps to relieve the coughing attacks.
    3. The symptom controllers are long-acting relievers that help relax the airway muscle, lasting 12 hours. Symptom controllers do not replace preventers; they are 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.
    1. 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 must be continued for several days after the asthma symptoms have settled to ensure the swelling doesn’t occur again.

It is advisable to take the preventer and symptom controller medicines every day for long-term asthma control. Keep an inhaler for asthma as a preventative measure for a sudden asthma attack. When there is a prescribed preventer medication, it is advisable to use the preventer inhaler every day.

Along with prescriptions and proper treatment for asthma in adults and children, home remedies for asthma can help manage mild to moderate asthma symptoms.

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