What are the Effects of Skipping Your Asthma Medication?

The best way to control asthma is by the carefully planned use of treatments and medicines. There are some excellent asthma medications available to ensure a full recovery. The main aim of managing asthma is to give you control of your medical condition rather than letting the asthma disease control you. Besides taking your asthma medication regularly, you lessen the symptoms by avoiding triggers that lead to the symptoms. Specifically talking about asthma, it’s not that people with asthma are trying to dupe their doctor, but the problem is with asthma itself. Asthma gives a false impression of recovery to the patient, even when they are diagnosed unwell and that is why the patients are lulled into a false sense of security because in case of asthma, it is hard to predict, asthma once suppressed when it will outbreak next. It can be simply hours, days, weeks, or months.

Asthma symptoms

Why do the symptoms of Asthma re-emerge?

When asthma attacks a person, the lining of the airway gets inflamed and it begins secreting more mucus rapidly here by blocking or narrowing the airways, thus making breathing difficult. This disease is triggered by various factors like smoking cigarettes, strong odors, wood smoke, household cleaners, or inhaling certain substances like pollen, mites, or mold. Many people with asthma only see it flare up at certain times of the year. The factors that are responsible for triggering asthma decide the disease’s severity and persistence. For e.g., if a person is suffering from seasonal asthma and is allergic to the pollens, will suffer from asthma during the early spring months.

Generally, asthma is categorized as Intermittent Asthma or Chronic Asthma. In Intermittent asthma, symptoms occur less than three times a week. Intermittent Asthma can occur by using only a short-acting or “rescue” inhaler when symptoms develop. However, chronic asthma refers to the underlying inflammation that is always present in the lungs of asthma patients.  The degree of this inflammation is what determines the severity of your asthma. The best way of treating it is with asthma controller medicines, which are most commonly inhaled steroids. Patients need to take maintenance asthma medication to reduce inflammation between attacks.

Related: 9 Ways to Fight Asthma and Allergies

Effects of skipping medicines during the treatment

Skipping your asthma medication, even when you don’t have any symptoms could mean more flare-ups and worsened asthma attacks. As in with asthma, there is inflammation associated with lungs that impede the lung function, so it is necessary to control this inflammation through continued use of anti-inflammatory maintenance asthma medications. The corticosteroid group of the asthma medications is aimed at curing asthma and help prevent the inflammation and reduce the chances of an exacerbation. This exacerbation cannot be completely prevented, but the risk of severity can be minimized.

Take your steroids and prevent exacerbation: Maintenance Drugs

Few patients will go weeks or even months without a problem even if not taking maintenance medications. But doctors can’t always tell which patients fall into this category, so it is recommended to follow your medications religiously. Not taking maintenance medications makes patients more vulnerable. Asthma takes place due to inflammation in the airways and that inflammation doesn’t go even if you feel well. That inflammation is pretty much always there, and symptoms take place when a certain threshold is reached and that threshold is different for each person. This inflammation can be reduced by taking Anti-inflammatory asthma medications. For treating asthma, anti-inflammatory steroids are used. These steroids should not be confused with the steroids taken by the athletes since both the classes are different. These steroids help in controlling asthma; they work by blocking the inflammation response in the lungs and decrease the inflammation over time. Although, steroids can’t stop symptoms once they start, yet they can prevent recurrence. Common steroid asthma medications include Fluticasone, Budesonide, Beclomethasone, Ciclesonide, and Mometasone. Some drugs are sold in combinations.

Skipping medication may trigger ‘Hidden Asthma’: Asthma and Kids

When your kid says that he experiences wheezing in his chest, his chest is aching while breathing or he was playing with his favorite pet and caught the infection, these symptoms straight away indicate the onset of asthma. Treating and preventing asthma in kids is very important because if left untreated, asthma may periodically become more severe and parents may perceive that their child is cured which in fact is not. In kids, if it is not treated, it may complicate things and cause hidden asthma, which means asthma re-emerging with the passage of time. Expert says that remission of symptoms may occur during adolescence, but there is no cure for asthma, and the condition will likely reappear in adulthood if neglected in childhood. The symptoms may vanish during childhood years but may emerge with the contact of unexpected triggers such as a cold, allergy, chemical irritant, or air pollution.

Asthma Medication

It is usual for the parents to skip the medication

Steroids are life-saving drugs as they prevent the dissemination of the infection to other parts and hence reduce the inflammation of the airways. Parents occasionally drop or skip the medicine that comes with steroids because they are scared and wary of the side effects of steroids in their kids. They think that the steroid component in maintenance asthma medications has a disastrous effect on their child’s development, however, it is the most effective drug in the treatment of asthma. Growth suppression issue should not be a reason to avoid steroids. Steroids can be devastating only if swallowed without the doctor’s consultation. When inhaled, it has a direct effect on the target organs. But, there are the cases that are very severe, requiring immediate hospitalization where the doctor has no choice than to put kids on oral corticosteroids which are relatively stronger than inhaled corticosteroids. However, few precautions could be taken with the steroid intake, such as gargling your mouth after using inhalers and rinsing and cleaning the asthma inhaler.

Skipping asthma medication is not advisable and may cause unknown symptoms which may aggravate the present status of the disease. Asthma is a disease which sometimes turns life-threatening with improper medication. You should always take them as prescribed every day. If you feel any discomfort with the asthma medication, talk in detail with the doctor but don’t dump your medicines.

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Also Read: Pet Allergens and Asthma

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