Take a Good Look at Your Asthma Medication
It’s very important for people suffering from asthma to be informed about the different medicines to control their disease. While there are a variety of medication available to treat asthma, there is no "best" treatment for all people-- creating a lot of different options on the market. By taking the right medicine at the right time, you can help yourself breathe better and live with fewer asthma symptoms.
If you’ve been using the same asthma medications for some time, it may be time to discuss your treatment plan to ensure it is still the best regimen and treatment option for you. Your asthma changes as you age and as your routines change. So, the medication type that may have been best for you a few years ago may not be the best solution now. Here are the types of treatment tools usually prescribed for asthma to discuss with your doctor.
There are both short-acting and long-acting bronchodilators available to help relax the muscles around your breathing tubes. Short-acting bronchodilators work quickly after you take them, giving you fast relief. Long-acting bronchodilators have effects that last a long time. They should not be used for quick relief but instead for long-term management of typical asthma symptoms. Long-acting bronchodilators are only recommended for use when combined with an anti-inflammatory asthma medicine.
Anti-inflammatory medicines, often called corticosteroids or steroids, reduce the swelling and mucus production inside your breathing tubes. Most often, your doctor will prescribe an inhaled corticosteroid to use daily. It is important to take this medication as directed to gain the biggest benefit. With these inhaled medications, be sure to rinse your mouth with water immediately after using them to avoid getting thrush, a yeast infection in your mouth or throat.
Some anti-inflammatory medicines come in pill form and are taken orally for short periods of time. This type of medicine is used to treat an asthma flare-up or attack, and to help patients gain control of their asthma. Oral steroids have many side effects, so you will want to avoid being put on this type of medicine as much as possible. Using a daily inhaled corticosteroid may help.
There are a few medicines that combine inhaled bronchodilators and inhaled corticosteroids. This type of medicines is used daily to control asthma symptoms.
While asthma medications do not cure asthma, they will help you keep control of your disease so that you can live a full and active life. Checking with your healthcare provider to ensure you are still using the best treatment for you is critical to ensuring proper asthma management.
You should also let your doctor and healthcare team know if you are experiencing symptoms often or if you are having trouble using your treatment correctly. Lastly, review a few questions to ask your healthcare provider and learn more about how your asthma is treated to round off your tool belt of knowledge to best manage your disease.
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