This post was originally published at healthcentral.com/asthma on July 13, 2014
Chronic: All asthmatics always have some degree of inflammation in their air
Acute: When this chronic inflammation is not controlled, exposure to asthma triggers may worsen the inflammation, resulting in increased mucus production and spasming of the air passages, both of which make it hard to
Based on this knowledge, physicians now know that the best way to treat asthma is.
- Control: Control underlying inflammation.
- Prevention: Prevent asthma symptoms.
- Treat Flare-ups: Treat acute symptoms when they occur
The wonderful thing about all the modern asthma controller medicines on the market is they all only have to be taken once or twice a day. This makes it very easy to be compliant. All you have to do is take your inhaler before you brush your teeth in the morning, and again in the evening. If you have a once-daily medicine, you only need to do this once.
Another thing that is important regarding taking asthma controller medicines is to learn how to properly take the medicine. Since there are so many inhalers on the market, and each one has a unique delivery device, I will provide a link with each medicine listed below so you can learn how to properly use that medicine. Learning how to properly use your asthma controller medicine is essential to good asthma control.
Also, as I list the various types of asthma controller medicines, I am going to note whether they are inhalers or solutions taken by nebulizer route. I want it to be noted here that most asthmatics do very well using inhalers. However, some asthmatics benefit from taking a nebulizer instead of an inhaler. These would include:
- Small children and infants who cannot coordinate an inhaler
- Adults who cannot coordinate an inhaler, such as mentally challenged and elderly
- Severe asthmatics who have trouble generating enough flow to actuate inhalers
2 puffs twice a day/ inhaler
1-2 puffs twice a day/, inhaler
twice a day/ solution taken by nebulizer
If one of those medicines work, great! You are good to go. However, if you take one of them for a month or two and your asthma is still considered to be poorly controlled, then your physician might recommend a long acting beta adrenergic combined with an inhaled steroid.
1 puff twice daily/ inhaler
2 puffs twice daily/ inhaler
2 puffs twice daily/ inhaler
1 puff once daily/ inhaler
twice daily/ solution taken in nebulizer
2 puffs four times daily
One puff once daily
1-2 doses per day/ pill taken orally
Ideally, asthma control is determined by two things:
- Use of rescue medicine less than 2-3 times in a two-week period, or...
- You are comfortable with your present standard of living.
When flare-ups occur, you may still use your asthma rescue medicine as prescribed. However, please note that if you require your rescue medicine more frequently than 2-3 times in a two-week period, or you are using it more often than normal, this can be a sign of worsening asthma, and you should seek medical attention to regain control.
The great news is, there are plenty of medicinal options to help you control your asthma. Finding out what one works best for you is usually accomplished by a matter of trial and error. Once you obtain good control, you should be able to live a normal life with this disease.
Never begin an asthma medication without first consulting with your doctor. If you experience adverse side effects, stop the medication and contact your doctor.