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How to Treat Asthma


1st Jan 2015 Health Conditions

How to Treat Asthma

Are you an asthma sufferer? Although children can outgrow asthma symptoms, many people suffer into their adult years. Find out how to treat and relieve the symptoms of asthma.

Treating Asthma Symptoms

In rare circumstances, some children ‘outgrow’ asthma and several people only experience a very small number of symptoms. Nonetheless, asthma is a lifelong condition and needs adequate management to be kept under control. Fortunately, patients can choose from a wide range of treatments to keep their symptoms at bay.

Treatments normally come in two forms: relievers and preventers. With the aid of an inhalation device, relievers and preventers take effect in the patient’s respiratory system. These are the two most widely used treatments because they are quicker and more direct at delivering a dose of medication to the patient’s lungs.

Preventers - are most commonly used on a daily basis. Most preventers contain corticosteroids, a natural substance that takes effect by alleviating inflammation in the airways. When taken daily, this will make the airways less sensitive and help the patient to breathe more easily over time.

Relievers - are supposed to be used only when the patient becomes exposed to an irritant. They help to relax the breathing airways. Ventolin is the most commonly used reliever and is typically used alongside a preventer treatment as part of a patient’s asthma management plan.


What are long-acting reliever inhalers?

As people will gather from the name, long-acting relievers last for a longer period of time – usually around 12 hours as opposed to four. They are typically taken twice daily and help relax the muscles around the airways, making it simpler for patients to breathe. These should only be used when taken alongside a preventer inhaler.


What is a combination inhaler?

Combination inhalers are to be used on a daily basis as prescribed, even when patients experience no asthma symptoms. Combination inhalers offer the benefits of a preventer and reliever. The long acting reliever ingredient in a combination inhaler has been proven to alleviate symptoms associated with asthma just as quickly as relievers that are short-acting. When a medical professional prescribes a combination inhaler to a patient, they should explain how to use it and how it takes effect.


Steroid tablets

These tablets take effect very quickly to help alleviate inflamed airways. When a patient experiences an acute asthma attack, a short course of tablets is sometimes recommended. However, steroid treatments are mainly used for emergency treatment of respiratory attacks.

When patients begin taking steroid tablets, their adrenal gland doesn’t work as effectively to produce its own natural steroid. Therefore, it’s not advised to use these tablets over a long period of time because the body will be less capable of dealing with stress and infections.



A nebuliser is a machine device that patients can use to breathe in a mist of the asthma medication through a mask or mouthpiece. Nebulisers are commonly used in emergency situations when patients require a high dose of reliever medicine to their lungs, for example in an emergency room or doctor’s surgery. However, in the case of most asthma attacks, they have the same success rate as inhalers and spacers.

Unfortunately, asthma cannot be cured and patients have to deal with symptoms throughout their life. To get the full benefits of an asthma medication, it is vital patients learn how to use or take their medication correctly. They can obtain this information from a doctor or nurse. Taking each dose properly will help treat symptoms faster.

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