Knowing and avoiding your specific triggers for asthma is an important first step in controlling your symptoms. Even so, avoiding triggers won’t be enough to keep your asthma under control, and medication may be necessary.
There are several factors to consider, including your age, symptoms, triggers, and how well you respond to medication.
This article will inform you all you need to know about asthma medication,treatment and prevention.
What is Asthma?
Inflammation of the airways leading to the lungs is the underlying cause of asthma. As a result, it’s tough to perform strenuous physical activities like running or swimming. Since it is a chronic illness, you’ll need to see a doctor keep it under control.
Understanding a bit about what occurs when you breathe is essential to understanding asthma. When you inhale, air travels via your nose or mouth, down your throat, and finally into your lungs.
Small air channels in the lungs aid in the delivery of oxygen from the surrounding air to the body.
When the lining of your airways expands and the muscles around them constrict, you experience asthma symptoms. As mucus accumulates in the airways, less air can travel through.
Asthma “attacks” can be triggered by these diseases, which include coughing and chest discomfort.
What Causes Asthma?
Even though asthma is most found in childhood, many people do not discover they have the disease until they are well into their adult years.
A single cause for asthma has yet to be found. It’s more likely that a combination of things is to blame, according to the latest research. These are some of the factors:
Asthma is more likely to strike you if you have an asthmatic parent or sibling.
- Viral infection history
Those who have had a history of severe viral infections in childhood like RSV may be more susceptible to developing the those who have had a history of severe viral infections in childhood like RSV may be more susceptible to developing the condition.
- Hygiene hypothesis
This theory says that when infants are not exposed to sufficient germs throughout their first few months and years, their immune systems do not develop sufficiently to combat asthma and other allergy diseases.
Numerous things might potentially provoke asthma and increase its symptoms. Asthma triggers can vary, and different individuals may be more vulnerable to specific triggers than others.
No one test or examination can indicate whether you or your kid have asthma. Instead, your doctor will use a range of factors to diagnose asthmaif there are symptoms.
Some of the following factors that doctors check during diagnosis are:
- Medical history
If you have a family history of the illness, your risk is increased. Make sure your doctor is aware of this genetic connection.
- Physical checkup
Your doctor will check your breathing pattern. A skin test may also be done to check for evidence of an allergic response, such as hives or eczema. Allergies increase the likelihood of developing asthma.
- Inhalation tests
Pulmonary function tests (PFTs) evaluate the amount of air entering and exiting the lungs. The most frequent test, spirometry, involves blowing into a device that measures air velocity.
Typically, doctors do not perform breathe tests on children younger than 5 years old since it is difficult to obtain an accurate reading.
Instead, they may give asthma drugs and monitor your child’s condition for improvement. If so, your child has asthma.
If adult test results show asthma, your doctor may give bronchodilators or other asthma medications. If your symptoms improve while taking this medicine, your doctor will continue to diagnose you with asthma.
The types and dosages of asthma medicines you require are determined by your age, symptoms, asthma severity, and medication side effects.
Regular monitoring of your symptoms and adjusting your asthma medication may be necessary if your condition changes over time.
There are several categories of asthma medications such as:
- Long-term asthma control medications
- Quick-relief medications
- Medications for allergy-induced asthma
1. Long-term asthma control medications
Many patients with asthma must take daily long-term control drugs, even when they are not experiencing symptoms.
It is frequently used to manage chronic symptoms and avoid asthma attacks.
There are several long-term control drugs, including those given below:
- Inhaled corticosteroids
These anti-inflammatory treatments are the most popular and effective long-term asthma management therapies. They alleviate inflammation and constriction of the airways.
Long-term usage of inhaled corticosteroids in children might cause a minor development delay. However, the advantages of using these drugs to keep asthma under control exceed the potential hazards.
Maintaining good control of asthma is easier with regular use of corticosteroids inhaled using an inhaler.
- Leukotriene Modifiers
These medications inhibit the effects of leukotrienes, which are immune system molecules responsible for asthma symptoms. Leukotriene modifiers can help in symptom prevention for up to twenty-four hours. These modifiers include Zafirlukast, Zileuton, and Montelukast.
- Long-acting beta-agonists
These bronchodilators expand airways and decrease swelling for a minimum of 12 hours. Regular usage is necessary to treat moderate to severe asthma and avoid overnight symptoms.
This bronchodilator is taken daily as a tablet to treat moderate asthma. Theophylline relaxes the airways and reduces the lung’s sensitivity to irritants. It can be beneficial for asthmatic nocturnal symptoms. Regular blood tests may be necessary to ensure that you are receiving the right dosage.
2. Quick-relief medications
These asthma drugs expand the lungs by relaxing the muscles of the airways. Often referred to as rescue medicines, they help alleviate worsening symptoms or end an ongoing asthma attack. They become effective within minutes and last for four to six hours. They are not for everyday use.
Some people take a quick-relief inhaler before exercise to prevent shortness of breath and other asthmatic symptoms.
3. Medications for allergy-induced asthma
The following medications are used to treat allergy triggers:
- Allergy shots
Immunotherapy (allergy injections) may be an option for allergic asthma that cannot be managed by avoiding allergens. You will first undergo skin testing to identify the allergens that trigger your asthma symptoms. Then, you will receive a series of injections containing tiny amounts of these allergens.
- Allergy medications
These include antihistamines and decongestants in oral and nasal spray form, together with corticosteroids and cromolyn nasal sprays. Available over the counter and by prescription at any pharmacy online. They can assist with allergic rhinitis, but they are not replacements for asthma medications.
If you have severe asthma with signs that are difficult to manage with conventional drugs, your doctor may prescribe biologic therapy.
Omalizumab (Xolair) is occasionally used to treat asthma induced by allergens in the air. If you have allergies, your immune system develops antibodies that fight normally harmless things, such as pollen, dust mites, and animal dander. Omalizumab inhibits the function of these antibodies, hence lowering the allergic and asthmatic immune system response.
Anyone who receives an injection of this medication should be continuously monitored in case of a serious adverse response.
There are several medications available to treat asthmasymptoms and complications. Your age, the extent of your symptoms, your triggers, and your lifestyle all influence the medicine you need.
Keeping up to date on available drugs will help you control your asthma more effectively. Regularly discuss your symptoms and the efficacy of your medications with your doctor. They can continue to adjust your treatment plan to your requirements.