Every day 30,000 people have an asthma attack. But what is asthma? Asthma is a condition in which a person’s airways narrow and swell and produce extra mucus. This can make breathing difficult and trigger coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. For some people, asthma is minor, and it is just a nuisance. For others, it can be a major problem, that interferes with daily activities and may lead to a life-threatening asthma attack. Asthma can’t be cured, but you can control it. If you know what triggers your asthma, you can simply stay away from those things. But when something triggers your asthma there are ways to control those symptoms.
One way to cope with asthma is long-term asthma control medications like inhaled corticosteroids, Leukotriene modifiers, long-acting beta agonists, combination inhalers, or Theophylline. You may need to use these medications for days or even weeks before they reach their maximum benefit.
Another way to cope with asthma is quick-relief or rescue medications, like short-acting beta agonists, Ipratropium, oral or intravenous corticosteroids, or a quick-relief inhaler. These medications are used for rapid, short-term relief during an asthma attack or before you exercise.
If your asthma is worsened or triggered by allergies, you can take allergy medications like allergy shots (immunotherapy) and Omalizumab (Xolair). There is also Bronchial thermoplasty, which is used for severe cases of asthma that doesn’t improve with inhaled corticosteroids or other long-term asthma medicines. This treatment isn’t widely available and isn’t right for everyone.
What can trigger asthma?
How many people have asthma in the world?
Are there any other treatments for asthma?
“Asthma Statistics.” AsthmaMD, 2009–2014, www.asthmamd.org/asthma-statistics/. Accessed 31 Jan. 2017.
Li, James T C, M.D, Ph.D., editor. “Asthma.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER), 1998-2017, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/asthma/basics/definition/con-20026992. Accessed 31 Jan. 2017.
Li, James T C, M.D, Ph.D., editor. “Treatments and Drugs.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER), 1998-2017, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/asthma/basics/treatment/con-20026992. Accessed 1 Feb. 2017.