Options for Asthma Treatment
Asthma is a chronic lung condition that affects 26 million Americans. It causes closure of airways and difficulty breathing that can be life threatening. This condition is a result of highly sensitive airways that react to a number of “triggers” that cause symptoms. Fortunately, a number of asthma treatments can provide relief for this condition, allowing individuals to deal with symptoms and live normal lives.
Common Asthma Symptoms
- Coughing, especially at night
- Tightness in the chest, pressure or pain
- Shortness of breath, trouble breathing
Causes of Asthma Symptoms
Asthma can be triggered by a number of different conditions, including:
- Presence of cigarette smoke
- Presence of allergens, such as mold spores, pet dander, pollen or dust mites
- Chemical irritants, such as those in cleaning products or perfumes
- Weather changes
- Strong emotions, such as anxiety, crying or laughter
- Some medications, such as aspirin
Physicians generally design a specific strategy for individual patients’ needs, depending on the severity of the symptoms and the patient’s response to therapeutic measures. Generally, the goal is to aggressively treat symptoms in the early stages to prevent more severe reactions later on:
- Inhaled corticosteroids – These inhalers provide long-term control of symptoms. Inhalers that contain these steroid medications help to control inflammation to reduce the number and severity of events.
- Cromolyn nebulizer – This medication sprays a fine mist into the lungs to control inflammation.
- Omalizuleb injections – This medication prevents the body from reacting to allergens and other triggers.
- Beta2-agonist inhalers – These medications open airways, allowing easier breathing.
- Theophylline – This oral medication opens airways.
- Leukotriene modifiers – An oral medication that blocks the reaction that causes inflammation in airways.
- Bronchial Thermoplasty – This therapy is reserved for severe cases of asthma. The treatment heats the airways with an electrode, over a period of three sessions.
Removing allergens from the environment, using an air purifier, cleaning thoroughly on a regular basis and maintaining a state of good general health can help to reduce the frequency of asthmatic events. Special breathing techniques, acupuncture and relaxation techniques, such as meditation and biofeedback can be helpful asthma treatment to prevent attacks.