Widely regarded as a serious medical condition, asthma has drastically changed the lives of 25 million people in the United States. From having coughing bouts to gasping for air, the lung disorder alters the way of life for many of those diagnosed. While some may have it all under control, others may have to make a trip to the emergency room now and then.
People who had childhood asthma may be lucky if it disappears later, but many people don’t get rid of it. However, the disease has now become easier to manage with the help of new medicines. If you suffer from the wrath of the illness, you can try using some of the best treatments for asthma, outlined below in great depth and detail.
Bronchodilators (Rescue Inhalers)
More commonly known as an inhaler, this is perhaps the simplest and quickest way to counter an asthma attack. Simply put, the task of a bronchodilator is to ease the muscle bands that impose pressure on your airways. Thus, when you use the device, it makes space in the airway and allows air to move in and out of the lungs.
Although inhalers are mostly used to offer quick relief, it is still considered as one of the best treatments for asthma. This is primarily because it opens up the airways immediately and lets people breathe amid an asthma attack. These inhalers also hold immense importance in times of exercise. Many times, an asthma attack is induced by extensive physical activity or exertion. Using an inhaler beforehand would allow the person’s lungs to remain unlocked during exercise.
The only downside that comes with this treatment is the lack of longevity. While the inhalers work well, the effects may only last for a couple of hours at maximum.
Possible Side Effects After Use: Rapid heartbeat, increased palpitations, sweating.
A special type of drug that works to lower swelling in the body, corticosteroids are often prescribed by healthcare experts to treat asthma. These medicines are often given to those people whose asthma falls on the more serious end of the spectrum.
In such a case, inhaled corticosteroids are a top favorite of doctors, who recommend the asthmatic person to take the drug once a day. With such medicines to work effectively, the key is to be regular and consistent in usage. By missing even a few doses, the person puts oneself in danger of succumbing to the old symptoms of the disease.
The primary use of a corticosteroid is to clear up the airway passage. If taken on time, this medicine not only works towards reducing the symptoms but also cuts back on hospital trips. Although doctors have been prescribing corticosteroids for years, recent studies show that they may hold some serious side effects for children, including a slowed growth rate.
However, the chances of being faced with such a side effect are minimal. If you are given this medicine, use it only when prescribed and not overdose on it at any cost.
Possible Side Effects After Use: Heavy voice, muscle weakness, stomach problems.
One of the best treatments for asthma, antihistamines are given to people to help cap their asthma symptoms. Typically, people use antihistamines as a cheap drug that can be purchased without a proper medical prescription and provides relief from a variety of different allergies.
Several different studies have concluded that antihistamines have bronchodilator effects on people. In simple terms, this means that they work towards making space in the airways, thereby allowing the person to breathe freely. Moreover, a study also concluded that the use of such medicines has prevented the full development of asthma in a group of atopic children.
The best part about the antihistamines is that they are available over the counter and without a prescription. However, this doesn’t mean people can take these medicines without the prescription of a doctor. Patients should practice extra caution while taking these tablets as they may not always suit each person.
Possible Side Effects After Use: Intermittent headaches, drowsiness, rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure.
An antileukotriene, widely known as a leukotriene modifier is a medicine that works to prevent breathing-related issues amongst people. More often than not, they are used as a conducive treatment for curbing asthma.
Mostly consumed in the form of pills, the leukotriene modifiers are more of long-term treatment for asthmatic people. This is mainly because the medicine takes its own time to build up and be absorbed by the body. Hence, the effects of this medicine will not be seen immediately. People who take these might have to wait up to several weeks to see the true benefits take shape.
Some of the well-reputed brands for antileukotriene are Singulair and Accolate.
Possible Side Effects After Use: Nausea, headache, congestion, depression.
It is a commonly known fact that asthmatics are the victims of a myriad of allergies. An allergic reaction can even trigger a full-blown asthma attack. Although a person can have an attack induced by different allergens, some of the most common ones include pollen, dust mites, and mold.
In such a case, doctors would recommend taking an allergy test where the specific cause of attack can be drawn out. Later, they may suggest the patient start the process of weekly allergy shots, which are similar to that of a vaccine.
The only drawback of these allergy shots is the period- it may take a while before symptoms start to reduce significantly. A few people injected may even have to wait as long as a year before witnessing any concrete development in their state.
Possible Side Effects After Use: Swelling in the throat, dizziness, and severe nausea
In essence, these were some of the best treatments for asthma. Depending on the severity of your condition, your doctor is likely to prescribe you a treatment that should be followed as per his/her instructions. But for those of you who haven’t been diagnosed with asthma and are worried about your well-being, here are some early symptoms of the disease. We have listed down a few of the most common ones seen among people.
Common Symptoms of Asthma
Shortness of Breath
While we all fall short of breath sometimes, facing a lack of breath for a continued period is a cause of concern.
Tightness of Chest
Your chest may start to feel heavy and constrained, hence limiting your ability to breathe properly.
A person developing asthma might start coughing, particularly at night. This is because of the severe mucus buildup in the lungs that leads to a round of coughs.