Asthma is a common condition that causes difficulty breathing. Many different medications can be used to treat asthma attacks. Beta-agonists, corticosteroids, and mast cell inhibitors are some of the best medicines for asthma treatment. This blog post will discuss the benefits of these medications and how they can help improve your quality of life.
Is Asthma Worse in Australia?
In Victoria, Australia, asthma is one of the most common chronic illnesses in children and adolescents, with around 1 in 10 children affected. Although the exact cause of asthma is unknown, it is thought to be due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Asthma can be a severe condition that can lead to hospitalisation and even death.
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Two Main Types of Asthma Treatment
Asthma medication can be classified into two main categories; long-term control and quick relief. Long-term control medication is used to manage the underlying causes of asthma and prevent symptoms from occurring. Immediate relief is used to treat symptoms that have already begun.
What are Controllers?
Long-term asthma medications are usually taken for months or even years. They may need to be taken for the rest of your life. A person with chronic asthma may need to take more than one medication. It is called combination therapy. People with asthma should work with their doctor to find the best medication or combination of asthma treatments.
Various long-term control medication options are available for people living with asthma. These include:
These drugs help to reduce airway inflammation and are the most effective type of long-term asthma control medication. They are available in metered dose inhalers (MDIs) and dry powder inhalers (DPIs).
Long-acting beta agonists (LABAs)
These drugs work by relaxing the muscles around the airways, making breathing easier. LABAs are available in both MDI and DPI formulations.
These drugs work by blocking the action of leukotrienes, which are chemicals that contribute to airway inflammation. Leukotriene modifiers are available in both pill and inhaled forms.
Mast cell stabilizers
Mast cell stabilizers reduce the activity of mast cells. Mast cells are usually found in the airways, skin, and other parts of the body. When activated, mast cells release several chemicals that contribute to airway inflammation. Mast cell stabilizers are available as an inhalation powder in the DPI format.
This drug is taken daily and works by relaxing the muscles around the airways and decreasing inflammation. It is available in both pill and inhaled formulations.
These inhalers contain both an inhaled corticosteroid and a LABA and are designed to provide the maximum possible asthma control.
What is an immunomodulator?
An immunomodulator is a substance that helps to regulate the immune system. It can be either by boosting the activity of the immune system or by suppressing it. Immunomodulators treat various conditions, such as allergy-induced asthma, autoimmune diseases, and cancer. They may also help prevent infections.
Quick Relief Medication
Several quick-relief medications available in Cheltenham for asthma can provide fast and effective relief from symptoms. These include short-acting beta-agonists, inhaled corticosteroids, leukotriene modifiers, and oral and intravenous corticosteroids. Each of these medication classes works differently to relieve symptoms, and they can be used alone or in combination, depending on the severity of the asthma attack.
Short-acting beta agonists
The most commonly used quick-relief medication for asthma. They work by relaxing the muscles around the airways, which allows them to open up and improve airflow. They are usually taken using an inhaler.
Also commonly used to quickly relieve asthma symptoms. Using an inhaler reduces inflammation in the airways, which helps improve airflow and reduce symptoms.
Another type of medication that can be used to relieve asthma symptoms quickly. They work by blocking the action of leukotrienes, substances that can cause inflammation and constriction of the airways. They come in pill form and must be taken daily.
Oral and intravenous corticosteroids
Sometimes used to relieve severe asthma symptoms quickly. They work by suppressing the immune system and reducing inflammation.
While quick-relief medications can be very effective at relieving asthma symptoms, they should not be used as a long-term treatment. Instead, they should only be used on an as-needed basis to relieve symptoms. If you use quick-relief medications more than two times per week, you may need to consider taking a daily medication to control your asthma.
While medication is the most common asthma treatment, there are other options. For instance, some people with asthma may benefit from allergy shots, which can help reduce asthma symptoms triggered by allergies. Additionally, avoiding triggers is an essential part of managing asthma. Common triggers include:
- Cigarette smoke
- Dust mites
- Cold air
Frequency of Asthma Treatment
Asthma medications will vary depending on the severity of your condition and how well you respond to treatment. In general, it is recommended that people with asthma take their medication daily, even when they are feeling well, to prevent asthma attacks. If you have been prescribed an inhaled corticosteroid for long-term asthma control, you must take it as directed by your doctor, even if you are feeling good.
If you are having difficulty managing your asthma or are experiencing more frequent asthma attacks, it is crucial to speak to your doctor. They may recommend that you make some changes to your asthma treatment plan.
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Are These Treatments Available Over-the-counter?
The use of over-the-counter asthma medicines is typically not advised. Consult a doctor about your asthma problems, and then adhere to their recommended course of action. Asthma OTC drugs are not intended to be long-term cures and shouldn’t be used daily to manage asthma. They should not be consumed by those who have high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid conditions, or heart problems.
If you have asthma, it is essential to work with your doctor to develop a treatment plan that works for you. You can manage your asthma and live a healthy, active life with the proper treatment.
Australia’s Updated Guidelines for Asthma Medicine
Australia’s Asthma medication guidelines are a set of recommendations for using medication in treating asthma. These are based on the best available evidence and aim to guide clinicians and people with asthma on the most effective use of medication in managing asthma. The guidelines are regularly updated in line with new evidence and expert opinion.
First Aid Response for Asthma
Medication may be required only when an asthma attack occurs or when exposure to triggers is high. When someone has an asthma attack, first aid measures include sitting them up, giving them 4 to 10 breaths of rescue medication through a handheld spacer device, and, if they are having trouble breathing or don’t have an inhaler, dialing triple zero (000).
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