5 Things You Should Know About Treating Asthma!
1. Prevention is always better than cure. You should decide which situations prompt an attack, such as colds or flu, exposure to certain allergens or maybe cold weather, and then avoid these situations wherever possible. If you suffer from severe, unpredictable and regular attacks then treatment with a control/preventative medication will be required.
2. The inflammation of the lungs and airways caused by asthma may need long-term control with anti-inflammatory medication. There are several forms of this medication available which can be discussed with your doctor. One of the most effective anti-inflammatory medications is inhaled corticosteroids. Taken as directed, this can improve asthma control, normalize your lung function, and may prevent injury to lung airways. There are other anti-inflammatory’s available which can be discussed with your doctor.
3. Another option for the long-term control of asthma is a long-acting inhaled or oral bronchodilator, long-acting theophylline or regular use of oral corticosteroids. If you find the inhaled corticosteroids do not provide enough control of your asthma, combination therapy (inhaled corticosteroid plus a long-acting beta2-agonist) is the preferred treatment.
4. If you suffer with allergic asthma, immunotherapy (allergy vaccinations) may provide relief from the symptoms caused by allergens that trigger your asthma and cannot be avoided. Immunotherapy increases your tolerance to those allergens. There is a treatment called anti-IgE which stops the reaction before it even begins, so helps prevent asthma attacks by blocking the cause of your allergic reaction. This treatment is only for those who have moderate-to-severe allergic asthma and are over 12 years old.
5. Accurate peak flow readings can help to establish what your asthma triggers are and alert you to worsening symptoms. They can also help your doctor decide if you are using effective medications and, in conjunction with an asthma action plan, can let you know what to do if your symptoms get worse. Fingertip pulse oximeters are also very useful for asthma patients. An oximeter can help you to establish the severity of an attack when used with peak flow readings, allowing you to decide on the best treatment for your symptoms. The normal oxygen saturation level for most healthy patients is between 95 to 99 percent.
Unless directed by a physician, asthma patients should never change or discontinue preventive medications, and should always keep an adequate supply available.
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