262 million people globally are affected by asthma
*according to the World Health Organization
Signs and Symptoms of Asthma
The symptoms of asthma can vary widely from one patient to the next. Signs of asthma can also look very different in children as compared to adults.
- Inability to sleep due to wheezing and coughing
- Shortness of breath
- Chronic coughing
- Tightening or pain in the chest
How is Asthma Treated?
There is no known cure for asthma. Patients, however, can control the symptoms of asthma using a range of medications. Controller medications for asthma can be both inhaled and oral medications, including:
- Corticosteroids (fluticasone, mometasone, ciclesonide, et al.)
- Long-acting beta-agonists, or LABAs
- Leukotriene modifiers (oral medication)
In some severe cases, patients may need injections or infusions known as biologics. For quick relief from symptoms during an asthma attack, patients can use short-acting beta-agonists such as albuterol, pirbuterol, and levalbuterol. It is important to note that these are quick-relief medications and should not be used in place of controller medications. Additionally, if a patient requires quick relief medications more than twice a week, it may be necessary to make adjustments to a patient’s prescribed controller medications.
As a chronic condition, asthma also requires ongoing management and careful adherence by the patient to asthma treatment guidelines. This involves not only taking medication on a regular and consistent basis, but also engaging in lifestyle choices that help manage asthma in the long term. Patients with asthma should avoid smoking and avoid known triggers such as allergens, pollution, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the Best Treatment for Asthma?
The fastest relief option during an asthma attack typically involves using an inhaler with short-acting beta-agonists such as albuterol, pirbuterol, and levalbuterol. However, this is not a replacement for long-term controller medications. If you’re suffering from chronic asthma, speak with your doctor about the most effective long-term treatment options.
Can Asthma Go Away On Its Own?
As a chronic condition, asthma does not typically resolve on its own. In some cases of childhood asthma, asthma can disappear as the patient gets older. When a case of asthma is severe in a child, the patient will not typically ‘outgrow’ it.
Are There Home Remedies for Asthma?
There are a range of popular home remedies that anecdotally have an effect on asthma, including essential oils and diuretics such as coffee and tea. These are not replacements for medications, however, and any home remedy undertaken should be done in consultation with your allergist or doctor.
How Do Allergies Affect Asthma?
Allergies are some of the most common triggers of asthma. Anyone with asthma and known allergies should limit or eliminate all exposure to allergens, as they can trigger asthma flare-ups.