Asthma Treatments-What Are Available?
Many asthma treatments are available, each with a different effect. Suppose you have been told by your doctor your child has asthma. You are shocked and perhaps a little fearful. Which treatment is best for your child?
First, let that moment pass, calm down and gather your sensibilities. Millions upon millions of people who have suffered asthma attacks are now able to control them. They go on to live normal happy lives and with knowledge and common sense, your child will too.
Let’s look at what treatments are available. They fall into two categories, both of which are inhalers, and your doctor will tell you about them. One is a reliever and the other is a preventer. Everyone who gets asthma attacks carries a reliever. They are used by an ever increasing numbers of school children and are now so common in schools are accepted as being part of normal life. This is another indication of how asthma is on the rise.
As the name indicates, the purpose of the reliever is to relieve all symptoms of asthma – not permanently but controllable and manageable. It is used when symptoms of asthma are felt and possible side effects include increased heart beat and muscle shakes.
The purpose of the preventer so to help control the inflammation and swelling in the air passage. Using the preventer makes the air passage more resilient against asthma triggers (dust mites or pollen, for example). The preventer must be used daily as it has an accumulative effect, building up protection against triggers. It contains an artificial steroid called Cortisone, similar to a natural steroid produced by the body. This is not to be confused with anabolic steroids, the type that cause people to develop huge muscles. This may be a disappointment for your little fellow, but the princess will be pleased!
The two inhalers are easily distinguished from each other. To prevent confusion the relievers are in a blue container. Preventers are in the red/brown/orange range.
There are side effects to Cortisone if not used as prescribed. As a user, thrush – small mouth infections may occur. Cortisone can allow infections to spread in a way that wouldn’t normally happen. It can cause weight gain and stunt growth in a child.
Preventers may cause mood swings if not used as prescribed, diabetes and cataracts – as well as the same side effects as the reliever. Never, ever, stop the medication abruptly as in some cases, this can cause death. Alarming indeed – is this the best asthma treatment available for your child,medically.