Mostly asthma treatments comes with the use of short and long-term medications as well as some environmental monitoring and observations. As with all types of medical treatments, not all patients will respond in the same way to each type of environment or possible problem.
Asthma treatments focus on eliminating or avoiding asthma triggers. These triggers are the environmental or other conditions that cause an asthma attack to occur. Many patients have very similar triggers, so keeping good records of where you were and what was happening when the asthma attack happened can help identify each person’s individual triggers. Some general triggers that are problematic for many people with asthma include:
* Allergies and colds
* Grass or certain trees, flowers or plants
* Stuffed toys, carpets or some fabrics
* Dust and dust mites
* Cockroaches or waste material from where they have been
* Pets such as cats, dogs, hamsters, birds – dander
* Perfumes, hair products or air fresheners
* Emitting of Exhaust gases vehicles
* Wood smoke
* Some medications
In addition, there are also stressors that can cause an increased likelihood for an asthma attack. Worry, stress, fatigue or illness can all bring on the chance of an attack or increased difficulty in breathing.
Mild to Moderate Asthma
Many people with mild to moderate asthma can control, or attempt to control, their triggers and avoid anything that will make their asthma worse. Usually, these individuals use a bronchodilator ventilator or inhaler when the asthma becomes severe, and can use over-the-counter medications for minor attacks. Often allergy shots or even using anti-inflammatories to reduce the swelling in the air passages will be sufficient asthma treatment to control the problem.
Moderate to Severe Asthma
For those with moderate to severe asthma, more intense and long-term treatment is needed. Daily medications combined with managing the environment and keeping data on attacks and frequencies is very important in developing an asthma treatment. Long-term medications may include anti-inflammatories and inhaled corticosteroids taken every day. In addition there are some capsule-type medications that are used for those with severe asthma. Capsule or liquid medications, such as luekotriene modifiers and long-lasting beta 2-agonists, have several side effects and careful monitoring of these, plus dosage levels, is important. Patients should consult with the doctor before stopping any oral asthma treatment.
Secondarily, asthma treatments such as acupuncture, hypnosis, yoga or relaxation and massage can be helpful if the asthma attacks are triggered by stress or fatigue. Educating about what causes asthma attacks for each individual will help that person, in consultation with their doctor, to find out the most controllable and manageable asthma treatment.