Sometimes, the airways inside the lungs become inflamed and cause respiratory troubles among individuals. Pulmonologists diagnose this condition as asthma after a physical examination and lung function test. It is of various types – childhood asthma, adult-onset asthma, occupational asthma, and seasonal asthma. However, there is no cure for the disease. So, doctors concentrate on the following measures as effective treatment options for asthma.
The first line of asthma treatment is through the use of medication. It is of two types: fast-acting and long-term medications. Doctors prescribe the correct medicines depending upon the age, triggers, and symptoms of patients. Detailed below are the various types of quick-relief and long-term treatment options for asthma.
Quick-relief medications: Fast-acting asthma medicines ease off symptoms quickly. They are mostly available as metered-dose inhalers to dispense the correct amount of medicines directly into the patients’ lungs. They convert the suspension to aerosol so that it gets quickly absorbed by the lungs and open the clogged airways. Moreover, since only a minute quantity of the medicine gets dispensed at a time, there are fewer chances of side-effects. Detailed below are the various types of quick-relief medications.
- Short-acting beta-agonists: They are often the first choice of bronchodilators of managing wheezing and shortness of breath. Patients experience relief from asthma symptoms within minutes of inhaling these medications. They usually contain albuterol, epinephrine, and levalbuterol group of compounds. If patients experience severe symptoms, then doctors advise the use of nebulizers to convert the medicine into a fine mist for quick inhalation.
- Anticholinergic agents: They are also a group of bronchodilators containing ipratropium or tiotropium group of compounds.
- Oral corticosteroids: They reduce the inflammation of airways. However, these medicines produce severe side-effects in some patients. So, doctors usually advise them on a short-term basis.
Long-term medications: Doctors prescribe long-term medications to prevent the occurrence of asthma attacks. Patients need these lifelong treatment options for asthma daily. Similar to short-term medicines, these are also of various types.
- Inhaled corticosteroids: They usually contain fluticasone propionate, budesonide, beclomethasone, or fluticasone furoate group of compounds. Unlike oral corticosteroids, they have minimal side-effects.
- Leukotriene modifiers: They contain montelukast, zafirlukast, or zileuton. These compounds help in reducing the swelling of airways and relax the smooth muscles.
It is a treatment for severe asthma patients where doctors heat the inner walls of airways through an electrode. The rise in temperature shrinks the smooth muscles and relaxes them. Patients usually receive three sessions of thermoplasty with a gap of three weeks for considerable improvement in symptoms.
Immunotherapy includes the use of allergy shots and biologics. The allergy shots build up immunity against specific allergens like pollens, molds, or dust mites. Biologics are a cutting-edge, personalized treatment targeting particular cells or antibodies causing allergic inflammation.
So, now you know about the various treatment options for asthma. Consult your doctor to devise the correct cure for your symptoms.