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Remedies that can help
What is asthmaEdit
Asthma is a chronic disease of the airways that makes breathing difficult. With asthma, there is inflammation of the air passages that results in a temporary narrowing of the airways that carry oxygen to the lungs. This results in asthma symptoms, including coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. Some people refer to asthma as “bronchial asthma.”
Symptoms of AsthmaEdit
People with asthma experience symptoms when the airways tighten, inflame, or fill with mucus. Common asthma symptoms include:
Coughing, especially at night
Shortness of breath
Chest tightness, pain, or pressure
Asthma medications can save your life -- and let you live an active life in spite of your asthma. There are two basic types of drugs used in asthma treatment:
Steroids and Other Anti-Inflammatory DrugsEdit
Anti-inflammatory drugs, particularly inhaled steroids, are the most important treatment for most people with asthma. These lifesaving medications prevent asthma attacks and work by reducing swelling and mucus production in the airways. As a result, the airways are less sensitive and less likely to react to asthma triggers and cause asthma symptoms.
For in-depth information, see WebMD's article on Asthma, Steroids, and Other Anti-Inflammatory Drugs.
Bronchodilators and AsthmaEdit
Bronchodilators relieve the symptoms of asthma by relaxing the muscle bands that tighten around the airways.
Short-acting bronchodilator inhalers are used to quickly relieve the cough, wheeze, chest tightness, and shortness of breath caused by asthma (they dilate or widen the bronchial tubes). The most commonly prescribed short-acting bronchodilator is albuterol. However, albuterol only lasts for a few hours. If you need to use an asthma reliever more than twice a week, then your asthma is not optimally controlled. Ask your doctor about improving your asthma controller medication.
Long-acting bronchodilators are often combined with inhaled steroids when someone has asthma symptoms more than once a week despite treatment with an inhaled steroid alone.
Asthma inhalers are the most common and effective way to deliver asthma drugs to the lungs. There are some combination asthma inhalers, which contain two different medications: an inhaled steroid and a long-acting bronchodilator. These combination asthma inhalers are popular due to their convenience, and the medications last for at least 12 hours.