Asthma may seem like a devastating condition but the truth is, it is definitely manageable and preventable. Although asthma is a chronic condition, and tends to last a lifetime for many people, one can gain good control of this disease by prevention and proper use of medications.
In order to understand how asthma medications work, it is important to understand how asthma happens and how it affects people of different ages.
How Asthma Happens
Asthma is an allergic reaction that happens when an allergen or an irritant gets in contact with a person’s airways. When this happens, the airways become inflamed and become coupled with mucus production as well as coughing Because of this inflammation and obstruction in the airway, decreased airflow occurs. This also leads to a distinct sound one hears when a person with asthma is catching for his breath. A person with asthma also needs several pillows on her back when trying to sleep because it promotes proper breathing. Also, leaning forward helps asthma patients breathe efficiently.
General Asthma Drugs
There are generally two types of asthma medications- either can treat the condition immediately and for long term.
Anti-Inflammatory Medications. Since asthma attacks involve inflammation of the airways, an important medication given to asthma patients as anti-inflammatory medications. Commonly, physicians prescribe corticosteroids to promote immediate relief of inflammation. These medications lessen the production of mucus and sensitivity of the airways leading to a proper breathing mechanism.
Bronchodilators. This classification of drugs works by relaxing the muscles of the airway since in a person with an asthma flare-up, the airway muscles are tight and does not allow air to pass through. With bronchodilators, the bronchial muscles relax allowing air to enter the system. This also allows the mucus to pass through and be expelled.
These medications always come in pairs and it is important to remember that in administering them during an asthma attack, one must know which drug to administer first. Remember that Bronchodilators must first be given so that the airway will be widened enough for the anto-inflammatory drug to pass through.
Side Effects of Anti-Asthma Drugs
Nausea and vomiting can happen, just like how some people react with any medications. Irregular and rapid heartbeats may also occur in taking bronchodilators. Also, prolonged use of steroids can put us at risk for infections so be sure to always maintain a clean environment.
Since asthma is considered an allergic reaction, preventing one’s exposure to the irritating agents is important. These allergens may vary from one person to another so be sure to identify them and prevent asthma patients from inhaling these irritants.
Also, asthma attacks are highly preventable. In case one starts to exhibit signs and symptoms of an asthma flare-up, immediately give him a bronchodilator puff and anti-inflammatory drugs to avoid the progression of this flare up. Because asthma attacks may occur at any point in time, it is always important to be sure that you have adequate stock with you and that you never run out of them. Also, since asthma medications have several side effects as well as adverse effects, it is always best to discuss these matters to your physician for immediate intervention.