How is asthma treated?


Quick Answer

Asthma is treated using anti-inflammatory drugs, steroids and other asthma medications, according to WebMD. Other treatments include asthma inhalers and asthma nebulizer treatments.

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Full Answer

One of the most important treatments for asthma is inhaled steroids, notes WebMD. These medications and other anti-inflammatory drugs work by reducing mucus production and swelling in the airways, making users less likely to react to triggers that result in asthma symptoms. Bronchodilators relax the muscles around the airways, helping to open the airways up so that the asthmatic can breathe better. Some bronchodilators are short-acting medications that work as rescue inhalers to provide fast relief of coughing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and wheezing. Asthma inhalers that deliver one or more types of medication are also available.

People who are unable to use handheld inhalers that deliver a dose of medication when inhaled may be prescribed treatments using asthma nebulizers. This type of treatment involves inhaling medication through a mouthpiece or mask. Treatment is delivered via a machine. The machine turns liquid medication into an inhalable mist that reaches the lungs more effectively. Breathing treatment lasts for a few minutes, making it more complicated and time-consumptive than a traditional asthma inhaler.

Prednisone, an oral corticosteroid, is also a treatment for asthma. The medicine reduces swelling in the airways, providing asthma symptom relief.

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