What Is Asthma?

Asthma is a disease that affects more than 25 million Americans. This medical condition impacts the lungs, airways, and corresponding muscles. When the air passages encounter a trigger like dust or tobacco, the airways become inflamed and restrict the flow of air in the lungs. The muscles around the airways also tighten and further constrict the passage of air. The airway glands can also produce a thick mucus substance that makes breathing difficult. All these factors lead to a variety of symptoms that asthma patients struggle with.

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What are the symptoms of asthma?

Coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightening are common symptoms of an asthma attack. Wheezing is a whistling sound that develops as air struggles to flow through the passageways. Asthma symptoms can occur at any time, especially when the patient has a cold or comes in contact with an allergen. An asthma attack occurs when the symptoms get progressively worse within a short period of time and the patient struggles to breathe.

Are there treatments available for asthma?

There are a few different types of medications available to asthma patients. Short-term relief medications can be used during an asthma attack to relieve symptoms and improve breathing. Patients often take long-term medications to manage asthma symptoms and stave off asthma attacks. These medications range from breathing treatments to injections.

What types of treatments do patients use for short-term relief?

Medications like short-acting beta 2-agonists (SABAs) and oral corticosteroids provide fast-relief for patients experiencing an attack. SABA medications can expand lung passageways to increase airflow during an attack. Oral corticosteroids reduce inflammation of the airways.

What are some long-term medications for asthma?

Long-term medications are meant to be taken on a regular basis to prevent asthma attacks. These medicines include corticosteroids, biologic medicine, allergy shots, and leukotriene modifiers. Allergy shots and biologic medicines are injectables used to help the body fight against allergens. Leukotriene modifiers are pills that alleviate swelling of the passageways and corresponding muscles. Depending on the patient’s treatment plan, patients may take multiple medications every day.

What is a prescription inhaler for asthma?

Many prescription inhalers contain a corticosteroid in vapor form. These inhalers are small, handheld devices that are used once patients start noticing asthma symptom flareups. When the patient uses the inhaler, the vapor travels into the body and loosens up the muscles and airways to promote breathing.

Where can I get a prescription inhaler?

Patients in need of prescription medication for asthma should schedule an appointment with a doctor. A medical provider can conduct the appropriate tests to diagnose the patient and develop a comprehensive treatment plan. Doctors can also write prescriptions for asthma medications and inhalers.

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