Asthma is triggered by allergies which can be treated with therapy for the immune system. These medications involve the use of corticosteroids for reducing inflammation of air pathways. Timely medication can go a long way in treating asthma.
Most often medication is taken by inhalation. Asthma treatment is done using glucocorticoids. They cannot be used in high doses as they can cause side effects including blood glucose and appetite problems. It can also cause fat problems and osteoporosis. The inhalers used for medications like triamcinolone, beclomethasone, budesonide and fluticasone. In order to prevent accumulation of them in the throat, oral rinsing is done after inhalation.
Antihistamines are popularly used for allergy treatments. They are used to treat allergies that can cause asthma as well. Some of these can cause mucous formation which can obstruct the throat and hence those should not be used. Allergy immunotherapy also called Allergy Desensitization is done when an asthma attack is anticipated. The medication is injected into the blood directly. The chances of success are higher before the condition of asthma worsens. If the patient doesn’t have any allergies then the treatment can also be done orally. This is most suited for children. Immunotherapy can reduce the need for further medication drastically.
Mast cell stabilizers can prevent allergic reactions from kicking off. They work on mast cells which are a part of the immune response. When an allergy is anticipated they have to be administered immediately and are ineffective once an asthma attack has started. Like medication that works on mast cells, there are other drugs that work on leukocytes. Called Leukotriene modifiers they help in reducing the inflammation of the air pathway due to an asthma attack. These are also inhaled but they are not as widely used as glucocorticoids.
Immunoglobin blockers like Omalizumab are also used. They are helped to treat severe allergies. These are expensive and only used when other medications are not effective enough. It is administered by injection into the blood. Bronchodilators are also used sometimes for asthma attacks which are mild. They are not as potent as corticosteroids.
If an attack is severe and the patient doesn’t respond to medication then he warrants medical attention. In the emergency ward, first oxygen is given to make up for the loss due to the attack. Nebulizer treatment is then administered. Large doses of medication are delivered using nebulizers. Medication is converted to steam which makes its way through the patient’s air pathways. Since the patient usually is unable to make efforts to respire, this method can prove to be very useful.
Non-medical treatments there are many treatments for asthma in other forms of medicine. Some of these treatments have got more to do with faith than science. Fish medicine therapy is one such popular alternative in Asia. It has its origins in India. It involves stuffing an herbal medicine cure for asthma into a fish that is pushed down a patient’s mouth. Many people have claimed relief with this treatment. Camps are held every year in the Indian subcontinent and there is always a huge gathering. Another popular treatment is homeopathy. Homeopathy is widely practiced and there are many people who follow homeopathy are there are all over the world. Another alternative technique is the control of hyperventilation. This method is called the Buteyko method has reduced dependence on drugs to a good extent. Acupuncture is another technique with disputed claims. Yoga practitioners have also claimed success with asanas. Yoga has been practiced for many years and the west has taken to it in a big way. Respiratory problems like asthma are tackled by deep and forceful breathing.
Respiratory disorders have to be tackled with care. Smoking is a complete no for asthma patients. Even inhaling smoke can cause a serious attack. Pollution can also cause asthma. Hence those with allergies should protect themselves from it. Filter masks can help a great deal when outdoor. They have to be regularly changed. Dust and pollen can also trigger an asthma attack. Hence it is advisable to avoid places with greenery during spring. Those with asthma should avoid excessively chilled drinks and foods that can lead to cold and cough thereby increasing the severity of an attack.