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Women's Health

Mercy Women's Care at St. Anne
3404 W. Sylvania Avenue
Toledo, OH 43623

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Navarre Medical Plaza
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Suite 101
Oregon, OH 43616

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Toledo, OH 43608

Treating Asthma

separator The way you treat your asthma depends on the severity of your symptoms and how often you have them. Asthma medications use anti-inflammatories to reduce the swelling in your airways and bronchodilators to relax the muscles that can tighten those airways further.

Here’s an overview of the types of medications people with asthma use.

Mild or intermittent asthma: typically, you would take a short-acting bronchodilator. These are often referred to as “rescue” medications. They take effect within five minutes and last for about two to four hours.

Moderate to severe: usually, you would take, every day, a long-acting bronchodilator and an anti-inflammatory (often an inhaled corticosteroid). Additionally, you would have a quick-relief medication to take if necessary for flare-ups. Long-acting bronchodilators and anti-inflammatories do not provide quick relief. Sometimes, your doctor will prescribe one inhaler that allows you to take your long-acting bronchodilators and anti-inflammatories in one dose.

►        Check expiration dates on your medications
Be sure to keep your asthma medications up to date. Check expiration dates on a regular basis. If you’re planning a trip, check in advance to make sure your drugs are current.

What about over-the-counter medications?
The two most common asthma drugs you can buy without a prescription are Bronkaid and Primatene Mist. They provide relief for about 30 minutes. It’s not at all helpful to your asthma to use these medications to control frequent symptoms. If you are using these drugs often, it’s time to see a doctor to determine whether you would benefit from prescription medications that can get your symptoms under control and prevent long-term damage to your lungs.

What about shots for asthma treatment?
There’s a possibility that if your asthma symptoms are triggered by allergens such as mold, pollen or others, you could benefit from allergy shots. This is also called immunotherapy. Your doctor can help you determine whether allergy shots would be a good idea for you.

What about alternative treatments?
The alternative therapies that may help reduce asthma symptoms are geared toward promoting a sense of relaxation and calm. These include

  • Acupuncture
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Yoga
  • Qigong

You may want to try these in addition to your routine medication, NOT as a replacement.

Journal of the American Medical Association, June 2005.
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