Treatments for Asthma
If you have asthma there are some very safe and effective medicines that will help you to breathe more easily. Most asthma medicines come in a device called an inhaler. You can use an inhaler to breathe in your medicine so that it reaches your lungs quickly and starts to make them better.
There are two main types of medicine used to make your asthma symptoms better - relievers and preventers.
Everyone with asthma should have a reliever inhaler. When you get asthma symptoms a reliever inhaler (usually blue) will help to relax the muscles around your airways, making it easier to breathe again. You should keep your reliever inhaler with you all the time? Then you can take a puff whenever you have difficulty with your breathing.
Preventer inhalers (usually brown or orange) help to soothe and calm the inflammation in your airways. Preventer medicine can help to make your airways less irritable. This means that you will be less likely to have difficulty breathing when you come into contact with an asthma trigger. If your doctor gives you a preventer inhaler you should take it regularly - even if you are feeling well. Although the preventer will make you feel better, it does not make your asthma go away altogether. So you will need to take your preventer regularly to keep your lungs healthy and strong.
There are lots of different kinds of inhalers to choose from. It's important that you feel comfortable using your inhalers. If you're having difficulties, don't be afraid to ask your doctor or nurse to show you how to use them again, or, if that doesn't work, ask if you can try other kinds of inhaler.
A spacer is a plastic container with a mouthpiece at one end and a hole for the aerosol inhaler at the other. When you press your inhaler the fine spray of medicine is trapped inside the spacer ready for you to breathe it in. Spacers are important because they help to deliver medicine straight to your lungs. Spacers only work with an aerosol inhaler and come in different shapes and sizes - if you have one of these your doctor or nurse will show you how it works.