A Guide to Asthma Medications
Before deciding on an appropriate form of medication, it is important to understand the signs and symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms are frequent coughing, shortness of breath (especially during physical exertion) and chest pains. If you recognize these symptoms in your child, it is important to seek medical attention.
After your child has been diagnosed with asthma, you should research some of the different treatment options so that you can select one that is suitable for your child.
Inhalers are the most common form of asthma treatment for adults and children. In order to make the process easier for your child, they usually come with a device called a spacer that holds the medication in place while your child inhales. However, new research suggests that parents who assist their children with their inhalers aren’t using the device correctly. Failure to use the inhaler properly may result in your child receiving an inadequate amount of the medication. This can cause the symptoms to continue or even worsen. Therefore, if you decide on using an inhaler to treat your child’s asthma, be sure to ask your physician to show both you and your child the proper way to use the device. It is also important to learn about the different types of inhalers available in order to understand which one is suitable for your child.
Reliever Inhalers provide your child with immediate relief from their asthma symptoms. They work quickly and effectively by relieving the muscles around the airways which control chest pains and shortness of breath. However, relievers are more suitable for short term relief, as they attack the problem as they happen. One tip to keep in mind is that your child should not need to use the reliever more than three times a week. When this is the case, they may have been prescribed a treatment that is not well suited to treat their symptoms.
In contrast to Reliever Inhalers, Preventers help reduce your child’s chances of experiencing uncomfortable symptoms of asthma by helping to protect their airways. They do this by reducing the swelling in the airways so that when your child experiences shortness of breath or coughing, their symptoms will not be as serious or uncomfortable. They are also more suitable for children with more serious cases of asthma because they greatly reduce the chances of a severe asthma attack. However, much like the reliever inhaler, parents should always request a demonstration by the physician to ensure that it is being used properly at home. If you notice that your child needs to use their reliever inhaler more than three times a week, it may indicate that they need a preventer inhaler.
This form of treatment is mainly suitable for children who have extreme symptoms or are suffering from an asthma attack. It is not generally prescribed in any other situations.