Reviewed by Dr Claudia Pastides, 17th April 2019
Currently there is no cure for asthma, but there are various treatments to help manage the symptoms. With the right treatment plan, asthma sufferers can lead a normal life and prevent the symptoms having a negative impact on their work or social life. Once your doctor has diagnosed asthma, they will recommend a personal treatment plan depending on the severity of your symptoms and how you respond to various medication. We’ve listed the most common treatments for asthma below.
The majority of people will be prescribed at least one inhaler, which delivers medication directly to the lungs. There are two main types of inhaler:
These inhalers should be used by all asthma sufferers to relieve symptoms quickly. The medicine in the inhaler widens the airways to make breathing easier. These inhalers shouldn’t need to be used very often – if you need it more than a few times a week then speak to your GP who will review your treatment plan.
You may also be prescribed a preventer inhaler, which contains steroids. These are usually used daily to prevent asthma symptoms, as the medication reduces inflammation in the airways. It’s vital to use this inhaler regularly as prescribed, because it keeps the symptoms under control.
Tablets and other treatments
If you find you are still suffering symptoms when using the inhalers, doctors can also prescribe tablets and other treatments.
The tablets prescribed for asthma usually need to be taken every day. They work by relaxing the muscles around the airways to make breathing easier, and stop the airways becoming inflamed.
Treatments for severe asthma
If your asthma symptoms are still not controlled or you are having an asthma attack, then you might need to take a short course of steroid tablets. These are effective at reducing inflammation of the airways, however they also come with some side effects which a doctor will discuss with you.
There is also an injectable medication available which is used in a small number of people for controlling severe asthma. Given once every four weeks, it can ease symptoms if other medications have not helped.
If you’d like to discuss your asthma treatment options, speak to a Babylon GP today.
The information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Seek the advice of a doctor with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never delay seeking or disregard professional medical advice because of something you have read here.