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Respiratory Medications > Learning Center > Asthma

Asthma

   

Asthma is becoming more and more common today. Researchers are not sure if this is the case because of environmental factors like poor air quality, exposure to chemicals at home or the workplace, or if genetics are responsible. They do know for sure that more people have asthma, and many have more serious problems because of it. Asthma is a breathing disorder that causes a person’s airways to partially close. Those who suffer from it often have trouble breathing and have to rely on inhalers to help them when they have an attack. Attacks can be brought on by any number of things, such as an allergen like plants or smoke, a significant change in air temperature, or over exertion during exercise.

People with severe asthma can have attacks for no reason at all. Luckily, there are a number of treatments for this disease. The most common is an inhaler. In the past, inhalers were generally used when a person had an attack to stop it, but today there are inhalers designed to be used daily to help prevent asthma attacks. Inhalers usually contain some form of steroid, which helps open the airways. Oral steroids are another option for treating asthma. Pills are taken daily, again to prevent a person’s airways from becoming closed up or inflamed. Patients who take steroids usually carry an inhaler as well, in case they do have an attack. When a sufferer has an attack, it may be as mild as a shortness of breath or difficulty in catching one’s breath; it can be as serious as being unable to catch one’s breath and having to go to a hospital for treatment. Because of the potential severity of an attack, those with asthma have to be very careful in managing this disease.

Related Information

Asthma Medication
There are a number of asthma medications available.

Asthma Treatments
Asthma treatments depend on how severe a person’s asthma is.