Effective Treatments in the Fight Against Asthma
Asthma affects hundreds of thousands of people in Colorado. As of 2007, 6.6% of adults and 9.1% of children reported having asthma. Many more people have not been diagnosed and are at risk. While asthma symptoms vary in severity and frequency, it is a serious condition that can lead to hospitalization and even death. Fortunately, asthma can be successfully controlled through medication and prevention. Some treatments have been around for decades and work well, but new and exciting options are having a big impact.
The Effects of Asthma
Asthma is defined as “variable and recurring symptoms with reversible airway obstruction and bronchospasm.” These airway obstructions and bronchospasms cause coughing, chest tightness, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
For many, these symptoms become so severe that hospitalization becomes necessary. Of the 9.1% of children in Colorado who have asthma, 20% visited the emergency room at least once the previous year. 38% missed at least one day of school because of an asthmatic episode. Many adults, too, found themselves unable to engage in normal activities, and 18% had difficulty sleeping.
Traditional Treatments for Asthma
Effective asthma treatments have been around for over 50 years. One of the first treatments to have a major impact was Albuterol, a medication that quickly relieves wheezing and shortness of breath and lasts up to 6 hours.
About 30 years ago, scientists began to recognize the importance of treating inflammation. “Low-dose” steroid therapy administered through an inhaler helped to keep inflammation under control. Combined with Albuterol, medications like Advair, Symbicort, Dulera, and Breo can be successfully to keep asthma symptoms at bay.
Exciting New Asthma Treatment Options
The most interesting asthma therapy to be developed in the last few years is called “biologics.” These treatments attack the root causes of inflammation and have been highly effective at reducing asthmatic episodes and regulating symptoms. Other exciting biological therapies are coming soon, part of a renaissance in asthma science.
While the data are limited and inconclusive about herbal remedies, lifestyle changes and preventative measures can help asthmatics reduce their symptoms and the frequency of attacks. Here are some beneficial measures asthmatics can take to improve their condition:
- Identifying and avoiding triggers
- Avoiding serious illnesses
- Getting regular exercise
- Doing breathing exercises
- Playing an instrument or singing in a choir
- Never breathing in tobacco, marijuana, or vapors
- Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet
- Maintaining a healthy weight
Asthma & Allergy Associates Can Help You in Your Fight
Our asthma and allergy specialists have helped asthma sufferers all over Colorado. Our patients benefit from
- Reduced sick days.
- A long-term management plan.
- Less emergency room visits.
- Trigger avoidance.
- Individualized and cutting-edge treatment options.
If you or your child has asthma, please contact us. Asthma doesn’t have to control your life. With medications, lifestyle changes, and experienced guidance, you can successfully win the battle against asthma!