The same allergens that sneeze fits and watery eyes can cause an asthma attack in other people. The most common type of asthma is allergic asthma.
Approximately 90% of children with childhood asthma have allergies compared to about 50% of adults with asthma. The symptoms associated with allergic asthma appear after you respire things called allergens (or allergy triggers) such as pollen, mites or mold.
If you have allergic or non-allergic asthma, it usually gets worse after exercising in cold air or breathing smoke, dust or fumes. Even a strong smell can sometimes set it off.
Since allergens are everywhere, it is important for people with allergic asthma to know how to prevent an attack. If you have allergic asthma, your airways are particularly susceptible to some allergens. Once your immune system has entered your body, it overreacts.
Muscles tighten around your airways. The airways are inflamed and over time thick mucus is inundated. The symptoms are generally the same whether you have allergic or non-allergic asthma.
Remember that allergens are not the only thing that can aggravate your allergic asthma. Irritants may still cause an asthma attack, even if they do not cause any allergic reactions.
If the symptoms of asthma are in high gear and the wheezing and coughing sets in, the rescue inhaler is exactly the inhaler. If you have asthma, your rescue inhaler, along with your wallet and car keys, should be among the first things you get when you leave the house.
Asthma inhalers are portable handheld devices that supply medicines to your lungs. A variety of asthma inhalers can be used to control symptoms of asthma.
Finding the right one and correctly using it can help you get the medication you need to prevent or treat attacks with asthma. To find the best inhaler for you, you must find a balance between the correct drug and the type of inhaler that suits your needs and your ability to correctly use the inhaler.
Training from your doctor or other health care professional is essential if you want to learn to use the device you choose.
Metered dose inhalers– These inhalers consist of a pressure canister containing drugs that fit into a plastic mouthpiece in the shape of a boot. The medication is released by pushing the canister into the boot with most metered dose inhalers.
One type of metered dose inhaler automatically releases medication when you inhale. Some inhalers have metered dose counters so you know how many doses are left.
If there is no counter, you must track the number of doses you used or purchase a separate electronic dose counter to tell when the inhaler is low.
In some cases, the use of a spacer or valved holding chamber with an inhaler may make it easier to inhale the full dose, for example for children or older adults.
After it is released, a spacer holds the medication in a tube between the inhaler and your mouth. A valved holding chamber is a specialized spacer with a one-way valve to help control drug flow.
You can inhale more slowly by releasing the medication into the spacer, increasing the amount that reaches your lungs.
Dry powder inhaler– You release the medication in these inhalers instead of chemical propellant to push the medication out of the inhaler by breathing in a deep, fast breath.
Multi-dose devices hold up to 200 doses and single- dose devices that you fill with a capsule before each treatment.
Asthma Medications & Treatments
The types and doses of asthma drugs you need depend on your age, symptoms, severity of asthma, and side effects of the medication.
Since your asthma can change over time, work closely with your doctor to track your symptoms and, if necessary, adjust your asthma medication.
Many people with asthma have to take long- term medicines every day, even if they have no symptoms to control chronic symptoms and to prevent asthma attacks — the most important treatment for most asthma patients.
Long-term control medications
There are various types of medications for long- term control, including the following: Inhaled corticosteroids, Leukotriene modifiers, Long-acting beta agonists (LABAs), Theophylline, and Combination inhalers that contain both a corticosteroid and a LABA.
These asthma drugs open the lungs by relieving the muscles of the airways. Often referred to as rescue medications, they can alleviate symptoms or stop an asthma attack.
They start working in minutes and last four to six hours. They’re not for everyday use. Some people use a quick-relief inhaler to prevent shortness of breath and other symptoms of asthma before exercise.
Jitteriness and palpitations are possible side effects. Quick-relief drugs contain Short-acting beta-agonists such as albuterol, Ipratropium (Atrovent), and Oral and intravenous corticosteroids (for serious asthma attacks).
Medications for asthma triggered by allergies
Allergy shots- If you have allergic asthma that cannot be controlled by avoiding triggers, allergy shots (immunotherapy) can be an option.
You will start skin tests to determine which allergens cause your symptoms of asthma. You will then receive a number of injections that contain small doses of these allergens. u
You usually receive injections for a few months once a week, and then for three to five years once a month. Immunotherapy can be done faster in some cases. You should lose your sensitivity to allergens over time.
Allergy medications– These include antihistamines and decongestants for oral and nasal sprays, as well as corticosteroids and cromolyn nasal sprays.
An over- the- counter and prescription allergy medications are available. They can help with allergic rhinitis, but they do not replace asthma drugs. Nasal corticosteroid spray helps to reduce inflammation without causing the rebound effect caused by non-prescription sprays sometimes.
Since cromolyn has few, if any, side effects, it can be used safely for long periods.
Your doctor may recommend biologics treatment if you have severe asthma with symptoms that are not easily managed by control drugs. In example Omalizumab.
Sometimes Omalizumab (Xolair) is used to treat asthma caused by allergens in the air. If you have allergies, your immune system produces antibodies that cause allergies to attack substances that generally do no harm, such as pollen, dust mites, and pet dander.
Omalizumab blocks the action of these antibodies, reducing the reaction of the immune system causing allergy and asthma. A newer class of biologic drugs was developed to target certain substances secreted by certain cells of the immune system.
Certain white blood cells called eosinophils build up in body tissues for some people. Eosinophils secrete the cytokines, substances that cause inflammation.
Together with other asthma drugs, biologics help people with more severe forms of asthma to control their symptoms more effectively.