Asthma can be completely controlled through the proper and consistent use of medication. The type of proper medical treatment depends on what kind of asthma you have, and the severity of your symptoms. Treatment is divided into two protocols: long-term control or maintenance for each of the various types of asthma and quick relief during acute exacerbations.
LONG-TERM AND MAINTENANCE TREATMENT PROTOCOLS
Treatment of mild, intermittent asthma may involve intermittent use of inhaled beta-antagonist agents. If you have exercise-induced asthma, your treatment should be administered 10 - 20 minutes before beginning physical activity. In addition, inhaled chromones can be used before
exposure. This will act as a preventive treatment: they are not useful once the symptoms develop.
Treatment of mild, persistent asthma begins by adding an antiinflammatory agent, such as inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs), to your medications. Long-acting inhaled beta-antagonists can be used in this stage as a component of the treatment protocol but should not be used alone. A leukotriene modifying agent, such as Zyflo, should be considered if your asthma symptoms are not well controlled with the inhaled corticosteroids alone. If you have been diagnosed with mild, persistent asthma, you might be a good candidate for allergy testing. If your testing is positive, then you should be treated for your allergies.
The treatment for moderate persistent asthma includes inhaled corticosteroids, prescribed at a higher dosage, along with short acting beta - antagonists. The ICS dose should be reduced if the symptoms are well controlled. But if the symptoms persist after a few weeks of intense ICS therapy, a second agent, such as theophylline or leukotriene should be added.
When you suffer from an acute severe asthma attack, rapid reversal of asthma symptoms is accomplished with multiple doses of inhaled, short-acting beta-antagonists, including Albuterol. At times, it is necessary to administer continuous nebulization with a compressor to obtain relief To combat bronchial inflammation, intravenous or oral corticosteroids are often used, although they can take up to 6 hours to begin working. Antibiotics are used if an infection is suspected or proven to be a triggering factor of the asthma. Lastly, oxygen is given to correct the low oxygen levels. Magnesium sulfate can also be given intravenously as it has a bronchodilator effect.