Aerosol inhalers require a special technique, which is very important to master in order for the treatment to be effective. Powder inhalers are much easier to use. Many of them are also equipped with dose counters that let you know that the drug is over and you need to purchase a new inhaler. Details about the different types of inhalers and their advantages and disadvantages will tell you your doctor. Be sure to ask him clarifying questions about this!
The inhalation route of administration is logical - after all, the drug is delivered directly to the place where the inflammation occurs! But it is not convenient for all patients, not everyone master the inhalation technique well, not everyone succeeds in achieving control using only inhalers. Therefore, there are drugs for oral administration, this route of administration is called oral (from Latin per os - through the mouth). These drugs come in pill form.
In tablets are issued:
- glucocorticosteroids (powerful anti-inflammatory drugs that are only used to treat severe asthma and relieve exacerbations).
- anti-leukotriene drugs (non-hormonal anti-inflammatory drugs, are used to treat mild asthma in the form of monotherapy and in combination with inhalants in more severe forms).
- theophyllines (bronchodilators, the use of which requires monitoring of their content in the blood, due to the risk of serious side effects).
Tablet preparations are convenient for patients, especially for children - they are easy to take, no special skills or devices are required. The drugs taken once a day are especially convenient - patients practically do not forget to take them. Some drugs that can be used in children come in the form of chewable tablets with a pleasant taste - this is also very convenient and makes the treatment not only effective, but also interesting! Ask your doctor specific questions about what medications and asthma treatment options can and should be prescribed for you.
Select (check) the questions you need, depending on whether you have been diagnosed with asthma or not.
- Describe in detail what is bothering you (coughing, shortness of breath, feeling of suffocation, waking up at night, wheezing or other wheezing, any other symptoms).
- Tell us when the symptoms (complaints) first appeared and how they changed over time: what caused the symptoms and what time of year it was.
If you have already been diagnosed with asthma earlier - what is causing the symptoms now (think of colds, flowering plants, contact with animals, taking medications, etc.):
- How often do daytime symptoms occur;
- How many times do you wake up at night with asthma symptoms;
- If you have already been diagnosed with asthma earlier - how many times a day (per week) do you use your inhaler - bronchodilator?
How Asthma Symptoms Affect Daily Life
It is very important to tell if you have any symptoms of rhinitis ("runny nose") - nasal congestion, rhinorrhea, itching in the nose, sneezing, eye symptoms - itching and burning in the eyes, redness, watery eyes.
Note: Symptoms may occur at certain times - for example, during the flowering season, or bother you constantly. If you have allergic rhinitis, it is important that your doctor also prescribes rhinitis treatment or refers you to an ENT specialist. If rhinitis is left untreated, asthma is much more difficult to control!
- If you have already been diagnosed with asthma earlier - what medications you were prescribed and what medications you are taking, and in what doses.
- If for some reason you are not taking the prescribed medications or are not taking them as prescribed by the doctor, explain to the doctor why. For example, it seems to you that the drug does not help, it is inconvenient to use an inhaler, it is inconvenient to use 2 or more than once a day, it tastes bad, you are afraid of side effects, you know that there are other ways to treat asthma, for example, oral tablets, any other reasons .
- If possible, take the medication with you when you go to see a doctor. This will help to avoid confusion with the names of the drugs and doses, and will also enable the doctor to check whether you are doing the inhalation correctly.
- Honestly tell your doctor what medications you are taking and do not hide if you do not take something - you are not being treated in order to please the doctor! If the disease is not controlled, it is extremely important for you and your doctor to understand why this is happening. Either the drugs are incorrectly selected, or you do not receive the medication in sufficient doses, or you need to add additional medication to the therapy. In any case, after performing special tests, the doctor will understand that you are taking medication irregularly.
What to ask a doctor about:
- Is it asthma?
- How can I control asthma?
- What drugs should I take?
- How to take them? (inhaled / in tablets?)
- How to do inhalation?
- What side effects can inhaled drugs cause?
- What side effects can tablet drugs cause?
- Where can I buy a peak flow meter? How to use it?
- What if symptoms worsen?
- What should I do if I have a cold?
- Do I have allergic rhinitis?
- What medications do I need to treat allergic rhinitis?
- Should (should) I somehow change my life? Nutrition, life, habits, etc.?
- Can I play sports? Are there any sports that are shown / contraindicated to me? If I am active in sports, which drugs are best for me?
- Find out if it would be better for you to use anti-hormonal drugs?
- Ask if it makes sense to take anti-inflammatory drugs in your case?
- If it is difficult for your child to take medicine in the form of an inhaler, do you know if it is possible to use medicines with flavoring additives?
- Check which drug (s) is best for you or your child if you have any special circumstances, for example:
- Someone else in your family has asthma.
- You are suffering from allergic rhinitis at the same time.
- You have hypersensitivity to aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
- You are a smoker.
- You increased body weight.
- Asthma attacks (or episodes of difficulty breathing, coughing, etc.) are caused by physical exertion.
- Asthma attacks (or episodes of difficulty breathing, coughing, etc.
- Do seizures occur when inhaling cold air?
- If therapy was prescribed earlier, the prescribed drugs did not give the expected effect.
- You are afraid of the side effects of corticosteroids.
- Any other circumstances that you consider to be special and that excite you!
Select all the questions that are important to you, print them out and take with you to the doctor's appointment!