Different Kinds of Medications Suited For Different Types of Asthma
Asthma can be treated, controlled and managed as long as proper medications are given to patients. The most important thing to remember about asthma is that its medication is not universal; meaning, what may be an effective medication to one asthmatic may not be as effective to another asthmatic.
Physicians usually prescribe antihistamines to patients who are showing signs of having “hay fever” (allergic rhinitis) and hives. Antihistamines work by preventing the effects of chemical substances called histamines that are released during an episode of an allergic reaction. With antihistamines, the symptoms of the allergy can be lessened. Some side effects of antihistamines include nightmares (in children), drowsiness, dry mouth, constipation and difficulty in urination.
Nasal congestion and other symptoms of allergies are the main targets of decongestants. They constrict the blood vessels, which in turn decrease the amount of fluid that goes into the nose’s lining which causes congestion. That’s why these medicines are called decongestants because they primarily work by preventing and stopping congestion in the nose. Some side effects of decongestants may include increased heart rate or blood pressure, sleeplessness, nervousness, and rebound rhinitis.
From the name itself, it can be obvious that these help dilate the muscles surrounding the airways, making breathing easier and manageable during asthma attacks. By relaxing the muscles of the airways, there will be improved airflow and the patient can have a more relaxed and smooth breathing pattern.
4) Metered-Dose Inhalers
These are hand-held devices that make use of propellants to deliver appropriately measured doses to the lungs of asthmatic patients. Also known as MDIs, these devices are very important to the health of asthmatics and are used to deliver different ingredients for a wide range of medical conditions. MDIs are held most important in the field of asthma and other respiratory diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
5) Metered-Dose Inhalers With Spacers
Spacers act as a “receiving” or “filtering” chamber that receives the aerosol before it will be inhaled by the patient. The spacers have two functions: to slow down the speed of the drug entering the mouth so that there will be less impact on the throat and to overcome any possible difficulties that are connected in the timing of the actuation and inhalation. In short, spacers are great for first-time users of metered dose inhalers as well as children.
6) Dry Powder Inhaler
A dry powder inhaler works quite similar with metered-dose inhalers. They are handheld devices that work by delivering an appropriate dose of asthma medication to the lungs of asthmatic patients. It is said that dry powder inhalers are easier to use since they are breath activated; meaning, one does not necessarily have to activate the inhaler (by spraying it) and then inhale it at the same time. Dry powder inhalers simply work as the patient breathes in quickly or sucks the medication in.
7) Small Volume Nebulizer
A small-volume nebulizer is a device that is used to treat and control asthma attacks. These devices turn asthma medications into a fine mist with the use of a small air compressor. The medicine is turned into a mist and inhaled deeply into the airways and lungs of asthmatic patients. The inhalation of the “mist” usually takes about 10 to 20 minutes to finish.