How to keep your asthma under control

GEHA | August 2, 2021

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Use your long-term control medication daily to help prevent asthma attacks.

If you have asthma, you know that all it takes is a trigger such as a cold, allergy, chemical irritant or air pollution to send you into the danger zone. But if you skip your medication, even when you don’t have symptoms, your flare-ups could be more frequent and worsen your asthma in the future.

Asthma is a life-long disease that is caused by inflammation in the airways. During an asthma attack, the lining of the airway swells and constricts the airway muscles.

Asthma medication plays a key role in how well you control your condition. There are two main types of treatment, each geared toward a specific goal:

  • Controller medications are the most important because they prevent asthma attacks. When you use these drugs, your airways are less inflamed and less likely to react to triggers.
  • Quick-relief medications, also called rescue medications, relax the muscles around your airway. If you need to use a rescue medication more than twice a week, your asthma isn’t well-controlled.

Even if you feel well, your asthma hasn’t gone away and your airways might still be inflamed. Don’t skip your maintenance medications. You can regain control and live an active and normal life by avoiding triggers and taking your medicine as prescribed. If you notice more symptoms or a difference in breathing, see your doctor right away.


Sources:
“Why You Need to Take Asthma Medicine, Even If You Feel Fine.” “Why You Need to Take Asthma Medicine, Even If You Feel Fine.” www.health.com, Meredith Health Group, Meredith Corporation, 29 February, 2016.
“Treating Asthma: Preventing Damage to the Airways.” “Treating Asthma: Preventing Damage to the Airways.” www.webmd.com, WebMD, 4 November, 2005.
“Asthma Medications.”“Treating Asthma: Preventing Damage to the Airways.” www.webmd.com, WebMD, 11 August, 2019.