A brief overview of asthma inhalers

Asthma is the result of an interplay between hereditary tendencies and environmental factors. The exact cause of the disease is not known nor is there any cure. There are many who experience mild symptoms of asthma and seldom require an occasional puff at their inhalers. Those who suffer significant symptoms and impediments, however, have to resort to immediate and effective asthma treatment. Inhalers are an important equipment that have revolutionized the administration of asthma drugs and have greatly aided in the treatment of asthma.

Inhalers are the main part of asthma treatment. Inhalers that are used twice a day to control the daily symptoms are called preventers. The strategy of providing chronic asthma treatment is to keep the daily symptoms under check at low levels which generally reduces the periodic outbursts, thereby enabling the individual to lead a healthy life. These contain corticosteroids like beclomethasone, budesonide, and the like. These take about a fortnight to reduce the inflammation of the bronchi. There are also inhalers available which do not have any steroids. They are, however, less effective and do not have the same side effects.

In spite of the best efforts, a periodic exacerbation is not totally avoidable. One needs to have rapid and short acting medicines to get quick relief. The long lasting relievers are generally a combination of a beta agonist and a steroid. These keep the bronchi open for a longer time. More advanced inhalers are the pressurized metered dose inhalers, breath actuated inhalers, nebulizers, etc. Each has their own merits and demerits. Pressurized metered dose inhalers were the first and are still very common; their biggest advantage is easy portability.

The inhalers, be it of any type, have an important advantage. In inhalers, the medicine is delivered to the targeted area and quantities of medicines are small. This definitely reduces the cost of asthma treatment. These modern drugs that provide miraculous effects also have severe side effects. Users need to be aware of these and obtain expert opinion whenever they experience any sort of side effects.