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Management and Treatment of Asthma

Treatment for asthma

Specific treatments for asthma will be determined by your child's doctor based on:

  • Your child's age, overall health, and medical history

  • Extent of the disease

  • Your child's tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies

  • Expectations for the course of the disease

  • Your opinion or preference

As of yet, there is no cure for asthma. However, asthma can be controlled with prescription medications that may help to prevent or relieve symptoms, and by learning ways to manage episodes.

Managing asthma

People with asthma can learn to identify and avoid the things that trigger an episode, and educate themselves about medications and other asthma management strategies.

According to the most recent Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma, published by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute:

  • Asthma is a chronic disease. It has to be cared for all the time--not just when symptoms are present:

    • The four parts of managing asthma are:

      • Identify and minimize contact with asthma triggers.

      • Understand and take medications as prescribed.

      • Monitor asthma to recognize signs when it is getting worse.

      • Know what to do when asthma gets worse.

  • Work with a health care professional to determine the best way to take care of your child's asthma. There are specific guidelines for children from infants to 4 years old, 5 to 11 years old, and 12 and older.

  • The more information a person with asthma has, the better asthma can be controlled.

Four components of asthma treatment:

  1. The use of objective measures of lung function--spirometry, oximeters, peak flow expiratory flow rate--to access the severity of asthma, and to monitor the course of treatment.

  2. The use of medication therapy designed to reverse and prevent the airway inflammation component of asthma, as well as to treat the narrowing airway.

  3. The use of environmental control measures to avoid or eliminate factors that induce or trigger asthma flare-ups, including the consideration of immunotherapy.

  4. Patient education that includes a partnership among the child, family members, and the child's doctor.

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