Asthma education may be almost as important as asthma medication. Knowing what to do, when to do it, and why you need what you need — that’s what really helps keep your asthma in check.
One of the most important things anyone with asthma should know is the difference between quick-acting medicines (often called “rescue medicines”) and maintenance medicines. Here’s the skinny on them:
You use them when you need help right away. You don’t want to need them, but they’re important to have handy when you do.
They help keep you stable, keep your lungs stable. They don’t work quickly. They do their job once you’ve been on them for a while.
So, quick-acting medicines help your breathing right away. Maintaining your asthma – keeping it in check – by using asthma maintenance medicines regularly helps you keep out of trouble. They help keep you breathing well, keep you safe, and keep you from needing your quick-acting medicines.
Maintaining your asthma education helps keep you safe, too! Keeping yourself up to date on what is best for you and your asthma will help you know that you’re doing all you can to stay healthy and breathing easy.
For instance, using steroid (or “corticosteroid”) inhalers to keep asthma under control is currently the best choice, according to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. But, there are other types of asthma maintenance medicines which may work for you, too.
One nice little overview of these maintenance, or “controller”, medications for asthma can be found on the UC Davis Health System web site. It’s short, sweet, and to the point. Once you review it, you may want to talk with your doctor or asthma care specialist about whether any of them might be right for you.
Keeping current about what treatments are available is only part of the asthma education that’s important, though. The other big part is knowing what is going on with you. This is best done by keeping regular asthma check-ups with your health care provider, keeping your Asthma Action Plan updated, and taking time to notice any mild signs that your asthma may be starting to act up. (Look for things like a mild cough, getting “winded” easily, not sleeping well, decreased energy, chest tightness, mild wheezing, etc.)
Maintaining your asthma is vital and maintaining your asthma education can really help!
Posted – August 7, 2012