ZocdocAnswersHow can I prevent the symptoms of an asthma attack before they strike?

Question

How can I prevent the symptoms of an asthma attack before they strike?

I always keep my inhaler on me. Is there anything else I can do? I am 21.

Answer

A key part of asthma treatment is preventing the attacks from happening in the first place. For this reason, many people are placed on both a steroid inhaler and a bronchodilator (rescue) inhaler such as albuterol. The decision to treat in this way depends on the severity of your asthma. If you are needing to use your inhaler for an asthma attack more than a couple times per week, then you should consider being on one of these steroid inhalers. The steroid inhaler does not help you during an attack. It acts to reduce the inflammation in your airways, which can reduce the likelihood of an attack occurring. This type of inhaler is taken daily regardless of whether or not you had an attack. The rescue inhaler that you take for your attacks can still be used when you need it, but the hope is that you won't need it as often. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician or whoever you see that prescribes your asthma medicine. The two of you can discuss the frequency of your symptoms and determine whether or not your asthma is being controlled. If it is not being controlled, then you can discuss the utility of this additional treatment.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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