Treatment of Asthma
The Five Parts to an Asthma Treatment Plan continued...
There are two main categories of asthma medications: quick-relief medications (rescue medications) and long-term preventive medications (controller medications) (see Treatment of Asthma). Asthma medications treat both symptoms and causes, so they effectively control asthma for nearly every child. Over-the-counter medications, home remedies, and herbal combinations are not substitutes for prescription asthma medication because they cannot reverse airway obstruction and they do not address the cause of many asthma flares. As a result, asthma is not controlled by these nonprescription medicines, and it may even become worse with their usage.
Step 4 - Controlling flares by following the doctor's written step-by-step plan
When you follow the first 3 steps of asthma control, your child will have fewer asthma symptoms and flares. Remember that any child with asthma can still have an occasional flare (asthma attack), particularly during the learning period (between diagnosis and control) or after exposure to a very strong or new trigger. With the proper patient education, having medications on hand, and keen observation, families can learn to control nearly every asthma flare by starting treatment early, which will mean less emergency room visits and fewer admissions, if any, to the hospital.
Your doctor should provide a written step-by-step plan outlining exactly what to do if a child has a flare. The plan is different for each child. Over time, families learn to recognize when to start treatment early and when to call the doctor for help.
Step 5 - Learning more about asthma, new medications, and treatments
Learning more about asthma and asthma treatment is the secret to successful asthma control. There are several organizations you can contact for information, videos, books, educational video games, and pamphlets.