While there is no cure for asthma, there are ways to better manage and control symptoms to ensure a healthier life. Some asthma sufferers solely use medication, while others choose medications in conjunction with holistic health benefits to control their symptoms.
There are several ways to control asthma with medication. A common way is with a controller medication. It is to be taken daily and usually includes an inhaled corticosteroid, such as: Fluticasone, Budesonide, Mometasone, Ciclesonide, Flunisolide and Beclomethasone.
If your doctor thinks you are better suited for an oral medication, they may prescribe Leukotriene modifiers, such as Montelukast, Singulair, Zafirlukast and Zileuton. Long-acting beta-agonist, or LABA, are other methods that combine an inhaler with an inhaled corticosteroid and a symptom-controller. The most common ones prescribed are Advair and Symbicort.
All types of medications come with pros and cons and your doctor will prescribe what they feel is the best for your specific symptoms.
Sometimes controller medications aren’t enough for sudden attacks, which is where quick-relief rescue medications, called short-acting beta-agonists come into play. These are inhaled bronchodilator medications that include Albuterol, Levalbuterol and Pirbuterol. These quick-relief medications do not replace controller medications, but rather work hand in hand with them.
For a more holistic approach to asthma treatment, there are various treatment options that have their own risks and benefits. A form of homeopathic products, these herbal products are not FDA approved and many doctors view them as ineffective or minimally helpful, particularly if a rescue inhaler is needed.
Although some asthma is exercise-induced, exercise is a natural way to help with asthma symptoms and improve overall health.
Other natural products like Vitamin D, in conjunction with effective stress management, also help asthma symptoms outside of a medication regimen.
What you eat also affects the severity of asthma. A diet consisting predominantly of fresh fruits and vegetables can improve overall health and therefore symptoms. However, certain foods are especially good for asthma sufferers, including tomatoes, garlic, raw honey, ginger, turmeric, peppermint, fennel seeds, fish oil and coffee.
Finding the balance and treatment option that best minimizes symptoms can increase quality of life exponentially. Everyone has different triggers and levels of severity so a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach doesn’t work for asthma.
As always, consult your physician with any questions you may have. However, be proactive in your healthcare and educate yourself about the conventional and alternative treatment methods that are available and how those products can help you