Asthma affects the air passages that carry air to and from the lungs. The bronchial tubes or air passages swell due to infections or allergy resulting in difficulty in breathing. The common symptoms are coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath or tightness in the chest. There is no known cure for asthma. However, the symptoms can be managed and controlled with proper medication and the prescribed precautions. It is best to consult your general physician for any advice regarding the nature of the chest infection. If you were diagnosed with asthma, your chest specialist would suggest an optimum plan for asthma management. Identifying the allergens and stressors that cause flare-ups can help in controlling asthma attacks. Medication for asthma can be categorized into two groups, Short-term medication that provides immediate relief from symptoms in the form of inhaled bronchodilators is prescribed as the first line of control. They are given to patients having mild, intermittent attacks. While, long-term medication works to relieve inflammation in due course of time, they include a low dose of inhaled corticosteroids prescribed for more severe infection and frequent attacks. If these are not successful in controlling the symptoms, the chest specialist may advise long-acting beta agonists. Stage three, when all previous medication fails to show results is a combination of long-acting beta agonists with a low dose of corticosteroids. Regular follow-ups every 3-6 months to check the effectiveness of medication and control of environmental factors is imperative for asthma management. If the doctor feels that the symptoms have substantially reduced, he may step down the medication.
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