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Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the airways of the lungs. At times asthma can manifest as an attack that occurs when your airways close and mucus buildup quickly. Many things such as common cold, pollen, dust, house dust mites, cold air, smoking, or pet dander, can trigger an asthma attack. You may even consider using a rescue inhaler before a workout to prevent an asthma attack.
A rescue inhaler helps to delivery medications into the lungs to immediately expand the airways during an asthma attack. Dilating the airways helps recover from an asthma attack and enable the person experiencing the attack to breath normally. They are taken as need for rapid, short-term relief of symptoms for prevention or treatment of an asthma attack. They are not for daily use.
Symptoms that signal an asthma attack requiring prompt actions are coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing, or chest tightness. If an asthma attack is suspected, quickly assist the person experiencing the attack to administer a rescue inhaler. Alert emergency personnel immediately if the person has difficulty walking or completing a sentence without pausing for a breath, unable to speak, or lips and fingernails are turning blue or gray.
The types of medicines used in rescue inhalers are known as bronchodilators. Bronchodilaters dilates the airways by reducing the build up of mucus. There are two main types of bronchodilators: beta-agonists and anticholinergics. The type of bronchodilators used in rescue inhalers are short-acting, which work and provides relief from asthma attack symptoms within 15 to 20 minutes and can last up to 4 to 6 hours. They are also referred to as quick-relief medications. The most common short-acting medication used in rescue inhalers is albuterol. Side effects of rescue inhaler medications may include feeling shaky or anxious, a rapid heart rate, or hyperactivity. If you use your rescue medication too often, your chances of experiencing a side effect can increase and you may develop a tolerance to the rescue medication overtime. If you use your rescue inhaler more than two days a week, talk with your doctor because your asthma may not be under control.
Always remember to have a rescue inhaler with you if you’re diagnosed with asthma. If you think you’re using your rescue inhaler more than you should, it is important to talk to your doctor. The specialists at Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Medical Group will be happy to discuss with you treatment therapies and options to manage your asthma condition. Give us a call at 805-658-9500 to set an appoint to see us today!