Asthma is a common respiratory issue that affects many people worldwide. According to the WHO, around 100-150 million individuals are afflicted worldwide. The most common treatment for this serious health condition is using inhalers. But are asthma inhalers harmful for you in the long run? Let’s find out in this blog.
Types of Inhalers for Asthma
Some of the most frequently used inhalers to manage asthma have been given below:
1. Reliever Inhalers
Relievers are inhalers for pain relief, and most asthmatics are prescribed a relief inhaler by their physician. They are typically blue in color and provide instant relief from discomfort in minutes. It is recommended to use a reliever inhaler when you have asthma symptoms.
However, you must inform your doctor if you frequently need to use this inhaler as that can indicate worsening asthma. For example, if you have to use it three or more times every week.
Side Effects of Reliever Inhalers:
Although reliever inhalers have minimal adverse effects, they might occasionally produce:
- shaking or a rapid heartbeat for a few minutes after usage
- hyperactivity in children
2. Preventer Inhalers
They are inhalers for asthma prevention that you might need to use every day to minimize the inflammation and sensitivity of your airways, which prevents your symptoms from arising. It is critical to utilize it even if you do not have symptoms. If you use a relief inhaler frequently, you may also require a preventer inhaler.
These inhalers have steroid medication and must consult your doctor if your symptoms do not go away even after using a preventer inhaler.
Side Effects of Preventer Inhalers
They usually do not have any adverse effects, although they can occasionally cause:
- a fungus that infects the mouth or throat (oral thrush)
- a painful throat and a raspy voice
You may help avoid these adverse effects by using a spacer, a hollow plastic tube that you attach to your inhaler, and by washing your mouth after using it.
3. Combination Inhalers
Your doctor might prescribe you a combination inhaler if your asthma does not get better by using a reliever or preventer inhaler. People with asthma have to take it every day to assist and prevent symptoms and give long-term treatment if they do develop. Also, it is essential to use these even if patients do not have symptoms.
Side Effects of Combination Inhalers
Combination inhalers have the same side effects as reliever and preventer inhalers.
Adverse Effects of Using Asthma Inhalers
Other than those mentioned above, some of the commonly reported side effects of using inhalers include the following:
- Dry mouth
- irritated throat
- lack of appetite
- changed taste sensation
- anxiety or agitation
- trembling and sweating
- yeast infections
Sometimes these side effects pass as your body adjusts to the medicine, and if inhaled steroids are given in lower dosages, the negative effects usually go away. But it is extremely important to visit your doctor if these symptoms do not go away.
Other Methods to Treat Asthma
If your body does not cope well with asthma by using an inhaler, other medical treatments are available to treat this condition. However, only a doctor can prescribe any of the treatments given below:
If using an inhaler alone does not help control your symptoms, you may need to take pills. Some of them might include:
- Leukotriene receptor antagonists (LTRAs)
- Steroid tablets
Injections administered every few weeks can help some persons with severe asthma reduce their symptoms. These medications are referred to as biologic treatments, and they are not appropriate for all asthmatics and can only be recommended by an asthma expert. The most common adverse effect is a pain in the area where the injection is administered.
As a therapy for severe asthma, your doctor might suggest doing a surgery known as bronchial thermoplastic. It works effectively, and there are no safety issues. You will be sedated or put to sleep with general anesthesia during this procedure. A tiny, flexible tube is sent down your neck and into your lungs. Heat is then applied to the muscles around the airways to assist or prevent them from narrowing and triggering asthma symptoms.
Consulting a Doctor for Asthma Treatment
All the medical treatments listed above are used for asthma, but you must consult a doctor because only they can prescribe you the best treatment according to your condition. It is difficult to find chest doctors these days. Fortunately, with Marham, you can book in-clinic appointments online or consult a chest specialist on online video consultation.
1. Can asthma inhalers be harmful?
Asthma inhalers can be harmful if they are used incorrectly or for a long duration.
2. Do inhalers damage lungs?
Some inhalers used by asthma patients might cause the lungs to create dangerous chemicals.
3. Is it OK to use an inhaler every day?
If you need your inhaler on a daily basis or even more than a couple of times a week, your asthma might be out of control. Consult a doctor in this case.