Asthma is one of those respiratory disorders that stems out of an interplay between genetic tendencies and environmental factors. The exact cause of the disease is not known nor is there any cure. While some people may have minor symptoms that may seldom require an occasional puff at their inhalers, those who suffer significant symptoms and impediments have no recourse but to treat asthma. Significant advancements have, no doubt, taken place in discovering more potent healing agents. Equally important developments have occurred in their administration too. Inhalers are necessary equipment that have revolutionized administration of asthma drugs.
Inhalers are the main stay of asthma treatment. Inhalers used to control the daily symptoms on twice a day basis are called preventers. The strategy of chronic asthma treatment is to keep the daily symptoms under check at low levels which reduce the periodic outbursts. These contain corticosteroids like beclomethasone, budesonide, and the likes. These take about a fortnight to minimize the inflammation of the bronchi. There are non-steroids also. They are less efficient and do not have the same side effects.
In spite of the best efforts, a periodic exacerbation is not avoidable. One needs to have fast and short acting asthma drugs to give the patient instant relief. These medications are called relievers and are used in inhalers. One is very short acting while the other has one-day long activity. The long acting ones are a combination of a beta agonist and a steroid. These keep the bronchi open for a longer time. More advanced inhalers are pressurized metered dose inhalers, breath actuated inhalers, nebulizers, etc. Each has their own merits and demerits. Pressurized Metered dose inhalers were the first and are still very common. Their biggest advantage is easy portability.
Asthma treatment that utilizes inhalers of any type has a significant advantage of targeting small amounts of the medicine to a particular area. This definitely reduces the cost of asthma treatment. These modern drugs that seem to give miraculous effects also have severe side effects. Users need to be aware of these and in any untoward effects, expert opinion should be obtained.