Asthma inhalers are the most common medicine prescribed by doctors to treat asthma. Asthma inhalers are small, hand held deliveries asthma medication directly into a person's airway. While asthma medication can be administrated orally or intravenously, inhalers have the least amount of side effects while being the most effective.
When you think asthma inhaler, you probably think the small aerosol container that you press down on to deliver puffs of medicine directly into your mouth. Those are called metered dose inhalers. There's also dry powder inhalers, which require you to breath the medicine into your airways. Asthma inhalers are also broken down into two other categories: rescue inhalers and prevention inhalers.
The rescue or relief inhalers are used during an asthma attack or can be used prior to coming into a contact with a trigger. They do not actually treat the causes of the attack, instead they focus on the symptoms and making it easier to breathe. During an asthma attack, the muscle around the airway tightens. The rescue inhalers work by relaxing the muscle, opening up an airway. It does not affect the inflated airways, but it will give short term relief.
The most common form of relief inhalers, works almost immediately and last for up to four hours. There's also rescue inhalers that take about 30 to 45 minutes to take effect, but last for six to twelve hours. The prevention inhalers works on the inflammation or swilling of the airways. Over a period of seven days to four weeks (depending on the kind of medicine), you'll notice a gradual change and decrease in symptoms. Steroid prevention inhalers are the must successful. Non-steroid ones are generally less effective and also take longer to take effect.
You should use the prevention inhaler as prescribed by your doctor. Even if you feel fine, you should not stop taking your prevention inhaler. If you do that, the symptoms can quickly return. While there is no cure for asthma, the right medicines can help bring your asthma under control.