Albuterol inhalers treat symptoms of asthma. (Photo by Adrian Llamas)
Charter Oak High School

Developments in Asthma Care

Asthma, according to American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, “is a chronic disease involving the airways in the lungs. These airways, or bronchial tubes, allow air to come in and out of the lungs.”

However, the bronchial tubes of people with asthma are always inflamed, and when their lungs are agitated causing further swelling, individuals may wheeze and have difficulty breathing. In the U.S., asthma affects more than 22 million people.

People may have inherited asthma from their parents or it may have been  caused by a viral infection when they were an infant. According to National Heart, and Lung and Blood Institute, “Among children, more boys have asthma than girls. But among adults, more women have the disease than men.” The National Institute of Health says that researchers still do not know whether the gender plays a role in having asthma.

The most common treatment is use of an albuterol inhaler to treat the symptoms during an asthma attack, and a steroid inhaler is used to prevent the symptoms of asthma from occuring. However, new research has been done on the use of steroids, and the results could be interesting to asthma sufferers.

According to the National Institute of Health, “Researchers have found that temporarily increasing the dosage of inhaled steroids when asthma symptoms begin to worsen does not effectively prevent severe flare-ups and may be associated with slowing a child’s growth.” The researchers have now done rigorous testing to see the causes of what doctors have been recommending their patients.

The study on 254 children with mild asthma from the ages of five to 11-years-old was funded by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. It found that children using albuterol experienced less effect on their growth than the ones who took steroids.   Individuals who have asthma may want to talk to their doctors about what kind of inhaler they are using and the long term effects of its use. Although the high-dose of steroids in the inhaler is safe to use, researchers say to use it with caution because it can increase the effect of stunting growth.

Jadenn Allen, sophomore, plays soccer for COHS.

She said, “I struggle sometimes with asthma because I try to ignore it and continue to play on.”

She uses an albuterol inhaler to control her asthma. It helps a little, even if she has a full blown asthma attack.

Although no developments for curing asthma had been made yet, scientists and researchers have found ways to preventing asthma from occurring. The main focus right now for them is to help the patient live with the least side affects.