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World Asthma Day 2024: What To Do If Your Asthma Treatment Stops Working

Living with asthma can be challenging. However, with proactive management, effective treatment, and a collaborative approach with your doctor, you can regain control of your breathing and live a fulfilling life.

World Asthma Day 2024: What To Do If Your Asthma Treatment Stops Working

SMART therapy offers a single inhaler with both long-term control and quick-relief medications,

Asthma is a global health concern, affecting millions of people worldwide. Asthma can significantly disrupt daily life. While effective treatments like inhalers exist to maintain control, the efficacy of these treatments may diminish over time.

While medication plays a crucial role, it's equally important to understand the potential causes behind diminished control. This empowers individuals to work with their doctor to adjust their treatment plan if medications become less effective. By recognizing the signs, seeking prompt medical attention, and embracing a holistic approach, one can regain control of one's asthma and breathe easier.

Recognizing the signs:



The first step is acknowledging the signs that your asthma treatment might be losing effectiveness. These include:

•    More frequent wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, or shortness of breath, even with regular medication use.



•    Waking up due to asthma symptoms can significantly disrupt sleep and overall health.

•    Needing your quick-relief inhaler more often suggests your controller medication isn't adequately managing inflammation.

•    Difficulty participating in previously manageable physical activities due to asthma symptoms.

•    Lung function tests (spirometry) may show a decrease in your lung capacity.

Taking action:

If you experience any of the above signs, it's crucial to schedule an immediate appointment with your doctor. Self-adjusting medications is discouraged. Your doctor can identify the cause behind your declining control and develop a more effective treatment plan.

Your doctor will likely perform a comprehensive assessment, including medical history review, physical examination, lung function testing, and a medication review.

Based on the assessment, your doctor may recommend changes to your treatment plan, such as:

•    Medication Adjustments: Increasing the dose of your controller medication or adding a new medication with a different mechanism of action can significantly improve control.

•    SMART Therapy: For suitable candidates, SMART therapy offers a single inhaler with both long-term control and quick-relief medications, simplifying adherence.

•    Trigger Identification and Avoidance: Identifying and minimizing exposure to triggers like allergens, pollutants, or irritants can significantly reduce symptoms.

•    Lifestyle Modifications: Maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet, and exercising regularly can improve overall lung health and management.

•    Inhaler Technique Review: Ensuring proper inhaler technique is crucial for optimal medication delivery.

Beyond medication, a holistic approach is essential for optimal asthma management. Techniques like yoga or meditation can help manage stress, a known trigger for asthma symptoms. Building a strong support system of family and friends who understand your condition can provide invaluable emotional and practical support. Additionally, participating in asthma education programs can equip you with the knowledge and skills to effectively self-manage your asthma, empowering you to take an active role in your well-being.

Living with asthma can be challenging. However, with proactive management, effective treatment, and a collaborative approach with your doctor, you can regain control of your breathing and live a fulfilling life.

(Dr Vivek Singh, Director, Respiratory & Sleep Medicine, Medanta, Gurugram)


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