Thursday June 21, 2018

Have Asthma? Don’t Shy Away From Your Doctor

The study cited several young adults feeling uncomfortable taking their medication in public settings

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Have Asthma? Don't Shy Away From Your Doctor
Have Asthma? Don't Shy Away From Your Doctor. Pixabay
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Can’t find relief from asthma symptoms? Grill your doctor frequently to better understand your problem, says a study.

In order for asthma treatment to be effective, patients need to increase communication with their physicians, said researchers.

“When patients do not understand their condition or treatment plan, they may not follow life-saving guidelines, putting them at increased risk for asthma attacks,” said allergist and article author Stanley Fineman, past president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).

Fineman noted that only eight to 13 percent of asthma sufferers continue to refill inhaled corticosteroid prescriptions after one year.

Taken early and as directed, these inhalers can improve asthma control, normalise lung function and even prevent irreversible injury to airways, said the study published in the journal titled Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

The study cited several young adults feeling uncomfortable taking their medication in public settings.

Asthma
Children with asthma use inhaler to relieve some of the symptoms. Wikimedia Commons

Several of them do not manage their condition as advised, which can lead to increased asthma attacks and emergency room visits.

“Allergists need to communicate the importance of continuing medication, and patients should express any concerns they might have, such as taking medication in public, since there are often solutions,” said allergist Alan Baptist, an ACAAI member and senior study author.

According to the study, many of young asthma sufferers said they stopped using prescribed medication when symptoms subsided.

Also Read: Human Touch Can Rehabilitate Patients

Although symptoms can become better with time, asthma is a chronic illness. Unless directed by a physician, asthma patients should never change or discontinue preventive medications.

Asthma is a serious disease and discontinuing treatment can be dangerous. “Sufferers need to be sure they regularly take medication and that all of their concerns are being addressed,” added Fineman.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates, 235 million people suffer from asthma worldwide. (IANS)

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Asthma Patients May be Over-Medicating

Doctors adjust the medication dose based on the patient's symptoms and lung function

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Asthma
Asthma Patients May be Over-Medicating. Wikimedia Commons

If you have asthma, chances are you may be taking higher doses of medicines than actually required, say experts.
People with mild asthma are advised to lower their medication dose once their asthma has been brought under control but the best way to reduce the dose is not fully known.

“We need to find a way to help patients control their asthma without overmedicating them,” John Mastronarde, director of the asthma centre at Ohio State University, was quoted as saying.

To control asthma, patients typically take drugs called inhaled corticosteroids to reduce inflammation in the lungs and long-acting beta agonists (LABAs) so as to open the airways.

Asthma Patients May be Over-Medicating
Asthma Medicine, pixabay

Doctors adjust the medication dose based on the patient’s symptoms and lung function.

Once a patient’s asthma is controlled, the drug dose should be lowered carefully. “But that’s where things just do not happen,” Mastronarde said.

Also Read: Have Asthma? Don’t Shy Away From Your Doctor

Once symptoms are under control, sometimes both the patient and the doctor just leave the patient on whatever they are on because they do not want it to get worse again.

Although low doses of inhaled corticosteroids are safe, taking high doses of the drugs for a long time might result in some side effects including weakening of the bones, he added in a report in LiveScience.  (IANS)

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