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Asthma - Adult
Things that may raise the risk of asthma are:
- A family member who has asthma
- Having allergies
- Health problems, such as allergic rhinitis or obesity
- Having a job in farming, painting, or cleaning
- Regular exposure to cigarette smoke, including second-hand smoke
- Taking certain medicines, such as aspirin
An asthma action plan will be used to help people control asthma and handle asthma attacks. Medicine and lifestyle changes will be a part of the plan. The goal of the plan is to lower the risk of asthma attacks. A second goal is to manage attacks and ease breathing.
Some medicine is taken on a regular basis. It may help to stop asthma tacks from starting. They cannot treat an attack when it happens. Medicine may be 1 or more of these:
- Inhaled corticosteroids—to prevent airway swelling
- Inhaled long-acting beta agonists—to keep airways relaxed
- Oral leukotriene modifiers—to prevent airway swelling, ease mucus, and open the airways
- Inhaled cromolyn or nedocromil—to prevent airways from swelling after contact with a trigger
- Biologic agents—if asthma is not controlled by other medicine
Other medicine can be used to treat an attack. These can help to open the airways and ease breathing:
- Inhaled quick-acting beta agonists and anticholinergic agents—to open the airways
- Corticosteroids pills—to ease severe swelling
Bronchial thermoplasty may be done for people with severe asthma. A tool is used to clear out excess muscle around the airway. It will help keep the airway more open during an attack.
These healthy habits may help to manage asthma:
- Reducing exposure to triggers
- Getting enough exercise
- Staying at a healthy weight
- Not smoking
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology http://www.aaaai.org
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America http://www.aafa.org
Allergy Asthma Information Association http://aaia.ca
The Lung Association http://www.lung.ca
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