Asthma in Teens and Adults - Treatment Overview
If you have persistent asthma and react to
allergens, you may need to have
skin testing for allergies.
Allergy shots (immunotherapy) may be helpful. For more
- Allergies: Should I Take Allergy Shots?
You can expect to live a normal life if you control
symptoms by following your asthma action plan. Control of your asthma symptoms
can help keep your lungs as healthy as possible.
considerations in treating asthma include:
- Managing asthma during pregnancy. If a
woman had asthma before becoming pregnant, her symptoms may become better or
worse during pregnancy. Pregnant women whose asthma is not well controlled may
be at risk for a number of complications.
- Managing asthma in older adults. Older adults tend to have worse asthma symptoms and a higher
risk of death from asthma than younger people. They may also have one or more
other health conditions or be taking other medicines that can make asthma
- Managing exercise-induced asthma. Exercise often
causes asthma symptoms. Steps you can take to reduce the risk of this include
using medicine immediately before you exercise.
- Managing asthma before surgery. People who have moderate to severe asthma are at
higher risk of having problems during and after surgery than people who do
not have asthma.
Treatment if the condition gets worse
asthma is not improving, make an appointment with your
If your medicine is not working to control airway
inflammation, your doctor will first check to see whether you are using the
inhaler correctly. If you are using it correctly, your
doctor may increase the dosage, switch to another medicine, or add a medicine
to the existing treatment.
Your doctor may suggest other
medicines, such as
leukotriene pathway modifiers (zafirlukast, zileuton,
or montelukast). Less commonly, your doctor may recommend
mast cell stabilizers (cromolyn) or
asthma does not improve, you may require more intensive
treatment, including larger doses of corticosteroids or other medicine. An
asthma specialist typically prescribes these medicines. For severe asthma that cannot be controlled with medicines, a newer treatment called bronchial thermoplasty may be used. For this therapy, heat is applied to the airways to reduce the thickness of the airways and improve the ability to breathe.20, 21