Why Asthma Attacks Occur and How to Treat for Children, Adults, Pregnant Women

Why Asthma Attacks Occur and How to Treat for Children, Adults, Pregnant Women


Why Asthma Attacks Occur


Research has shown there is a very strong relationship between asthma and panic attacks. The two often occur simultaneously, and people with asthma are much more likely to experience panic attacks. In addition to this, while many asthma attacks are brought on by exercise, there is also an emotional component. Furthermore, changes in atmospheric conditions, including the temperature and quality of the air (specifically, its humidity, irritant and allergen content), along with changes in the barometric pressure, may all be associated with asthma attacks.

Why Asthma Attacks Occur and How to Treat for Children, Adults, Pregnant Women

Asthma Treatment for Children, Adults, Pregnant Women


The treatments described above generally apply to all people who have asthma. However, some aspects of treatment differ for people in certain age groups and those who have special needs.

Children


It's hard to diagnose asthma in children younger than 5 years. Thus, it's hard to know whether young children who wheeze or have other asthma symptoms will benefit from long-term control medicines. (Quick-relief medicines tend to relieve wheezing in young children whether they have asthma or not.)

Doctors will treat infants and young children who have asthma symptoms with long-term control medicines if, after assessing a child, they feel that the symptoms are persistent and likely to continue after 6 years of age. 

Inhaled corticosteroids are the preferred treatment for young children. Montelukast and cromolyn are other options. Treatment might be given for a trial period of 1 month to 6 weeks. Treatment usually is stopped if benefits aren't seen during that time and the doctor and parents are confident the medicine was used properly.

Inhaled corticosteroids can possibly slow the growth of children of all ages. Slowed growth usually is apparent in the first several months of treatment, is generally small, and doesn't get worse over time. Poorly controlled asthma also may reduce a child's growth rate.

Many experts think the benefits of inhaled corticosteroids for children who need them to control their asthma far outweigh the risk of slowed growth.


Older Adults


Doctors may need to adjust asthma treatment for older adults who take certain other medicines, such as beta blockers, aspirin and other pain relievers, and anti-inflammatory medicines. These medicines can prevent asthma medicines from working well and may worsen asthma symptoms.

Be sure to tell your doctor about all of the medicines you take, including over-the-counter medicines.

Older adults may develop weak bones from using inhaled corticosteroids, especially at high doses. Talk with your doctor about taking calcium and vitamin D pills, as well as other ways to help keep your bones strong.

Pregnant Women


Pregnant women who have asthma need to control the disease to ensure a good supply of oxygen to their babies. Poor asthma control increases the risk that a baby will be born early and have a low birth weight. Poor asthma control can even risk the baby's life.

Studies show that it's safer to take asthma medicines while pregnant than to risk having an asthma attack.

Talk with your doctor if you have asthma and are pregnant or planning a pregnancy. Your level of asthma control may get better or it may get worse while you're pregnant. Your health care team will check your asthma control often and adjust your treatment as needed.

Medications Used to Treat Asthma

Why Asthma Attacks Occur and How to Treat for Children, Adults, Pregnant Women


Medications such as hydrocortisone and its relatives can be used to gradually regulate the size of the bronchial airways of patients with asthma. While many of these medications are taken orally as pills, others are mists or powders which are sprayed into the mouth using a device called an inhaler. In certain cases, drugs that block testosterone's effect on the body might be recommended. A wide variety of injectable and oral medications are available.

Budesonide as an Asthma Medication

You use your asthma medicines as your doctor directs.

Budesonide Formoterol is a preparation that combines two medications. Together, they can reduce inflammation and help open up the bronchial airways. Budesonide (which is sold as Entocort) is used to address various conditions, including asthma. Nasal budesonide can reduce the number of white blood cells that can help your body stave off infections.

The symptoms of asthma can be different from one person to the next, but they can also vary in the same person from attack to attack. You might see your asthma symptoms beginning to improve as soon as ten hours after you start using a budesonide spray, but in any event your symptoms should decrease within a few days. The dosage and number of medications needed to manage your asthma will vary with the severity of your symptoms.