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How to Reduce Steroid Inhaler Dependency: A Comprehensive Guide to Inhaler Use Side Effects

Inhaler Use Side Effects and How to Reduce Steroid Inhaler Dependency

How to Reduce Steroid Inhaler Dependency

Inhalers are the most effective and scientifically proven treatment for bronchial asthma. There is nothing wrong with inhaler dependence. But too much steroid inhaler dependency is often psychological. We are scared when we hear insulin even during diabetes, but treatment with insulin from the beginning is beneficial for the disease. The same is true of asthma inhalers. Everyone should first understand when a patient needs a steroid inhaler. Only then we can discuss about the steroid inhaler dependency as good or bad. This article gives you a comprehensive guide about the use, side effects of inhaler and how to reduce inhaler use for the asthma patients.

When to take the inhaler?

It is very important to determine first whether the patient has bronchial asthma. The disease has to be verified by looking at the patient’s history, family history, other diseases, physical problems etc. Apart from this, it is also necessary to see whether the disease is increasing seasonally or early in the morning. Clinical examination shows whether the patient has chest spasm. Some blood tests also show if the patient has an increase in eosinophils or immunoglobulins in the blood. These two elements are elevated in the blood in most asthma patients.

Another test which is most useful test is pulmonary function test. During this test the patient is asked to exhale. Then the patient is asked to blow again after taking inhaler. There is a big difference in these two results. After inhaler is  taken, the standard of bowling naturally improved a lot. The result shows that BDR is positive. If this BDR is positive, the patient is considered to have asthma.

Stages of Asthma:

After diagnosing the disease, the first task is to determine the stage of the disease. Asthma status is defined as whether asthma is well controlled or under moderate or poor control. Lifestyle changes and treatment may be considered in patients with partially controlled and poorly controlled disease. Various breathing exercises, regular walking for about an hour and some other cardio exercise, weight control, swimming and cycling work very well.

In addition, the person is allergic to certain things, foods which should be avoided. A person may be allergic to pollen, cigarette or perfume smells. If so, they should be avoided. Avoiding dust and smoke, avoiding smoking are various ways of changing life style. In addition, getting the influenza vaccine once a year, pneumococcal vaccine every five years is the main way to prevent asthma. Inhalers are needed for people who have recurrent asthma attacks despite lifestyle changes and some anti-allergy medications.

Types of inhalers:

There are two types of inhalers – preventer and reliever. Inhalers that provide relief from asthma are called relievers or bronchodilators. There are also hybrid forms of these two inhalers. Inhalers are color coded around the world as per World Health Organization (WHO) regulations. The preventer inhaler device is brown in color. The brown color of the inhaler means it contains steroids and is used to treat asthma. The reliever inhaler is green in color.

steroid inhaler dependency

There are different types of inhalers like puff, tablet, dry powder etc. Their devices are also different. Basically inhalers are made with the mission of steroids and bronchodilators. Preventer inhalers reduce systemic inflammation by reducing the number of cells that produce a lot of mucus and reduces mucus secretion from cells. A bronchodilator or reliever works to thicken the constricted bronchial muscles so that the patient can breathe more easily. However, in the case of bronchial asthma, according to the international guidelines, at present, the rule of taking inhalers mixed with steroids with reliever has been prescribed. Only reliever inhalers are prohibited.

When Steroid Inhaler Dependency will Decrease:

Some patients are in such a bad condition that they cannot even take inhalers. They have to give nebulizer first. The disease gradually improves. After one or two weeks, if the physical condition improves, he is given an inhaler. Bronchodilators are again of four types according to their effectiveness: Gaba (short acting beta agonist), Gamma (short acting muscarinic antagonist), Laba (Long acting beta agonist) and Lama (Long acting muscarinic antagonist) . By understanding the patient’s condition, the doctor will know which bronchodilator this patient will need. Steroid inhalers don’t have much types.

Asthma Step Therapy:

There are five stages of treatment for asthma patients. The patient’s physical condition will tell from which stage his treatment will start. At the very last stage, if a patient starts treatment at stage five, they are given oral steroids. Usually this treatment is continued for several months. If you need a checkup sometimes, there are tests. You have to wait at least three months for step reduction. After three months, the doctor also decides whether the patient’s inhaler can be stopped after understanding the patient’s condition and control rate.

When and How to Reduce Steroid Inhaler Dependency:

Generally, the inhaler can be stopped if there is no shortness of breath at all during these three months, if there is no difficulty in breathing at night, or if there is no difficulty in walking or climbing stairs. Inhaler can be started again later if the disease worsens. In this way the patient can be gradually brought to step number one.

In fact, there is no such thing as inhaler dependence. All should be decided according to the way the patient’s body reacts. Many times the patient develops emotional dependence on the reliever inhaler. Many people fear this dependence. However, many of the patient’s relatives or people around him unnecessarily scare the inhaler and even forbid them to use the inhaler at the beginning. These are completely wrong ideas.

Side Effects of Inhaler:

The inhaler has no side effects. Many have almost nothing. In some cases, the throat may become stuck, fungal infection inside the mouth, inflammation of the throat. However, nothing much happens. However, going for steroid inhaler dependency for a long time without doctor’s advice can cause bone density loss, cataract or osteoarthritis. However, these things do not happen if the right dose is taken at the right time. The rate of these side effects is less than one percent.

How the patient knows when to take the inhaler:

This device called Peak flow meter is a must have for all asthma patients at home. This device is a way to see your breathing capacity. This little device is quite readily available. This device should be blown in the morning and afternoon. The patient will record his best three records. This is called Peak Exploratory Flow Rate (PEFR). There is a chart on this device. It contains various measurements. The patient himself will know when the inhaler is needed when his PEFR starts to decrease. That’s when a doctor’s advice is needed.

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Hi, I am Tanushree, a general health consultant and advisor provide advices and knowledge on health and nutrition.

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