Bronchodilatoracholics: Frequently Using their Quick-Relief Asthma Inhalers

These are asthmatics who use their bronchodilators frequently, perhaps too frequently. It's usually an indication that their asthma is not controlled.

By Rick Frea, respiratory therapist and asthmatic

adult asthma, types of asthmatics, inhaler overuse asthmatics -- asthma patients who frequently use their bronchodilator asthma inhalers

A bronchdodilator is a quick-relief asthma medicine that relaxes the airways in the lungs so it's easier to breathe. They are often prescribed in conjunction with anti-inflammatory asthma medicines.

Some bronchodilatoraholics are hard-luck asthmatics who just need help breathing very often. While others are regular asthmatics whose asthma is out of control.

But some bronchodilatoraholics are abusers, taking their asthma medicine more out of habit than necessity. They may also ignore the directions given to them by their doctor. Abusers don't work with their doctors on an asthma action plan and they may not bother with controller, anti-inflammatory medications. For them, puffing away is like a bad habit -- like biting your fingernails. In contrast, some hard-luck asthmatics may just need their bronchodilator frequently -- many times a day, every day.


Asthma Attitude: "Just one more puff, and I'll be fine."

Asthma Strengths: They know not to wait until they have severe breathing trouble to take their bronchodilator.

Asthma Weaknesses: A bronchodilator is not made to control asthma, but to relieve and prevent symptoms. Bronchodilatoraholics are not treating the underlying cause of their asthma symptoms -- inflammation in their lungs.

Lessons to Live By: The first step is to admit you have a problem. If you use your bronchodilator too frequently, then you need help controlling your asthma. The bronchodilator isn't going to solve the problem.


See Previous: The Hard-Luck Asthmatic

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