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Do you have asthma?

Using drugs every day to control asthma and prevent asthma attacks.
If you have asthma and are not on maintenance drugs, talk with your doctor to see if you would benefit. Consider long-term control drugs if you are awakened by wheezing or coughing two times a night, require inhaled rescue drugs two times a week, or you find yourself needing more than two rescue inhaler refills in a year.

Asthma is a chronic disease that affects your airways. The airways are the tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs. If you have asthma, the inside walls of your airways are swollen. The exact cause of asthma is not known. People who have asthma find that many things, or triggers, cause a flare-up. The triggers bother, or irritate, the airways in the lungs. This makes it harder to breathe and causes asthma symptoms.

Medications play a key role in controlling asthma. Some medications, often called long-term control (or maintenance or controller) medications help reduce swelling or inflammation of the airways. Other medications are used to treat symptoms when they occur; these are called quick-relief, fast acting, or rescue medications. It is important to understand when to use each medication.

Long-term control medications are taken on a schedule; for most people, every day. They are taken even when you feel fine. They help keep asthma under control by making the airways less sensitive to triggers so you’re less likely to have symptoms. Keep in mind that daily use control medications will NOT stop a flare-up once it has begun. Your inhaler is still needed for flare-up asthma symptoms. Make sure you have it available at all times.

What can you do?
Make sure you take your medications regularly. Please talk with your doctor if you have any questions. Remember, it often takes time to find the right medications that will work for you. It also may take a while to find the right dose and make changes to lessen any side effects. Work with your doctor to find what works for you.

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