Asthma Therapy

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Asthma Therapy
Asthma Therapy

Video: Asthma Therapy

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Video: Treatment of Asthma 2023, January

Asthma: Therapy

The current guidelines of the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), on which therapy in Austria is also based, demand as the most important therapy goal to bring the disease under control so that there are only minimal, ideally no symptoms at all. Appropriate medication should keep lung function as normal as possible and avoid asthma attacks, emergency situations and hospital stays.

Therapy should start as early as possible. The better the lung function and the less the symptoms, the less likely it is that permanent changes in the bronchial wall are. The cornerstones of successful asthma therapy are prevention, medication and control of the course of the disease.


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  • more on the subject
  • Advice, downloads & tools
  • What preventive measures are there?
  • How is asthma treated?
  • Regular control of the course of the disease
  • Asthma during pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • Whom can I contact?
  • How are the costs covered?

Preventive measures Preventive measures

What preventive measures are there?

Contact with triggers of the disease should - if possible - be consistently avoided. These are determined in the course of the initial anamnesis or through an allergy test. If the triggers are substances in the workplace, a change of job or occupation may be necessary. If you know the triggering allergens, a specific treatment, the so-called desensitization, is possible in certain cases (e.g. pollen and insect venom allergies). The aim is to reduce the excessive reaction of the immune system to an allergen and thus the symptoms.

How is asthma treated?

Successful asthma treatment relies on the combination of certain drugs. These can be divided into two large groups:

Reliever: So-called bronchodilators or bronchospasmolytics (especially betamimetics) expand the bronchi (bronchodilation), which leads to a rapid improvement in symptoms. The work of breathing is made easier, the shortage of breath decreases. They are used as acute or emergency medication, but have no effect on chronic inflammation.

Controller: Anti-inflammatory drugs (especially corticoids) are taken as "long-term medication" and have a causal effect on the inflammation. They are also prescribed as combination drugs with long-acting bronchodilators. Inhalative medicaments are preferably administered, as they reach the desired site of action directly. Therefore, the dose is lower than that of tablets and side effects are significantly lower.

Note Unwanted effects of inhaled cortisone can include hoarseness and fungal infections of the oral mucosa. This can be avoided by rinsing your mouth, brushing your teeth or eating something after inhaling.

If the therapy is unsuccessful, other drugs (e.g. leukotriene antagonists, omalizumab, theophylline) can also be used.

The drug therapy for asthma is based on the clinical picture and course and is individually adapted to the current needs of the patient. This is to ensure that the person affected receives as much medicine as necessary but as little as possible. The aim is to maximize the positive effects and minimize potential side effects.

Inhalation devices

There are three types of inhalation devices for taking medication:

  • MDIs
  • Powder inhalers
  • electric nebulizers

In general, adults, adolescents and children primarily use metered dose aerosols and powder inhalers. Electric nebulizers are used during an asthma attack and occasionally for babies.

Your doctor will provide support in choosing the device and in learning how to use it. Let the doctor explain to you:

  • Why the recommended device is right for you.
  • How the recommended device works and what to look out for.
  • Demonstrate how to use the device.

Further information on the correct use of the inhalation device can be obtained from the pharmacy, from patient training courses and from the package insert.

Regular control of the course of the disease

Regular medical examinations are recommended every three months or as the disease progresses. They provide information about the course of the disease or the effectiveness of the therapy or to what extent the disease is under control.

Control of the disease is determined by:

  • Extent of symptoms during the day,
  • Restriction of everyday activities,
  • nocturnal symptoms,
  • Emergency medication requirement,
  • Pulmonary function,
  • Occurrence of asthma attacks (exacerbations).

Asthma during pregnancy and breastfeeding

The following principle applies during pregnancy: An asthma attack is usually less favorable for your child than taking medication to treat asthma. Therefore, the usual treatment should be continued during pregnancy. Most asthma medications are inhaled, i.e. inhaled into the lungs rather than swallowed. As a result, they only reach other areas of the body in small quantities. However, women with asthma should inform their doctor immediately if they are pregnant.

Whom can I contact?

The following bodies are responsible for the treatment of asthma:

  • General Practitioner,
  • Specialist in pulmonary medicine,
  • Specialist in paediatrics and adolescent medicine,
  • Special facilities (e.g. allergy outpatient clinics) for specific questions.

How are the costs covered?

The e-card is your personal key to the benefits of the statutory health insurance. All necessary and appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic measures are taken over by your responsible social insurance agency. A deductible or contribution to costs may apply for certain services. You can obtain detailed information from your social security agency. Further information can also be found at:

  • Right to treatment
  • Visit to the doctor: costs and deductibles
  • What does the hospital stay cost?
  • Prescription fee: This is how drug costs are covered
  • Medical aids & aids
  • Health Professions AZ
  • and via the online guide to reimbursement of social insurance costs.

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