Whether inhaled, ingested, or injected, steroids can help to calm the inflammation in the airway that is common for asthma patients. For most adults and children with asthma, doctors prescribe corticosteroids to imitate the function of the natural steroid form produced by the body.
Just like any medication, steroids also possess side effects, but doctors will only prescribe for asthma if they will help in managing the condition better.
Steroids in Asthma Treatment
Prednisone is the primary type of oral steroids that doctors use in the treatment of asthma. If you display asthma symptoms, your doctor may prescribe using this medication for a short period. Doctors can also prescribe oral steroids when your asthma symptoms worsen. This occurs when a person has an asthma attack, and they cannot breathe properly.
When a person experiences an asthma attack, they have an airway inflammation shortly, whereby it becomes irritated and puffy.
This scenario resembles breathing through a straw instead of a wide airway. It is for this reason that the doctor prescribes prednisone to reduce the inflammation.
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Oral Steroids Reduce Inflammation in of Bronchial Airways
Steroids such as prednisone work much like the body’s natural steroid hormone.
Therefore, when you consume prednisone, the body thinks that it is the natural steroid hormone. Oral steroids enter the body and cause chemical reactions that trigger the body to stop creating inflammatory compounds. The airways become less narrow, and the person starts to breathe more easily.
The drug reduces inflammation throughout the body, in the lungs, oral steroids decrease mucus production, inflammation, and swelling, causing reduced wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness.
Oral steroids are anti-inflammatory. Unlike inhaled steroids, which go straight to the lungs, the body absorbs oral steroids shortly after ingesting it by mouth. The drug works by reducing the response of the body to eliminate swelling and allergic reactions. It helps to treat asthma attacks and helps patients to manage the condition better.
For a child who has difficulty-swallowing tablets, doctors can prescribe steroids in dissolvable tablets and liquid form. A child needs to take a full course of medication.
However, patients should use oral steroids systematically, usually one time or less per year. When your body does not respond to treatment quickly, oral steroids help to ease asthma symptoms.
Steroids Reduce Allergic Reactions
In his study on steroids and asthma, Alangari researches the effectiveness of Corticosteroids in the treatment of asthma attacks, which is the most common presentation to the emergency department, especially in children.
The triggers of these attacks often include respiratory tract infections, mold, dust mites, animal dander, smoke, and pollen, among others. Alangari argues that inflammation of the bronchial airways is the most common symptom of asthma.
The researcher concludes that Corticosteroids are helpful in the treatment of acute asthma. As a result, various internal asthma management guidelines recommend the use of steroids for the management of both moderate and severe asthma when presented by patients in the emergency department.
Oral steroids help to reduce these allergic reactions that asthma patients encounter.
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Helps to Clear the Airway
In another research study, the researchers clearly explain how steroids work to treat asthma. According to this study, the authors argue that it would be challenging for doctors to imagine doing without steroids when managing severe cases of asthma.
They prevent the body from releasing macrophages and secretagogue, thus reducing the secretion of mucus. However, the findings also highlight the side effects of steroids, which are the main limitations of the drug.
A Doctor Prescription Matters
It is imperative to note that unlike inhaled steroids, oral steroids affect the entire body, and as such, there is an increased risk of side effects for patients. The good thing is that side effects depend on the length and frequency that you are ingesting the medicine.
Some of the potential side effects are mood changes, weight gain, increased appetite, and acne.
When used for more extended periods, oral steroids can cause cataracts, bone thinning, low immunity, and decreased growth in kids. Most of these problems occur when you take the drugs for long. It is, therefore, crucial that you take the oral steroids as prescribed by the doctor.
The anti-inflammatory property of steroids is crucial in the treatment of asthma. Previous studies show that it is a proven drug for the management of asthma symptoms.
Asthma attacks always lead to the inflammation of the airways, resulting in breathing complications. Oral steroids counteract this effect by helping to widen the airway and prevent the body from producing inflammatory substances.
However, when considering the use of these drugs to treat asthma, ensure that you consult your doctor and follow the prescription given.