The Sneeze

Asthma Controllers Vs. Relievers – What’s The Difference?

December 12, 2022

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Asthma Treatments: Relievers & Controllers

If you have asthma, there are a lot of different medications you can take to help deal with your condition, breathe freely, and avoid asthma attacks. Two of the most common types of medications for asthma are known as “asthma controllers” and “asthma relievers.” What’s the difference between these medications? Find out now in this blog from Premier Allergy & Asthma.

Asthma Controllers Are Meant To Help Reduce The Risk Of Asthma Attacks

An asthma controller is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a medication that you take regularly to help reduce your risk of asthma attacks. You’re supposed to take most asthma controllers every day, even if you don’t have any asthma symptoms. 

Over time, asthma controllers help reduce swelling and tightening in your airway, and lower your risk of having an asthma attack. It can take weeks or even months of daily use for an asthma controller medication to reach its maximum effectiveness.

There are lots of different types of asthma controllers. Most people with asthma take inhaled corticosteroids from an inhaler or a nebulizer to help control their symptoms and reduce their risk of an asthma attack. Other types of asthma controllers include LABAs (long-acting beta agonist), theophylline, and leukotriene modifiers.

If you have asthma due to allergies, or your asthma worsens due to allergies, your allergy medication may also fall into this category. Allergy medications help prevent immune responses and allergic reactions, and reduce your risk of asthma attacks and symptoms.

Asthma Relievers Provide Immediate Relief During An Asthma Attack

In contrast to asthma controllers, asthma relievers are not meant to help prevent asthma attacks. Instead, they are used to provide you with relief from the symptoms of an asthma attack. Also called short-acting beta agonists (SABA) for short, asthma relievers quickly help relax your airway muscles, ease symptoms, and stop asthma attacks in progress.

These drugs usually begin working within minutes, providing the relief you need when you’re going through an asthma attack. Quick-relief inhalers are usually used to deliver asthma relief drugs, ensuring that they enter your lungs and your bloodstream quickly. Albuterol and levalbuterol are the most commonly used asthma relievers.

Typically, you will not take these medications every day. They're not intended for daily use, although some people may take a puff of their inhaler before exercise, or other activities that may raise their risk of an asthma attack.

Need Help With Asthma Treatment? Come To Premier Allergy & Asthma Today!

In some cases, if your asthma symptoms are minor or infrequent, your doctors may recommend managing your symptoms with asthma relievers alone, and you can simply use your quick-relief inhaler when you have an asthma attack.

However, if you have persistent, severe, or allergy-induced asthma, it’s likely that you will need a combination of both asthma controllers and asthma relievers to help manage your condition, and ensure that you can breathe safely.

If you’re struggling with asthma or allergy-induced asthma in Central Ohio, the team at Premier Allergy & Asthma is here to help. With our experienced team of allergists, convenient locations, and dedication to our patients, you can get the help you need to live your life without fearing asthma attacks. Contact us online to schedule a consultation at one of our locations in the Central Ohio/Greater Columbus area today.