Adult asthma: step by step
Doctors in the UK often use the 'stepwise' approach to treating asthma.
They may talk about 'stepping up' treatment when they change the dose or number or type of treatments. This is what each step means:
You occasionally use a reliever (usually a blue inhaler). If you are regularly using it more than once a day/night you should go onto the next step.
In addition to your reliever, you will now need to take regular preventer treatment to reduce the inflammation in your airways. This will almost always be a low to medium dose steroid inhaler.
If your asthma is not fully controlled on low dose preventer treatments, your doctor may advise a higher dose of preventer treatment (which may be given using a spacer). Alternatively, you may be given a long-acting reliever or preventer tablet plus the low dose steroid preventer.
In addition to your reliever and higher dose preventer with spacer you may also need to try other types of reliever and preventer
In addition to your reliever, higher dose preventer with spacer and one or more of the long-acting relievers, you may be given regular steroid tablets to take every morning (or alternate mornings).
It's important that you don't move yourself up or down the steps without talking to your doctor or nurse first.
Page created on February 28th, 2010
Page updated on March 11th, 2010