If your doctor prescribes a controller medicine for your asthma, that means your asthma is persistent or not well controlled. In order for your controller medicine to work effectively, that means you need to use it every day, or sometimes twice a day, even if you feel fine.
There are two types of medicine that treat asthma:
Rescue medicine, such as albuterol, should be used whenever symptoms occur, or sometimes if you know you're going to have symptoms, like before exercise. This type of medicine helps open your airways so you can breathe easier. You can feel this working inside your body, but it only lasts for a few hours. Even though it makes you feel better, it won't make your asthma any better long term.
Controller medicine works by treating the inflammation and swelling inside the lungs, which is a big deal. You don't really feel it working, but if you use it every day, then your asthma should be under much better control. This means that over time you won't have to use your rescue medicine quite as much.
For some children or teenagers with asthma, they can become very sick, and this often happens very quickly. Even though we have a lot of great medicines that help treat asthma, children and teenagers still die from asthma every day in the United States.
One of the best ways to make sure that your child remains healthy is by going to all of your appointments with your doctor and make sure you understand your asthma treatment plan, also known as an asthma action plan.Then, when you're at home, make sure they receive their controller medicine every day, even when they feel fine. This will not only make them feel better in the long term, but hopefully will keep them from getting sick.
To learn more about treatment options at Nationwide Children's Hospital, or to check out our asthma care team, visit: http://www.nationwidechildrens.org/allergy-asthma?utm_source=youtube%2Ecom&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=Video%2BDescription%2B%2D%2BAsthma%2BMyth%3A%2BUsing%2Ba%2Bcontroller%2Bmedicine&utm_campaign=YouTube