If you live with severe asthma, finding the right treatment is an essential part of managing your condition. Since everyone responds to asthma treatments differently, it may take some trial and error before you discover one that works best for you.
Here are eight signs that it may be time to explore other treatment options for your severe asthma.
The first and most obvious sign that it’s time to switch treatments for your severe asthma is if your medication doesn’t seem to be working. If your current treatment fails to help you manage symptoms like coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and pain or tightness in your chest, it’s likely not as effective as it should be.
There are a number of different treatment options available for people with severe asthma. Examples include inhaled corticosteroids, leukotriene modifiers, long-acting beta agonists, and biologics.
Don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor about trying something new if your current treatment isn’t producing the results you need.
Another sign that your current treatment may not be working is if you find yourself having to use your medication more frequently than normal.
Ideally, you shouldn’t be using your quick-relief inhaler more than two days a week. Using it more than two days a week typically means that your asthma is poorly controlled. If you find yourself needing it multiple times a day, you should definitely see your doctor to discuss treatment changes.
Worsening symptoms are another indication that it may be time to switch severe asthma treatments. Maybe your symptoms have gotten more intense lately. You may be experiencing prolonged bouts of coughing or wheezing, chest tightness, or shortness of breath on a daily basis.
If this is the case, your treatment isn’t working as well as it should be and a trip to your doctor is necessary.
Your peak flow measurements are a gauge of how well your lungs work when they’re at their best.
If you notice a significant decrease in your peak flow readings, it may be a sign that you should consider changing treatments. If your readings are less than
You may also be at a higher risk of experiencing a severe asthma attack, so you should see your doctor about switching treatments as soon as possible.
It’s possible that you may experience side effects from some of your asthma treatments. Minor side effects like headache, nausea, or sore throat can be expected if you’re using your treatment regularly.
But if you start to experience serious side effects that impact your day-to-day life, you should consider switching treatments. Some severe side effects of asthma medication include weight gain, mood swings, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis.
If severe asthma has caused you to miss school or work, your current treatment is likely not working the way that it should be. One of the hardest parts about living with severe asthma can be the effects it has on your ability to live a normal life.
You may feel self-conscious about fits of coughing or wheezing, or have difficulty speaking due to shortness of breath. Severe asthma shouldn’t restrict you from going about your daily routine. If your lifestyle has been negatively affected by your condition, talk to your doctor about switching treatments.
Exercise is important for everyone, so it may be time to switch treatments if your severe asthma is preventing you from keeping up a regular exercise routine.
Exercise plays an important role in strengthening your heart and lungs, which can help manage your symptoms. It’s also a vital part of maintaining a healthy body weight.
One of the main goals of asthma treatment is to control your symptoms during physical activity. If your treatment isn’t doing this effectively, then you should talk to your doctor about other options.
If you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night due to coughing or wheezing, your current treatment may not be working as well as it should be.
People whose severe asthma is properly controlled shouldn’t wake up due to their symptoms more than twice a month.
Waking up one to three times a week is an indication that your asthma is poorly controlled. Having your sleep interrupted more than four times a week means that you’re in the “red zone.” In this case, seek your doctor’s care as soon as possible to find a better treatment.
Severe asthma that isn’t well-controlled can lead to long-term damage to your lungs. It can even result in a life-threatening asthma attack.
If you’ve experienced one or more of these eight signs since starting your current treatment, you should make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. They can talk to you about other available treatment options and help you find one that works best for you.