Bronchodilator Inhaler: Benefits, Side Effects, and Getting the Right Dose

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Asthma is a respiratory disorder caused by the narrowing of the bronchial tubes of the lungs. The bronchial tubes serve as passageways for air to get into the lungs. The narrowing of the air passageways in the lungs is caused by muscle contractions that make the bronchial tubes narrower than its normal size. Inflammation and swelling causes the bronchial tubes to become even narrower, inhibiting air to flow through. In other cases, severe asthma is also caused by excessive mucus in the bronchial tubes.

When not treated properly, chronic asthma can cause death.

In an asthma attack, a patient may feel like he’s not getting enough air into his lungs, he’ll wheeze and have difficulty breathing. If you suffer from severe asthma—chances are—you use a bronchodilator inhaler regularly.

What Is a Bronchodilator Inhaler?

Bronchodilator inhaler is one of the many types of treatments for asthma attack. The medication in the inhaler causes the swollen muscles in the bronchial tubes to relax, allowing air to pass through more efficiently. As the bronchial muscles relax, the bronchial tubes dilate and breathing will normalize.

Note that a bronchodilator inhaler does not give long-term relief from asthma. Just like most types of asthma medications, a bronchodilator inhaler only gives partial relief during asthma flare-ups.

Bronchodilators come in many different forms. Some bronchodilators are in mist form, others are taken as capsules or tablets, and there are those that are taken intravenously. The most common type of bronchodilator is the inhaler type. The medication comes in a pump-up metered container and is taken orally.

Benefits of Bronchodilator Inhaler

One of the most notable benefits of a bronchodilator inhaler is that the medication is fast acting. The drug works faster and goes deeper into the bronchial muscle to dilate the swollen tissues. Bronchodilator inhalers are also often used as rescue or emergency treatment for acute asthma attacks. Again—because it’s an effective drug that relaxes bronchial muscles faster—it’s the medication of choice for many asthma patients.

Bronchodilator inhalers are also portable. If you are suffering from periodical asthma attacks, then you can take this medication with you while on the go.

Drawbacks of Bronchodilator Inhaler

It’s important to note that an asthma patient that cannot control his medication dosage is a clear sign of progressive asthma. This means stronger medication is required to manage the worsening disorder. In addition, any type of medication should be done under the strict instructions of your doctor.

Using a bronchodilator inhaler does come with many side effects — the most common include palpitation, tremors, mild nausea, and diarrhea. Serious side effects include confusion stemming from low potassium level, bronchospam, hives, and high blood pressure.

Unfortunately, not a lot of patients are keen on taking only the right dosage especially during a severe attack. Note that sometimes a bronchodilator inhaler will not work but this should not be taken as a sign that the drug is ineffective.

Sometimes asthma is not caused by swollen muscle tissues but by mucus accumulated in the bronchial tubes. As such, using a muscle relaxant like the bronchodilator inhaler will not ease breathing. We recommend talking to your doctor to determine the root cause of your condition and which types of medication would work for your specific needs.

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