According to the latest research by a team at University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, asthma patients who have mild or moderate nature of the disease do not require steriods on a daily basis. Usually the patients are prescribed daily dose of steriods, but patients who use them only when they feel the symptoms also manage to have the same results. The study therefore suggests that steroids are not needed on a regular basis for patients with mild illness and its overdose should be avoided.
"The discovery that these two courses of treatment do not differ significantly could eventually change the way doctors and patients manage asthma, providing an option that is easier to follow and possibly less expensive. Our findings build on a considerable foundation of research in the field and come at a time when asthma cases are rising at an alarming rate - especially in lower-income communities," lead author of the study, Dr. William J. Calhoun, said, as reported on cbsnews.com.
Around 25 million people in the United States only suffer asthma and similarly a large population all over the world faces breathing problems because of the disease. They also bear huge costs for the treatment and also disruption in their work routine. The recent study recommends that excessive medication is not a solution for people with less severe symptoms and reducing dosage will also reduce costs for them.
Although the new advice seems helpful for asthma patients, some medical experts think that regular medication is the only solution for asthma patients. "While a symptom-based strategy for asthma treatment worked for some patients, and is an attractive idea because it can work, it requires a close monitoring and collaboration between doctor and patient. For this reason, on balance, the traditional approach of daily inhaled corticosteroids is the safest," Dr. Len Horovitz from Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City said.
The new study, however, makes it clear that their suggested approach should not be followed with serious asthma patients, who should continue with their regular treatment as prescribed by their doctor. Also, those who are going for the new rescue approach should seek medical advice from their doctor before starting it. Asthma is afterall a severe disease and causes serious breathing problems if it becomes worse. It cannot be left on chance, as severe attack can even lead to death.