Asthma is a common long-term condition associated with chronic inflammation of the airways. The disease can affect the trachea, the bronchi, and the bronchioles, which form part of the lower respiratory tract. Asthma causes inflammation and swelling of the airways, increased mucus secretion, and constriction of airway smooth muscle. As a consequence of these processes, the airways become narrow and irritated, resulting in the symptoms of cough, wheeze, chest tightness, and breathlessness.1
Evidence-based guidelines and effective treatments are available for the management of asthma.2 Inhaled short-acting bronchodilators (reliever inhalers), such as salbutamol or terbutaline, are the first line of treatment for asthma.
An inhaled corticosteroid (preventer inhaler), such as beclometasone dipropionate, budesonide, or fluticasone propionate, is recommended in addition for patients who continue to experience symptoms. If control of symptoms remains poor, a long-acting bronchodilator, such as salmeterol or formoterol, can be added to the treatment strategy.