The treatment of asthma is highly individualized and often changes over time.
If exercise is the only trigger usually a bronchodilator is taken prior to exercise.
If the asthma symptoms are sporadic (due to viral infections, cold air, irritants, allergens, pets) a bronchodilator- possibly referred to as a “quick relief” or “rescue” inhaler is used. This is generally a form of albuterol.
If a bronchodilator (albuterol) is required more than 2 times a week, or more than two times a day for two-three days a controller medication may be added. Controllers help with the inflammation which develops when the lungs do not have time to completely recover after an acute episode of asthma.
More severe episodes of asthma may require other therapies such as a short course of systemic corticosteroids, or a more sustained course of biological agent such as xolair or nucala.