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Your allergist can help you in many ways. The doctor can:
- Talk with you about which inhaler is the best for you. Right now, there are multiple types of devices to choose from.
- Make sure you are using your inhaler correctly and discuss whether a holding chamber – a device that holds the medicine and allows you to inhale slowly – might help.
- Review ways to help with the HFA inhaler’s cost.
- Update your treatment plan, and discuss your goals and how to reach them.
- Help you learn how to keep track of symptoms and make decisions about how much medicine to take.
- Make sure your asthma or COPD is being well managed and you aren’t using your quick-relief medicine too often to control your symptoms.
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When you get a prescription for the new HFA inhaler, talk with your allergist about how you are feeling and make sure your disease is under control.
You should also talk with your allergist about when to use your inhaler. If you have asthma, take your quick-relief medicine at the first sign of symptoms. Your doctor may want you to use these medicines before exercise. A written asthma treatment plan can be very useful to guide treatment in the future when symptoms occur.
While it’s important to have a quick-relief inhaler, it isn’t something you should need to use all the time. If you have asthma and use your quick-relief inhaler to treat symptoms more than twice a week during the day, or two or more nights a month, then your asthma is not well controlled. Be sure to talk with your doctor.
There are many choices for the treatment of asthma including inhaled corticosteroids, other types of bronchodilators, other medications, and allergen immunotherapy. Together, you and your allergist can successfully control asthma.