Step 4: Read and complete the decision guide to learn more about your symptoms.
Asthma Treatment Guidelines
Children with severe persistent asthma have symptoms more often than is desirable, and should be on stronger daily "control" medications to try to decrease the frequency and severity of symptoms.
For control (prevention) of symptoms, the preferred treatment is a high-dose inhaled steroid and long-acting inhaled beta-2 agonists.
If needed, steroids given by mouth will be recommended but your doctor will want to regularly try halting this treatment to see if symptoms can be controlled with the inhaled steroids.
NOTE: As soon as symptoms are under control, your doctor will want to try to decrease the medications to the least amount possible to maintain control.
All children with asthma may need occasional "rescue" medications to treat asthma "attacks," occasional periods of asthma symptoms, often triggered by a viral infection (such as the common cold), exposure to an allergen (for example, pets or pollens), or exposure to an irritant (such as cigarette smoke).
For quick relief of symptoms in older children, use a short-acting inhaled (breathed-in) beta-2 agonist first. If the symptoms are severe, or the child has had severe attacks in the past, a short course of steroids taken orally or injected directly into the bloodstream may be recommended.
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