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What are the main treatment options for a child with asthma?
If your child is diagnosed with asthma, there are two main types of treatment known as relievers and preventers. The majority of asthma medications are breathed in through an inhaler, ensuring it goes straight to the lungs.
Inhalers come in both spray (aerosol) and dry powder form, and aerosol inhalers can be taken through a special device known as a spacer. A spacer is a large plastic container with a mouthpiece at one end (for young children it is a facemask), and a hole for the aerosol inhaler at the other. They make aerosols easier to use and they are particularly good at ensuring that younger children take the whole dose of the medicine that comes through the inhaler. Reliever inhalers help to relieve symptoms as they happen and they are essential in treating asthma attacks as they happen. Preventer inhalers are used to stop asthma attacks from happening in the first place, helping to reduce any swelling in the airways and making your child less likely to react badly when they come into contact with a specific asthma trigger. Preventer inhalers are usually only prescribed for children who use their reliever inhaler three or more times a week, and they have a protective effect that builds up over time.