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What Helps Asthma without an Inhaler?

Ask a Doctor

My daughter has asthma. Her inhaler will take care of her asthma attacks, but she is often left dizzy with a headache and sometimes nausea from the albuterol side effects. We’d like to get her off the inhaler, but we don’t know what we can do to reduce her asthma symptoms. What helps asthma without an inhaler?

Doctor’s Response

Inhalers are a mainstay of asthma treatment. Some types of inhalers help prevent asthma attacks, while others relieve the symptoms once an attack has started.

One of the ways to help asthma without an inhaler is to avoid triggers such as viruses, allergens, pollutants, and exercise. Triggers can cause airway inflammation and asthma symptoms.

Get your annual flu shot. People with asthma are at higher risk for complications from influenza.

For people who have difficulty using inhalers, nebulizers (sometimes called “breathing treatments”) can be used. These are small machines that help administer medication in the form of a mist breathed into the lungs.

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Reviewed on 4/9/2019
Christopher H Fanta, MD. An overview of asthma management. 5 October 2017. 21 November 2018 .

Partners Asthma Center Brigham and Women's Hospital. Does everyone with asthma need a home compressor and nebulizer to deliver bronchodilator medications in a emergency? 2010. 21 November 2018 .