Why Are Inhaled Steroids Used to Treat Asthma and COPD? (Quizlet)

What is asthma and COPD?

Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) are both diseases that affect the lungs. Asthma is a long-term lung condition that is characterized by narrowing of the airways, making it difficult to breathe. COPD, on the other hand, is a group of progressive lung diseases characterized by airway inflammation and narrowing, making it difficult to breathe. Inhaled steroids are used to treat asthma and COPD due to their anti-inflammatory effects. Below are some of the key benefits of using inhaled steroids:

  1. Inhaled steroids reduce inflammation of the airways by suppressing the inflammatory response.
  2. Inhaled steroids help reduce the frequency and severity of asthma attacks.
  3. Inhaled steroids can reduce the amount of time needed to recover from an asthma attack.
  4. Inhaled steroids can improve lung function in people with COPD.
  5. Inhaled steroids can reduce the risk of hospitalization for those with asthma or COPD.

What are inhaled steroids?

Inhaled steroids are a type of prescription medicine that is used to reduce inflammation in the lungs caused by asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). These steroids, which are also known as corticosteroids, are breathed directly into the lungs, where they are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. This allows the drugs to get to the source of the inflammation quickly and effectively. Inhaled steroids are typically used on an ongoing basis to keep airway inflammation under control, but they may also be used to quickly relieve severe asthma symptoms during an attack. In general, inhaled steroids are safe and effective when used as directed, but there may be side effects from long-term use.

How do inhaled steroids help treat asthma and COPD?

Inhaled steroids are a popular and effective treatment for asthma and COPD due to their ability to reduce inflammation of the bronchial walls. These small particles travel directly to the lungs when they are breathed in, allowing the medication to have a localised and focused effect on the areas of the respiratory tract that are affected by the condition. This greater targeting of the medicine helps reduce side effects when compared with taking oral steroids. Inhaled steroids can reduce airway congestion, reduce airway hyperactivity, and prevent any further damage to the airways caused by the condition. This can help make breathing easier, reduce the frequency of asthma attacks and allow those with COPD to better manage the condition.This type of medication taken along with other treatments such as bronchodilators, can be effective in controlling the symptoms of asthma and COPD. Inhaled steroids are often prescribed to those with long-term conditions when other treatments have not been successful in symptom relief.

Side effects of using inhaled steroids.

Inhaled steroids are a very effective treatment for asthma and COPD, however, they also come with certain side effects. Common side effects of inhaled steroids include hoarseness, throat infections, and oral thrush. Long-term use of inhaled steroids can cause adrenal gland suppression, which can lead to increased risk of infection, low blood pressure, and low blood sugar. Additional side effects include headache, nausea, and vomiting. In some cases, inhaled steroids can cause more serious side effects such as eye problems, osteoporosis, and Cushing’s syndrome. While these side effects are rare, it is important to speak to a doctor about any potential risks associated with using inhaled steroids.

Guidelines for using inhaled steroids.

Inhaled steroids are used to treat asthma and COPD, as they are highly effective in reducing inflammation and other symptoms associated with these conditions. Guidelines for using inhaled steroids include discussing potential side effects with your doctor, having regular check-ups to monitor your progress, and using the lowest possible dose that effectively manages your symptoms. It is important to use them correctly and consistently, as they may take several weeks to reach their full effect. It is also important to use them in combination with other medications such as bronchodilators and long-acting beta agonists, as this will provide the most effective treatment. Additionally, inhaled steroids should be used as directed by your doctor, as they can be dangerous if used incorrectly.


In conclusion, inhaler steroids are a potent and effective treatment for asthma and COPD. They reduce airway inflammation and help to prevent symptoms and decrease exacerbations. Furthermore, inhaled steroids are generally safe and well tolerated, with minimal side effects. They are an efficient way to reduce reliance on rescue medications, and they provide long-term protection from symptoms, exacerbations, and other long-term consequences of asthma and COPD. Although inhaler steroids are not a cure for asthma or COPD, they are an invaluable tool for managing the condition, improving quality of life and preventing long-term damage.

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