Asthma medication, spirometry, corticosteroids – what are they all about?

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the lungs. This glossary explains asthma terms, such as bronchodilator, anti-inflammatory medicine, inhaler, corticosteroid and spirometry.

1. Bronchodilator

A bronchodilator is a medicine that is inhaled to dilate the airways. Bronchodilators are used to treat asthmatic attacks, which occur when the airways react to an irritant by suddenly constricting, making it difficult to breathe.

2. Anti-inflammatory medication

Anti-inflammatory medication is usually an inhaled medication containing corticosteroids, which prevents and suppresses the inflammatory response of the lungs. Anti-inflammatory medication is part of the primary treatment of asthma and is generally taken daily. Anti-inflammatory medication can also be taken occasionally.

3. Inhaler

An inhaler is a device used to administer a dose of inhaled asthma medication, where the active pharmaceutical ingredient is either mixed into a gas propellant or is in the form of powder. Administering the medication directly into the lungs ensures that it has a direct effect in the desired area. Inhalers are used to administer both bronchodilators and anti-inflammatory medication.

4. Corticosteroids

Corticosteroids offer local relief to the inflammatory response of the airways. When inhaled, they spread efficiently around the lungs and affect the desired areas.

5. Spirometry

Spirometry is a test that measures lung capacity by measuring the volume of the lungs and air flow in the airways.