People with asthma are often also prescribed long-term control medications, such as Inhaled corticosteroids or leukotriene modifiers, which modify the production of leukotrienes. Leukotrienes are inflammatory molecules that are released by mast cells during an asthma attack. They are responsible for broncho-constriction.
Health practitioners sometimes prescribe oral corticosteroids for asthma flare-ups to reduce inflammation in the airways. However, oral corticosteroids cause both short and long term side-effects and risks, such as high blood pressure and cataracts.
Of Americans who have asthma, between 5% to 10% have severe or difficult-to-control asthma, according to the American Lung Association.
Doctors say some people with difficult-to-control asthma may not be using their inhalers correctly or using them as often as recommended.
A study led by researchers at the RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences looked at the use of a technological device that measures acoustic or sound-wave signals from the inhaler to objectively assesses how a person uses his or her inhaler.
The study, published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, reported that when information from a digital device is integrated into a clinical decision platform, then medication doses are less likely to be increased. This procedure led to a modest improvement in medication adherence among people with asthma.