Inhaler Phobia – Fear of Inhalation Therapy, Reasons, and Solutions

indian child asthmaEven though inhalation has been a mode of drug delivery for over 2,000 years in medical history (1), modern inhalers are a relatively new mode of treatment in India. They are quickly gaining popularity among the public, as there is no doubt they have changed the lives of so many asthmatic patients in India. 15 years back, when we were interns in medical college, many asthmatic patients had to be admitted to medical wards during the winter and rainy seasons with exacerbation of asthma. Today, however, this rate of necessity has dramatically decreased, due to increased awareness of asthma and the use of inhalers (2).

There is no arguing that the most effective medication for managing the long-term conditions and outcomes of mild to moderate asthma is inhaled corticosteroids, which prevent the inflammation and airway remodeling that is characteristic of the disease (3). We are also aware of the long-term problems of oral steroid therapy when we are forced to use it on patients. Compared to oral steroids, inhaled steroids are a grace for those who need to use them for long-term management.

There are many misconceptions and fears among patients in our country when it comes to first introducing inhalers to new patients, especially children. In the early years of inhaler use, this fear was a worldwide phenomenon, but it faded away from the developed world as the inhaler use became very popular. Though awareness of the issues of asthma and necessity for inhalers is spreading in India, the actual knowledge of our patients and the general public regarding the disease is very limited (4). Patients wander from one doctor to the next for a long time in search of a magical cure because they don’t have the foundational knowledge necessary for managing this disease.

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This entry was posted in Allergy and Immunology, Primary Care and tagged , , . Volume: .

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