What Are Inhaled Steroids and Who Needs Them?

Inhaled steroids reduce and prevent inflammation, swelling, and mucus build-up in your airways and lungs. By doing so, they help prevent asthma attacks and keep you breathing easier, allowing the proper amount of oxygen to get into your lungs and then your bloodstream. Not everyone with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary (lung) disease (COPD) needs an inhaled steroid drug, or for that matter any medicine to help them breathe.

Asthma Medications and Devices: Asthma Pathophysiology

Asthma is a chronic condition of airway obstruction in which patients experience wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness in an episodic fashion. This obstruction is reversible upon treatment. The true cause of asthma remains unknown; however, the asthmatic airway is known for its hyperresponsiveness to various stimuli — including physical, chemical and pharmacologic triggers.