If you smoke, or have hay fever, or you're dealing with depression, there are other treatments available which, alongside your usual asthma medicines, could help you manage your asthma symptoms better. And other treatments like antibiotics or the flu vaccine may give you extra support too. Some people find complementary therapies help them cope better with their asthma, but always talk them through with your GP or asthma nurse first.
Other treatments that might help
Smoking's bad for your health whether or not you have asthma. But if you have asthma and smoke, you're really taking a risk. Smoking, or being around other people smoking, can lead to asthma symptoms or even an asthma attack. It also makes asthma medicines less effective. Your GP or asthma nurse can prescribe treatments that can help you stop.
Hay fever and allergic rhinitis are closely linked to asthma. Roughly 80% of people with asthma tell us they also have hay fever. Taking medicines to manage hay fever can be important for helping to manage your asthma.
Flu can be a trigger for asthma symptoms, so your GP or asthma nurse may suggest you have a flu jab in the autumn. The flu jab is designed to protect you against the major strain of flu predicted to be around that winter.
Antibiotics aren’t usually used to treat asthma, but they are used to treat some types of infections which may affect your asthma. For example, you might be prescribed antibiotics when you have a chest infection which could trigger your asthma symptoms. Antibiotics only treat bacterial infections – not viral ones – so your GP will only prescribe antibiotics if they’re necessary and likely to get rid of the infection.
Complementary therapies such as herbal remedies, yoga and special breathing exercises are treatments some people choose to use alongside their asthma medicine. It's important that you always check with your GP or asthma nurse before you try any complementary therapies as some may not be suitable for you.
Last updated January 2018
Next review due July 2019