By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A change may be coming to the way people with mild to moderate asthma control the ailment.

Dr. William Calhoun, a Chester County, Pa. native and now a University of Texas researcher, was lead author of a study that compared three approaches to asthma control.  Even though they all worked about the same, he says, one approach reduces the use of steroids.

calhoun Study Says Many Asthma Patients May Not Need Daily Steroid Inhaler Use

(Dr. William Calhoun. Photo provided)

“We believe that million of Americans who’ve got mild to moderate asthma could use their inhaled steroids only when symptoms occur and not have to use them on a regularly scheduled daily basis,” he explains, “without losing asthma control and with a reduction in the inhaled steroid dose of about 50 percent.”

And that, he says, reduces the long-term side effects of steroid use and saves on the expense of the drug, to boot.

Dr. Calhoun says patients would still carry a rescue inhaler and probably use it and the steroid inhaler to halt an episode.

He insists, though, don’t go doing this on your own!  Wait for word to get to your doctor, who can discuss if it’s a good fit for your particular case.

Word of the study will need up to a year to pass through guideline committees to asthma physicians, who may then discuss with you if they think it’s appropriate for you.

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