Asthma and Allergy Foundation | St. Louis Public Radio

Asthma and Allergy Foundation

9-year-old Cenya Davis puffs on her inhaler in this 2018 file photo. The study followed more than 200 African American children in St. Louis, a demographic that is 10 times more likely to visit the hospital for asthma than white children.
File photo | Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

Some kids with mild asthma only need to use their inhalers when they have symptoms, according to research from Washington University.

That’s a major departure from traditional guidelines that recommend patients use their inhalers everyday, regardless of how they’re feeling. 

The study, which focused on African American children in St. Louis, found no difference in symptoms or lung function between kids who used their steroid inhalers everyday and those who used them as needed. Following an “as-needed” treatment strategy may help some patients cut down on the total amount of medicine they need to manage their asthma — and may reduce overall costs for low-income populations.