Asthma generally involves periodic breathing difficulties, caused by the closure of airways from an allergy, or an anxiety attack. Rescue inhalers are normally prescribed to reduce airway obstruction or inflammation.
COPD requires constant medication to reduce constant airway inflammation and restriction. Advair, Spiriva, Symbicort, or other inhalers are required. Prednisone and nebulizer breathing treatments with Albuterol and Ipratropium may also be needed to counteract breathlessness.
Deep breathing exercises may help strengthen the diaphragm muscles, a technique which can be important to help ward off exacerbation.