Approximately 17 million people in the United States are living with asthma. Just as we are seeing a rise in asthma amongst our children, more adults are experiencing asthma symptoms as they age. Although no cure exists for asthma, effective treatments are available. A Board Certified Allergist will customize a treatment plan so that you can live a good quality of life.
Signs that you may have asthma include:
- Shortness of breath
- Tight feeling in the chest
- Coughing at night while in bed
- Coughs a lot while exercising or following exercise
Asthma symptoms are caused by narrowing of the airways (tightening of the muscles) and inflammation that causes swelling and irritation of the airways. This makes it more difficult to breath.
Common Triggers for Asthma:
- Allergies which include: grass, tree, ragweed, dust mite, cat, dog, or mold
- Irritants which include: smoke from tobacco and wood burning stoves, perfumes, candles, fresh paint, and room deodorizers
- Infection and colds
- Cold air
- Medications like aspirin, ibuprofen, and beta blockers
- Fumes, gases or dust
- Tobacco smoke
- Acid reflux
- Emotional anxiety
Treatment and Management
Asthma may have different causes, symptoms and patterns. A Board Certified Allergist can customize a treatment plan based on your history, physical exam, and test results. This treatment plan may include a quick-relief, airway opening, bronchodilator medication such as albuterol. If symptoms are persistent, your Board Certified Allergist may also prescribe a long-term controller medication such as an inhaled steroid which decreases inflammation (examples include Flovent, Qvar, and Alvesco) or a combination inhaler that also has a long acting bronchodilator to help open airways in conjunction with the inhaled steroid (examples include Advair, Dulera, and Symbicort). A Board certified allergist will customize an asthma action plan based on your individualized presentation. Dr. Simpson will make sure you understand why and when to use your prescribed medications and how to use them properly.
Did you know that there are therapies available when inhalers stop working?
Xolair (Omalizumab) is an anti-IgE antibody that helps to reduce inflammation and can be very effective in patients with persistent allergic asthma. Xolair may reduce the need for rescue medications and oral steroid use over time.