WHAT IS ASTHMA?
Asthma is a disorder of the airways that causes airway inflammation and reversible airflow obstruction. This constriction and inflammation can cause cough, chest tightness, shortness-of-breath and/or wheezing. Factors that may trigger episodes of asthma include allergy exposure in allergic individuals, viral infections and miscellaneous factors such as sinusitis, exercise, G.E. reflux disease, certain medicines and smoking.
The diagnosis of asthma is based on an in-depth history in which the allergist will review signs and symptoms of asthma, duration of signs and symptoms, triggers, medicines and family history. Pulmonary Function Tests may be performed. These tests assist not only in the diagnosis of asthma, but are of assistance in following the response to medication.
There are four classifications of asthma severity:
The best treatment depends on many factors including the patient's age, allergies, and chronic conditions such as sinusitis, nasal polyps, GERD and smoking. There are also environmental factors and complex genetic factors to be considered.
Management of asthma is based on the control of inflammation of the airways. Asthma medications include as needed medicines to treat symptoms, and in some patients daily medicines to control inflammation.
Asthma treatment during pregnancy is very important. Uncontrolled asthma should be avoided during pregnancy. The goals of management and treatment during pregnancy are the same as for all patients, including the safety and efficacy of asthma medicines.
We will provide you with a complete, individualized Asthma Care Plan.
This information is provided with permission from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI).