Asthma can’t be cured, but the symptoms can be controlled. For some people, asthma is a minor problem and only requires as needed treatment a few times over the course of a year. For others, it interferes with daily life and may lead to frequent visits to the doctor’s office to prevent life-threatening asthma attacks.
It is very important to work with the health care professionals at the Respiratory Specialists and monitor your symptoms, so we can change treatments as needed to improve control of your asthma.
Goals of Asthma Therapy
Reduce Impairment Caused by Asthma
- Maintain normal or near normal breathing (checked by breathing test)
- Maintain normal activity level
- Prevent long term problems or changes to the lung
- Use rescue inhaler less than 2 times per week
- Maintain a person satisfaction with asthma care
Reduce Asthma Risk
- Prevent asthma attacks or a quick decline in breathing
- Prevent emergency room and hospital visits
- Prevent loss of breathing function
- Provide medical treatment with little side-effects
What Medicines Are Used To Treat Asthma?
Asthma medications can be generally divided into two categories: Medicines that control inflammation and prevent attacks (Long-term controllers or maintenance medications), and medicines to treat attacks (Quick-relief or rescue medication).
Long-term Controllers or Maintenance Medications
- Taken daily to reduce asthma impairment and risk
- Even if your asthma is well controlled for months or years, it doesn’t mean the asthma is gone, there will always be some degree of airway inflammation, and these drugs prevent symptoms
- They are generally well tolerated, have low side-effects, and can be used safely for long periods of time
Quick-relief or Rescue Medication
- Taken as needed for quick relief of sudden asthma symptoms
- Can be taken before exercise to reduce asthma symptoms
- They are not intended to provide long-term control of asthma, even though your asthma will feel better quickly after using them.
- If the medication is used more than twice per week, this is a sign that your asthma is maybe getting worse (uncontrolled).
- Frequent use is less tolerated, as more side-effects are reported
Other Advanced Therapies For Asthma Offered At The Respiratory Specialists
85% of people with asthma will have a reaction to specific allergen on skin testing. If a person reports worsening asthma symptoms after exposure to an allergen, then allergy shots may be advised.
- Allergy Shots - Allergy shots (also called immunotherapy) contain small amounts of allergens. They're given on a regular schedule so that your body gets used to the allergens and no longer overreacts to them. Allergy shots are only used when the allergens you're sensitive to can be identified and when you can't avoid them.
- Biologics (monoclonal antibodies) therapies - injectable medications to treat moderate to sever Asthma.
Using special tools, the physicians at the Respiratory Specialist can heat the inside of the airways and prevent the muscles from tightening. Thus reducing asthma attacks, and making breathing easier. This is a new and exciting surgical treatment for severe asthma.