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Asthma Information | Questions and Answers Regarding Asthma
What is Asthma?
Asthma is a condition in which airways in the lungs become inflamed. This causes “tightening” or muscle constriction. This constriction can cause shortness of breath, cough and wheezing.
What triggers asthma attacks?
• Allergic triggers such as dust, dander and pollen
• Non-allergic triggers such as smoke, cold weather, respiratory infections, gastric reflux or exercise
Should I exercise with asthma?
Yes-if your asthma is controlled with medication, exercise can increase your lung function and add to your overall health. You can pre-treat with Intal and/or your rescue inhalers.
Is there a cure for asthma?
No, but there are controller medications (inhalers, Singulair, Xolair), other therapies (allergy shots), and environmental controls that can greatly reduce symptoms.
Is there anything that I should avoid with asthma?
Yes, smoking and scuba diving. If your asthma is under control, all other physical activities are permitted.
How can I monitor my asthma?
1. Some patients feel it is useful to use a peak flow meter daily.
Healthy check-ups are important to evaluate lung function and respiratory health.
What medications should I take?
Depending on the severity of your asthma, our office will prescribe one of more of the following medications:
1. Short-acting Beta agonist (rescue) For fast acting relief of symptoms or to pre-treat before exercise (ie: Albuterol, ProAir, Proventil, Xopenex)
2. Long-acting Beta agonist (preventative) To reduce muscle constriction in the lungs over a long period of time (ie: Serevent, Foradil)
3. Inhaled steroids (preventative) To reduce inflammation in the lungs (ie: Advair, Pulmicort, Asmanex, QVar, Flovent)
4. Xolair (preventative) Injectable therapy that reduces the body’s response to allergens, therefore reducing your asthma symptoms.
5. Singulair (preventative) Oral medication to reduce inflammatory responses in the airways.
When is my asthma under control?
1. When you use your rescue no more than 2 times per week.
2. When you have no problems with exercise if you pre-treat.
3. Be sure to make regular follow-up appointments.
1. Environmental controls *
2. Allergy shots *
* Please see appropriate office pamphlets for further information on these preventative treatments.