How do we treat Asthma?
Quick relief medicines such as albuterol and levoalbuterol.
These medicines help open the airways quickly and treat the coughing, wheezing, and gasping for breath. However, they do not control the underlying inflammation. They can be used before exercise and before exposure to known triggers. If you need your quick relief medicine more than twice a week or more than 2 nights a month, then your Asthma is NOT controlled.
Controller medicines are taken daily for control of underlying inflammation.
Quick reliever medications only relax the smooth muscle around the airways but do not treat inflammation inside the airways. Asthma controller medications treat the inflammation inside airways daily to prevent and control symptoms. These medications will decrease the need to use quick relief medications.
Allergy shots – also known as Immunotherapy (more info here).
Allergy shots build up immunity to your offending allergens. This leads to reducing and even eliminating your allergy symptoms. It works by injecting small amounts of the allergen in gradually increasing doses over time.This should only be administered at the doctor’s office with appropriate training and experience.
Anti-IgE (Xolair or Omalizumab)
This is a treatment that stops an allergic reaction before it begins, helping prevent asthma attacks by blocking the antibody that causes the reaction. It is approved for patients age 12 and older who have moderate to severe allergic asthma.
Flu vaccine helps build up immunity to the Influenza virus.
Pneumococcal vaccine helps build up immunity to the most common bacteria that causes respiratory infections (Pneumonia, Bronchitis, Sinusitis).
Asthma and Pregnancy
Asthma control during pregnancy is important to avoid low oxygen levels for both mother and baby. Increased symptoms normally occur at 24-36 weeks of pregnancy. Only 1 out of 10 patients have asthma problems during pregnancy. Management is very similar to asthma treatment in those who are not pregnant. Please discuss your asthma medications with your doctor to provide optimal benefit for both mother and baby.