Why would I see an allergist to treat asthma?
Asthma treatment is a cornerstone of an allergist’s training. Studies show that up to 60% of asthmatics have allergies. These allergies can be triggers for asthma and may cause the chronic inflammation that is the underlying cause of the asthma. Unless you treat the underlying allergies, it will be more difficult to fully control the asthma. Treating your allergies is often an effective way to lower your need for asthma medications, along with decreasing symptoms, and improving your quality of life.
What are the symptoms of asthma?
Asthmatics often complain of symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, wheeze, and chest tightness. Asthma may cause difficulty with exercise and playing sports. Asthma is the most common chronic illness in children. Children often do not recognize the symptoms of asthma. Children often have cough as the primary symptom of their asthma.
How do you treat asthma?
Treatment options for asthma include avoidance of allergens and irritants, medication, and for certain individuals, the option of allergen immunotherapy (allergy shot that make you less allergic). The key is to develop a comprehensive treatment plan that may include avoidance of allergy triggers, developing an asthma action plan for treating exacerbations of asthma, and treating diseases that may exacerbate symptoms (reflux, sinusitis, aspirin sensitivity, etc).
Can you prevent asthma?
Allergy shots are the only measure that may prevent the development of asthma. Medication may control symptoms, but does not prevent the development of asthma. A 10 year research study completed during 2007, concluded that patients who received 3 years of allergy shots had an almost 50% reduction of the likelihood of developing asthma at completion of the study, compared to patients who did not receive allergy shots.
I have trouble breathing with exercise/sports, is that asthma?
Exercise induced asthma is a common condition that affects millions across the country. The primary complaint is difficulty with exertion. Symptoms may include shortness of breath, wheeze, or cough. Treating your sports induced asthma can help you exercise/play your sport at a higher level.
What are allergy shots, and how do they work?
Simply put: medications treat the symptoms, while allergy shots treat the problem. Allergy shots are unique in that they treat the root of the symptoms, your allergies. This is different from medications, which serve as a band-aid for symptoms.
Allergy shots are a more natural way to treat allergies then medication. Allergy shots consist of the administration of increasing doses of the allergens (such as dust mites, animal dander, mold, pollen, etc) that lead to allergy and asthma symptoms. The high doses of allergen administered, results in the body eventually becoming tolerant to those allergens. This tolerance leads to a decrease of the inflammation that causes allergy and asthma symptoms. For most people the benefit from allergy shots remains for years after the shot schedule has been completed.