|Advice From Your Allergist on Asthma Diagnosis and Treatment
How is asthma diagnosed?
Allergists are doctors who have specialized training and experience to help you understand and control your asthma. When you visit an allergist, the doctor will:
• Ask you about your medical history, including your general health, your symptoms, and whether other members of your family have asthma or allergies such as hay fever, hives or skin rashes like eczema.
therapies such as bronchodilators and anti- inflammatory agents, and developing an emergency plan for severe attacks.
Once your allergist has identified factors that trigger your asthma, you can learn how to avoid them. This is the most important first step to controlling your asthma. In some cases, avoidance can be just as effective as taking medicine.
There are two types of medicines to treat asthma: “quick-relief” medicines and “controller” medicines.
• Quick-relief medicines. Everyone with asthma should carry a quick-relief medicine at all times to treat asthma symptoms that can occur anytime. These medicines help open the airways quickly. They also treat the noisy part of the disease—cough, wheezing and gasping for breath that can happen during an asthma attack. Your allergist may also recommend using this medicine before exercise. Examples of quick-relief medicines are albuterol and levalbuterol. For most people with well-controlled asthma, a single canister should last a full year.
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The allergist may also order other tests such as blood tests or allergy tests. Allergy tests can be done at any age and can be helpful in finding out if your asthma is triggered
Effective asthma treatment includes monitoring control with a peak flow meter, identifying
If your asthma is triggered by an allergy, you should consider allergy shots. Allergy shots, which are also known as immunotherapy, are very effective in relieving allergy symptoms and, in some cases, can actually cure your allergy.
The treatment builds up immunity to your offending allergens, usually over several
training and experience in handling a reaction you could have after receiving an allergy shot.
Anti-IgE is a treatment that stops an allergic reaction before it begins, helping prevent asthma attacks by blocking the antibody
Anyone with allergies and asthma should be able to feel good, be active all day and sleep well at night. No one should accept less. Your allergist can:
Get tested! Get treated! Get better!
For more information about allergy treatment, and to locate a board- certified allergist in your area, visit AllergyAndAsthmaRelief.org.
|Board-certified allergists are specialists in diagnosing and treating allergies and asthma.|
|Printed with permission
© 2014, American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology