Asthma is a chronic inflammation of bronchial airways in the lungs that causes cough, wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing. It affects millions and millions of people across the globe. Asthma has increased significantly in the last 30-40 years, particularly among children, and the scientific community is committed to understanding why. Studies have shown that genetics, indoor and outdoor allergens and environmental factors such as pollution are all factors. When treated properly, prognosis is usually good. The airway obstruction that patients experience is usually reversible but if left untreated, permanent impairment of the lungs can occur. Pulmonary function testing is essential to proper diagnosis and management. Our doctor and medical staff use in-office spirometry testing to confirm the severity of asthma and whether prescribed medications are working optimally. Spirometry may also suggest when medications are no longer necessary, or drugs could be decreased, and dose of the medication needs to be adjusted. Often, asthma symptoms improve simply by avoidance of allergic triggers identified through allergy testing. For some many individuals, more permanent improvement can be achieved with Immunotherapy – allergen injections designed to reduce sensitivity to environmental allergens.
Other respiratory conditions, such as vocal cord dysfunction can mimic asthma. This condition may manifest with wheezing and shortness of breath but does not respond to asthma medication. Well-trained and experienced specialists can properly diagnose this condition.