Asthma Treatment In Cincinnati, OH
For those living in Cincinnati, Asthma treatment is available through the dedicated physicians at Bernstein Allergy Group, Inc. Millions of Americans are afflicted with this condition, but many do not know what triggers it. Many, in fact, do not even know what happens to their own bodies when they have an attack. We make it our job to inform every patient who walks in our door about what it truly means to have asthma. If you would like to be one of those people, then please make an appointment and come see us today.
What Is Asthma?
What is asthma, anyway? If you've experienced wheezing in the chest, shortness of breath while exercising, coughing with mucus, or waking up in the middle of the night while short of breath, then you may already have it. It is defined as being an obstructive disorder of the large and small airways in your lungs. Certain triggers can cause those airways to close up, making it difficult for you to breath. Our board certified physicians will ask you about your symptoms and medical history to determine if it's possible that you are afflicted. They will do a spirometry test to check out your lung function and to determine once and for all if it is indeed Asthma that is causing your breathing problems.
The professionals at Bernstein Allergy Group, Inc. will do their very best to explain to you how to use any medication that is prescribed to you. Most of these medications will involve some sort of inhaled bronchodilator such as albuterol. We will answer any questions you have about what causes attacks and how to avoid them entirely. For the citizens of Cincinnati, asthma treatment is available by seeing us. If you are one that suffers from this, give us a call today. You might not be breathing easy now, but after a few sessions with us, you just might be.
Asthma is an obstructive disorder of the small and large airways of the lungs in which blockage or constriction of the airways can improve spontaneously or in response to treatment. Blockage can be due to sudden constriction of the airways (bronchospasm), swelling of the airways, or filling of the airways with mucus. Asthma is usually associated with inflammation involving both the upper large airways and more distal small airways. Many people who suffer with allergic asthma also have nasal allergy. In most children and many young adults, asthma is caused by indoor or outdoor airborne allergens. Asthma beginning in adulthood, however, is less likely to be related to allergic causes.
When asthma worsens, the work of breathing becomes more difficult, causing shortness of breath while at rest (reading, sleeping) or during exertion (walking, exercising, climbing steps) coughing, and wheezing.
Common asthma symptoms include:
- Coughing, sometimes dry or with mucus
- Wheezing or whistling in the chest
- Shortness of breath at rest or recently increased with exertion
- Nighttime awakenings with shortness of breath and wheezing
- Avoiding physical activity or exercise due to fear of provoking breathing symptoms
Some asthma patients may have long periods of time without symptoms until they encounter a stimulus that triggers their asthma. For example, contracting a respiratory viral infection or accidental exposure to an allergen to which they are extremely allergic (for instance, a neighbor’s cat) may provoke rapid worsening in asthma symptoms. These are often referred to as "asthma attacks" or asthma exacerbations. On the other hand, individuals with persistent asthma experience daily symptoms requiring daily treatment with asthma controller medications. Many children and adults have only a mild form of exercise induced asthma triggered by aerobic exercise or cold air.
Worsening Asthma or "asthma exacerbation"
Warning signs are changes in symptoms that mark the very beginning of an asthma attack. Warning signs may include:
- Nighttime awakenings with shortness of breath, cough and wheezing
- Early morning awakenings with shortness of breath, cough and wheezing
- Losing your breath more easily during the day and less ability to tolerate regular exercise activities
- Wheezing or coughing at rest
- Daily use of inhaled rescue bronchodilator treatment (albuterol) for shortness of breath and wheezing
Evaluating and Testing for Asthma
Our physicians will ask about your symptoms and medical history, do a physical exam, and conduct breathing tests. The spirometry test is a lung function test used to confirm and diagnose asthma. This easy test involves blowing forcefully into a device that measure how much and how fast air can be expelled from your lungs. The nurse or technician may perform this test before and after treatment with an inhaled bronchodilator. The test is interpreted by the doctors. Based on the results of lung function tests, medical history and skin testing, our physicians establish a diagnosis and recommend appropriate treatments.
The doctors and staff of Bernstein Allergy Group, Inc. will take the time to explain how to properly use all asthma medication and answer all questions making sure that you are knowledgeable about your condition and its management. We encourage our patients to play an active role in controlling their own asthma by recognizing the importance of sticking to a long term treatment plan and being able to recognize asthma exacerbations early so they can be treated effectively. For many years, our doctors and research staff have conducted a large number of FDA approved clinical studies and are very familiar with all available asthma medications, both approved and in development. This medical knowledge and experience often translates into valuable treatment recommendations to better control of asthma and other allergic conditions, ultimately improving overall quality of patients’ lives.
Mild occasional asthma attacks that occur two or less times a week are relatively common and often are adequately treated with an inhaled bronchodilator medication such as albuterol taken as needed or before exercise. The frequency of use of inhaled albuterol (rescue medication) should be monitored by the physician. Overuse of an albuterol inhaler is an indicator of worsening asthma or asthma exacerbation. All patients with persistent symptoms that occur more frequently than twice weekly should be placed on inhaled controller medication (such as inhaled steroids) that can prevent symptoms and reduce the need for inhaled albuterol.
It is very important to understand that many asthma triggers can be avoided. For example, aspirin sensitive patients can experience a very severe flare up of their asthma after accidental ingestion of an aspirin tablet or ibuprofen. Cat allergic asthmatic patients most actively avoid homes and other places inhabited by cats. Environmental tobacco smoke in bars and restaurants is known to trigger wheezing and cough in workers and patrons with preexisting asthma. Not all asthma triggers, such as cold viruses or outdoor pollen or mold spore allergens, can be easily avoided.
Asthma controller medications
Patients with intermittent symptoms that occur no more than twice weekly may simply require inhaled albuterol (ventolin, proventil, ProAir) to take as needed. However, if symptoms occur more on a regular basis requiring frequent use of inhaled bronchodilator medication, every day "controller" medication will likely be recommended. The most effective and widely used controller medications are inhaled corticosteroids. Common inhaled steroids drugs include beclomethasone, fluticasone, budesonide, ciclesonide and mometasone. These drugs are highly effective in controlling chronic persistent asthma and have been shown to prevent hospitalizations and even asthma deaths. If patients fail to respond well to inhaled steroids alone, addition of a long-acting bronchodilator medication may be necessary to achieve control. "Combination" drugs or long acting bronchodilators combined with inhaled steroid drugs are commonly used for patients with difficult to control or persistent asthma. Commonly used combination drugs include Fluticasone/salmeterol, Budesonide/Formoterol and Mometasone/Formoterol. For patients who do not always respond to conventional asthma drugs, new drugs are being developed and many are being studied in the Bernstein Clinical Research Center, LLC. If interested in learning more about participating in an asthma research study, please call Main Number & Emergencies