Baltimore | Glen Burnie | Lutherville | Westminster | Ellicott City
Finally, A Solution to Frequent, Severe Asthma Attacks
Many of our patients suffered from frequent or severe asthma attacks. Many had all but lost hope in effectively managing their symptoms and living a normal life. Even the slightest exposure to an allergen, or mild physical activities, would cause an attack. But after seeking treatment at Mardiney® Asthma, Allergy and Immunology Centers, many of those patients now live happy, symptom free lives.
While other doctors may focus on lessening symptoms, Dr. Mardiney will strive to find the underlying cause of your attacks. Through allergy testing and immunotherapy, Dr. Mardiney and his team can help you finally identify each of your asthma triggers and reduce or eliminate the reactions they cause.
To schedule an appointment and learn how our asthma treatment centers in Maryland can help you find asthma relief, fill out our form to the right or call 877-878-9314. To learn more about asthma and how it is treated, keep reading for general information on the condition.
What is Asthma?
Asthma is a chronic condition that results from inflammation in the airways. This causes narrowing of the bronchial tubes, obstructing the flow of air into and out of the lungs. Common asthma symptoms include:
- Shortness of Breath
- Chest pains or tightness
- Rapid breathing
When these symptoms worsen, you get what is known as an “asthma attack.” During these attacks, the lining of the airways become inflamed, producing thicker mucus that can cause difficulty breathing. These attacks may be brought on by exposure to asthma triggers.
Recognizing Asthma Triggers
Asthma triggers are substances that are known to lead to asthma attacks. Triggers depend on the individual, so it is vital to know what your triggers are and take steps to avoid them. Some of the most common asthma triggers include:
- Allergens including pollen, mold, dust mites, and animal dander
- Cold Air
Allergy induced asthma occurs when your immune system overreacts to an allergen, causing the muscles around your airways to tighten. Taking steps to avoid these allergens or building a tolerance to them via immunotherapy, can help you manage your asthma symptoms.
Asthma Diagnosis and Testing at Mardiney®
To accurately diagnose and assess the severity of your condition, your asthma specialist may order a lung function test. This type of asthma testing typically involves breathing into a machine designed to measure lung capacity. Our asthma clinics have the following lung function tests available:
- Spirometry Tests: Spirometry is a non-invasive type of pulmonary function test (PFT) that measures how much air is inhaled and exhaled. A spirometry test involves breathing in and out of a tube hooked up to a spirometer, a device that allows your asthma specialist to gather key measurements about your lung function. With its results, they can determine if your symptoms are caused by a chronic lung condition such as asthma.
- Nitric Oxide Test: This involves breathing into a tube that is hooked up to an electronic measurement system. It measures the amount of nitric oxide you exhale. Higher levels of nitric oxide in your system may indicate that your airways are inflamed, a sign of asthma.
Testing, combined with discussing your symptoms with your doctor, will allow your physician to accurately diagnose your condition and create a plan to manage your symptoms. Asthma is usually classified into categories ranging from symptoms that are mild and intermittent to severe and persistent. Determining the severity of your asthma will help the specialist choose the best treatment option for you.
Asthma Action Plans
Once it is determined that asthma is indeed the cause behind your breathing difficulties, your physician can begin developing an asthma action plan.
An asthma action plan gives you guidance on what medications to take, avoiding asthma triggers, responding to symptoms and seeking emergency care. This plan also allows you to monitor your level of asthma control, allowing an asthma specialist to make changes as needed. The goal of your asthma action plan is to control your symptoms using the least amount of medicine needed. To do this, you may be required to use a device called a “peak flow meter” that measures how well your lungs are operating. This device helps you and your doctor monitor the effectiveness of the medication and may help you avoid an asthma emergency.
Quick-Relief Asthma Treatments
Most people with asthma should carry quick-relief medications with them at all times to stop symptoms immediately. These medicines, called “bronchodilators,” act quickly to relax the muscles near your airways, allowing more air to flow through.
Your asthma specialist may even recommend that you take your medication before activities such as exercise that may trigger an asthma attack.
Long-Term Asthma Treatments
Long-term treatments help lessen the severity of asthma attacks and prevent future attacks over time. There are two types of long-term treatments available.
- Allergen Immunotherapy: An allergy shot contains a small dose of the allergens that trigger your allergic reaction. Increasing doses of the allergenic extract over time leads to immune tolerance so that the allergies go away. This treatment is beneficial to those with allergy induced asthma.
- Xolair® anti -IgE therapy: Xolair® is an advanced treatment for poorly controlled, moderate to severe allergic asthmatic patients. This medication is an injectable medicine dosed every 2-4 weeks and targets allergic antibodies in the blood.
- Inhaled Corticosteroids: An inhaled corticosteroid is a hormone that helps reduce the inflammation in your lungs. By disrupting the inflammatory process, these medications reduce the airway swelling and mucus production that causes asthma symptoms. This treatment is preferred for controlling persistent mild, moderate, or severe asthma. For moderate and severe asthmatics, dual controllers containing corticosteroids and long acting bronchodilators are often used.
Call Mardiney® to find an Asthma Clinic near you
If you are having difficulties with your breathing or are struggling to control your asthma, act now before your symptoms worsen. Our asthma specialists are ready to help you effectively manage your condition.
If you have any questions regarding allergy and asthma treatment, or would like to know more about the services we offer, please give us a call today at 877-878-9314 to schedule an appointment at any one of our 5 convenient Maryland locations.