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Understanding and Managing

Asthma

Living with asthma can be stressful, but early diagnosis and treatment are key to maintaining normal activity levels and lung function. This is especially important for children, as uncontrolled asthma can lead to a reliance on oral steroids and lung decline.

Physicians can make diagnosis of asthma based on history and lung function testing, such as in office spirometry.

Why is spirometry important?

  • Some patients do not feel the severity of their lung inflammation. Spirometry is a breathing test can be used in the diagnosis asthma ,and catch early signs of other lung issues like COPD.

  • Spirometry allows tracking of changes in lung function over time, which helps the doctor see if the treatment plan is working.

  • Spirometry is painless, and even children as young as 6 years old can perform this test. 

  • At Dr. Xu's office, spirometry is performed on the day of initial and follow-up appointments.

Allergy Testing In Asthma

Asthma, is often by triggered by allergens. Allergy skin prick testing, can pinpoint triggers like mold, dust mites, pets, or pollens. Avoidance of these trigger can improve patients breathing and reduce steroid use.

Treatment Options in Asthma

While there's no cure for asthma, effective treatment plans can significantly improve your quality of life.  Inhaled corticosteroids reduce inflammation, while bronchodilators relax airways, making breathing easier.

Beyond Traditional Treatments:

  • Allergy Desensitization: Techniques like allergy shots or needle free options like sublingual immunotherapy aim to gradually reduce sensitivity to allergens, leading to less reliance on inhalers and steroids in the long run.

  • Biologic Agents: are for moderate-to-severe asthma that remains uncontrolled even though you use your routine inhaled medicines or pills regularly.These new targeted medications can significantly reduce the need for oral steroids and emergency room visits. Some biologics can reverse lung damage, from chronic inflammation from asthma. There are five biologics currently approved in Canada: Xolair, Nucala, Fasenra,  Dupixent, and Tezspire. Due to the good safety profile, some are approved for children 6 years and older, and even in pregnancy.

Additional Resources:

Biologics for the Treatment of Asthma

Getting a spirometry test (video)

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