We are Board Certified Allergists/Immunologists who specialize in asthma. Asthma is a variable disease with many “phenotypes”. This means not all asthma is the same. Asthma requires individualized care so the correct triggers are identified and the appropriate treatment can be individualized. These triggers can vary for each person. The most common trigger is allergic (pollen, dust mites, animal dander, mold etc). However, there are many other potential triggers including colds (viruses), exercise, cold air, smoke, acid reflux, sinus disease etc. Due to the different “types” of asthma a customized plan is essential. It’s not one type of medication for all. There are more options to treat asthma today than ever before and identifying one’s triggers is the key to success of asthma control.
Many people think of asthma as a terrible “attack” but it can be a much more subtle disease. Therefore, careful and detailed questioning and testing is important. It can be particularly hard for parents of infants and toddlers to answer these questions. This is especially true when the parents themselves don’t have asthma. It’s even more challenging for them to adhere to the treatment as many parents don’t understand why we may recommend continued medication when there are no obvious symptoms.
Some “types” of asthma require daily controller medication, others “as needed” medication, and some just “seasonal” treatment. This is why it’s important to really learn about your disease. At Coastal Allergy Care our questioning and testing helps us classify the severity of your asthma, identify triggers, and come up with the best treatment options. It is important to be proactive from the beginning in order to try and prevent any long term complications.
For those of us that don’t have asthma this link has a great article and video trying to show what asthma feels like. Take the asthma challenge. There are also a couple great videos on asthma on our website.