What are the best ways to diagnose and manage asthma in adults? This can be tricky because asthma can stem from several causes and treatment often depends on what is triggering the asthma.
A team of experts from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston examined the current information available from many different sources on diagnosing and managing mild to moderate asthma in adults and summarized them. They determined that essential, effective treatment must involve a physical and breathing exam, a comprehensive health history of the patient and ask questions that may answer what triggers may cause an asthma attack. The findings are now available in JAMA.
Asthma affects nearly 8 percent of adults and leads to 1.8 million hospitalizations and 10.5 million visits to the health care provider’s office each year in the U.S.
“When a patient comes in who may have asthma, it’s important for providers to learn their health history, conduct a spirometry breathing test and a physical exam,” said senior author Dr. William Calhoun, UTMB professor in the department of internal medicine, pulmonary critical care and sleep medicine division. “Once diagnosed, the provider should give the patient a questionnaire during each office visit to learn more about how well their asthma symptoms are controlled and how good they perceive their quality of life. Spirometry testing should be repeated every one to two years if the patient’s symptoms haven’t changed.”
Chest imaging may be useful in diagnosing asthma in certain situations, including when the patient has a medically important smoking history or occupational chemical exposure, has long standing disease or mat be at risk for chronic obstructive lung disease or lung cancer.
“The goals of asthma treatment are to reduce the patient’s symptoms, help ensure that they can maintain their normal activities, perform well on pulmonary function tests and minimize asthma associated risks such as future asthma attacks and medication side effects,” said Jennifer McCracken, UTMB assistant professor in the department of internal medicine, division of allergy and immunology. “Because of the complex nature of asthma, providers need to approach patients with a guideline-based plan that takes environmental triggers such as allergens, viruses and occupational irritants into consideration as well the strengths and weaknesses of the medication that they are using in order to provide a well-tailored action plan.”
The study authors noted that a key part of asthma management is a written asthma action plan that details the signs and symptoms of worsening asthma and the steps needed to combat it in layman’s terms.
There are both short-acting and long-lasting asthma medications. For quick relief of symptoms, it’s important for all asthma patients to have short acting inhalers readily available. These inhalers alone are appropriate for patients who only have periodic asthma. For patients with more constant asthma, longer-lasting daily maintenance controller medications are commonly prescribed in addition to short acting inhalers.
Other authors include UTMB’s Sreenivas Veeranki and Bill Ameredes. The study was supported by The National Institutes of Health.
Veteran celebrates 98th birthday at his favorite place -- the gym https://t.co/MGZOAnMM2K via @wsls
Honor Flight Takes Oklahoma Veterans To Visit National Monuments https://t.co/4omKmtLNIs via @NewsOn6
RT @MDA_UTHGrad: Congrats to Medical Physics PhD student Mary Peters Gronberg, center, for winning the MedPhys Slam competition at the Sout…
RT @UTPhysicians: Dr. John Higgins recently appeared on Fox News to discuss how to reduce sports injuries in children. He shares informatio…
A diverse group of MD Anderson experts are teaming up to answer one question: can exercise help fight cancer? https://t.co/7XXIfTMMG9 @SchadlerLab @DrNgoHuang @DrValeraeLewis @mkatzmd #endcancer
Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Air Force Veteran George Eade. George was a four-star general and pilot who completed 37 combat missions during World War II https://t.co/j75bxbZDlU
How #breastcancer care has changed in the last 18 years and what that means to patients, from nurse navigator Nicole Luckett: https://t.co/SPuGI1IBHL BCSM #endcancer
See how Dr. Eric Storch stays fit in our latest Healthy Habits. https://t.co/d9IPMEe9R9 #healthy #habits
“Vaping isn’t a part of my game plan, and it shouldn’t be a part of yours.”Watch to see why @chrisduvall91 stays away from e-cigarettes. @HoustonDynamo #ForeverOrange #endcancer https://t.co/Ae2WV1qJfF
Are you hooked on the hunt for the Iron Throne? Learn why people can be so obsessed with @GameOfThrones and other television series. https://t.co/B2oNsytvsa #GoT #GameOfThrones
@HealthyLifeZon1 Thanks for the share
@Africadisruptiv Thank you for the shout-out
@Follementbijoux Thanks for sharing
We are happy to hear the @houstonzoo's elephant, Joy, has recovered from a case of elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus. Learn how our own Paul Ling is helping to treat elephants with this disease at the zoo as well as throughout the globe. https://t.co/OVXUltkZsm #virology
In this week's hospital happenings, @DisneyOnIce visited Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital to host an Easter egg hunt for patients and families and TIRR Memorial Hermann Hotwheels team was recognized at the @HoustonRockets first home playoff game. https://t.co/Ch5ObNt1a5