Asthma, a chronic disease of the lungs, occurs when inflammation of the bronchial tubes (the airways to the lungs) causes excess mucus production and a narrowing of the tubes. Symptoms can be mild or severe - ranging from minor wheezing and coughing to extreme difficulty breathing.
Pulmonary physicians in the adult asthma program diagnose asthma based on physical examination, medical history, and the results of pulmonary function tests, which can be performed in the Hospital's Pulmonary Function Laboratory or in the physician's office during the visit.
After a diagnosis of asthma has been made and depending on the patient's specific symptoms and test results, a variety of treatment options may be available to manage the condition. The physician may prescribe certain medications and devices, which can include inhalers, spacers that attach to inhalers, nebulizers that deliver medication in a mist that is inhaled into the lungs, and medication in tablet form. Much of the time, symptoms are triggered by something specific: a virus, allergies, exercise, particles in the air, etc. Identifying and eliminating these triggers is essential. Some of the procedures we offer to eliminate these triggers include aspirin desensitization and administration of omalizumab, which is an advanced therapy for severe allergies associated with asthma.