Asthma Treatment in the Atlanta Area
Atlanta Board-Certified Allergists
Asthma is a chronic disease which causes inflammation of the bronchial tubes (airways) in the lungs. It can often accompany alongside allergies, as well as sinus problems. In patients who suffer from asthma, the airways are consistently swollen and irritated. However, certain triggers cause the muscles around the airways to tighten, restricting normal respiratory function. During an asthma attack, you may experience symptoms such as: coughing, shortness of breath, or chest tightness.
How to Know If You Have Asthma
Recognizing the signs and symptoms of asthma is crucial for timely diagnosis and appropriate management. If you experience recurrent episodes of wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, or coughing, particularly during physical exertion, exposure to allergens, or in certain environments, it may indicate asthma.
It is essential to consult your doctor, so they can assess your symptoms and conduct a thorough evaluation. Doctors typically employ several diagnostic tests to confirm the presence of asthma.
- These may include spirometry, which measures lung function, to assess airflow obstruction, as well as bronchoprovocation tests to determine how your airways react to various stimuli.
- Allergy testing, chest X-rays, and blood tests may also be performed to rule out other potential causes.
A comprehensive evaluation by one of our doctors at Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia is crucial for an accurate diagnosis and the development of an appropriate treatment plan to effectively manage asthma symptoms.
Testing for Asthma
At the Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia, we diagnose asthma in adults and children by carefully evaluating your medical history, and by conducting breathing tests to determine how well your lungs work.
The most common breathing test is called spirometry. Your doctor will ask you to take a deep breath and blow into a sensor that measures the amount of air your lungs can hold as well as the speed of the air you inhale or exhale. The results of the spirometry allow us to diagnose the severity of your asthma, and, if you are already undergoing treatment, how well the treatment is working.
People with asthma often suffer from allergies as well. Depending on your medical history, we may also perform allergy testing. By treating the underlying allergic trigger, we can help you suppress asthma symptoms.
Treatment of Asthma
The goal of our comprehensive asthma program is to treat and control asthma symptoms so that our patients can lead active and normal lives. With proper treatment, the allergy doctors at the Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia can:
- Minimize the occurrence of daily symptoms to fewer than 2 times per week.
- Reduce the need for rescue medications.
- Minimize asthma-flare-ups.
- Reduce days lost from school or work due to asthma symptoms.
- Improve quality of life for all asthma patients.
There are several types of asthma medications available including:
- Controller medications. Also known as inhaled corticosteroids, these medications should be taken daily. Examples of controller medications include Fluticasone, Flovent, Pulmicort Flexhaler Asmanex, Aerobid, and others.
- Combination inhalers. These contain an inhaled corticosteroid in addition to long-acting beta-agonist (LABA). LABAs control symptoms and help open your airways. However, they cause side effects in some people. LABAs are never prescribed alone. They should be used only along with inhaled corticosteroids. Examples of combination medications include Advair Diskus, Symbicort, and Dulera.
- Leukotriene modifiers. These oral medications utilize montelukast to control asthma symptoms. Examples of leukotriene modifiers include Singulair, Accolate, and Zyflo.
- Quick relief/rescue medications. These medications are used to relieve symptoms during an asthma attack. They may also be taken before exercising, if prescribed. They include short-acting beta-agonists. Examples of rescue asthma medications include ProAir HFA, Xopenex HPA, and Maxair Autohaler.
Quick-relief medications can’t replace controller medications. If you have to use a rescue relief medication more than twice a week, please contact a doctor.
- Oral and intravenous corticosteroids. These are used for acute asthma flare-ups or for severe symptoms. However, they can cause serious side effects if used long-term. They include prednisone and methylprednisolone.
During your appointment, your doctor will discuss which treatment options are right for you. The Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia, with multiple locations throughout Georgia in Carrollton, Hiram, Griffin, Villa Rica, Newnan, Smyrna/Vinings, Peachtree City/Fayetteville, Acworth/Kennesaw, and Douglasville, has a no wait appointment policy, so call (770) 459-0620 today for your same-day or next-day appointment for Telemedicine or in-office visit.