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An inflammatory condition of the small airways in the lung resulting in decreased diameter of lung “tubes” from swelling, edema and contraction of those muscles surrounding the airways.  The narrowing of these bronchi is responsible for most of the symptoms associated with an asthma “attack”.  Shortness of breath, cough, wheezing, struggling for breath and decreased oxygenation of the blood are all symptoms characterizing asthma.  These symptoms may occur individually or as a complex combination on a persistent or intermittent basis.

 Absence of symptoms does not equal control of the disease.

True control of asthma can be measured in most anyone over 4 years of age by simple spirometry.  Spirometry is a non-invasive breathing test performed by blowing into specialized devices connected to a computer.  The computer then calculates various flows and volumes giving the physician an inside look at airflow in and out of the lungs.  Often incentives such as birthday cake candles or blowing down brick walls encourage the patient to blow as hard and fast as they can.

Some form of lung function testing should be used to diagnose and follow EVERY patient diagnosed with or treated for asthma.  If you have been diagnosed with asthma or given an inhaled asthma therapy for the treatment of chronic cough, recurrent bronchitis, asthmatic bronchitis or other non-specific symptoms affecting your breathing and have not had your lung function tested in such a manner, seek evaluation by an allergist or pulmonologist to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment.

“Treating asthma without testing your breathing is like treating diabetes without testing your blood sugar”.

To view more information on Asthma, Click here.



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