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Can A Pulmonologist Treat Asthma

Are There Any Special Considerations For Adults Who Develop Asthma

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People with multiple medical conditions need to be aware of how their illnesses and the medications they use may affect one another.

If you take more than one medication, talk with your physician about ways to simplify your medication program. Explore the possibility of combining medications or using alternate ones that will have the same desired effect. Be sure to discuss potential drug interactions with anything you take including vitamins or herbal supplements.

Ready To Make An Appointment With Us

If you are ready to make an appointment with our caring pulmonologist, then great! We ask that you call us right now so we can get you scheduled in at a time that is convenient for you. We completely understand how difficult it can be for you when living with asthma. For that reason, we encourage you to get the relief you need after being diagnosed with this chronic lung disease by making an appointment with our asthma specialist as soon as possible. The sooner you do, the sooner you can expect an improvement in your breathing.

Request an appointment here: or call Dutchess Pulmonary Associates at for an appointment in our Wappingers Falls office.

What Kind Of Physician Treats Adult Onset Asthma

Many older patients are treated for asthma by their internist or family physician however, if your asthma symptoms are not under control within three to six months, or if you have severe persistent asthma, or if you are having asthma episodes that need emergency treatment, it may be time to see an asthma specialist. Allergists/Immunologists or pulmonologists are specialists who treat asthma. Those who have completed training in those specialties are usually called board-certified or board-eligible.

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Reasons To See A Pulmonologist For Asthma

A pulmonologist is able to provide asthma treatment for those who have been diagnosed with chronic lung disease. If you have been diagnosed with asthma, then you know how difficult it can be to function every day with a disease that makes it difficult for you to breathe. Also called an internal doctor or a lung doctor, a pulmonologist is considered to be an asthma specialist, and for that reason, it is highly recommended for those who are struggling or finding it difficult to control their asthmatic symptoms.

When Do I Need A Specialist

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An internist should be able to treat your asthma up to a point. You may want to consider seeing an asthma specialist like an allergist or pulmonologist in any of the following scenarios:

  • You had a life-threatening asthma attack or were admitted to an intensive care unit.
  • One or more hospitalizations for asthma that you or your healthcare provider cannot identify what the trigger was.
  • Poorly controlled asthma that does not respond to treatment over 36 months.
  • You want an evaluation for allergy shots.
  • You need oral steroids more than once per year.
  • You have moderate persistent or severe persistent asthma.
  • You need more education than your internist can provide.

Patients may not always be referred appropriately. Sometimes your healthcare provider may just need to be nudged. If you think you might benefit from subspecialty care do not be afraid to ask. Some healthcare providers may not be up to date with the latest recommendations for when a referral is appropriate.

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What Is The Best Way To Live With Asthma

The key to good living with asthma is developing a strong partnership between patients, caregivers, and physicians. Practical steps include the following:

Make an asthma care management plan with your physician. An asthma management plan helps you understand what to do when specific situations arise. Each time you visit the physician, talk about your plan, and make any necessary changes.

Educate yourself. Stay informed about the latest developments in asthma and allergy care and treatment. Ask your physician about new medications or research findings that may relate to your care.

Get regular medical care. If you have asthma, you should see your physician at least once a year, even if your symptoms are under control. When you become sick, or if you have significant changes in your health, you should also talk with your physician about how your asthma could be affected.

Take your medicine. Your asthma medications will make you feel better and sometimes people think thats the time to stop. Its not! Use your medications as prescribed.

With good management, asthma symptoms can be controlled. Most people who develop adult onset asthma are able to lead normal lives. Expect success!

What Is The Difference Between An Allergist And A Pulmonologist

An allergist treats asthma patients whose primary triggers are environmental, suffering from what is known as allergic asthma. On the other hand, a pulmonologist specializes in lung disease and often treats more severe asthma cases triggered by stress, exercise, etc.

Typically, you will see a pulmonologist if you are involved in an emergency asthma situation and go to the hospital. Oftentimes, after a pulmonologist treats you, they will refer you to an allergist and work collaboratively to identify asthma triggers.

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Breathing Problems During Exercise

If you have chest tightness, cough, wheeze or shortness of breath during exercise, your doctor may perform extra tests to see if you have a type of asthma called, exercise-induced asthma or exercise-induced bronchospasm. For some people, they will only have asthma symptoms during exercise. There are many benefits to exercise, so work with your doctor to find the best management steps and treatment options for you.

Using Tech To Connect To An Asthma Specialist

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Finally, if you dont live near an allergist or pulmonologist, you might want to consider making an appointment with a specialist by means of telemedicine that is, videoconferencing technology that allows the doctor to see and hear you in real time, listen to your heart and lungs with a digital stethoscope, and examine your ears and nose with a digital otoscope. A study published in September 2016 in the Annals of Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology found that such visits were as effective at treating children with asthma as in-person visits.

Whether you opt for an in-person visit or a telemedicine consultation, though, its important that you work with a doctor who is trained to help you treat and manage this chronic condition.

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Asthma Action Plan To Treat Trouble Breathing

Every patient should have an individualized action plan this is a list of important information, education and instructions, including:

  • Proper inhaler technique, which is a common problem for asthmatic patients
  • How to avoid asthma triggers
  • Signs of an upcoming attack, and breathing and relaxation techniques to calm attacks when they start
  • What to do in the event of an asthma attack and when to seek emergency care
  • Tips for weight management and proper nutrition
  • How to control acid reflux, which is common in patients with asthma and can make symptoms worse
  • Emergency contact information

Our team of lung specialist also cares for patients who are hospitalized after asthma attacks.

Comprehensive Care For Asthma In Kids

The Louisville and Southern Indiana area has the second highest percentage of people with asthma of any metropolitan area in the country, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. The result for our children is life-threatening attacks, hospitalization, emergency room visits and missed days at school.

The board-certified and fellowship-trained pulmonologists, nurse practitioners, respiratory therapists and registered nurses at Norton Childrens Pulmonology, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, treat more kids with asthma each year than any other provider in Louisville or Southern Indiana.

If your child has been newly diagnosed with asthma, well get you in for an appointment by the next business day. Its not too soon to get started on helping them control their asthma.

There is no cure for asthma. Specialized care aims to control asthma through proper treatment to prevent and stop asthma attacks and a regularly updated asthma action plan.

Norton Childrens Pulmonology provides specialized care for all types of asthma in children and teens. We provide the latest treatments and medications to help prevent attacks and bring relief when a flare-up strikes.

Our specialists provide you and your child with a customized treatment plan and asthma action plan to help control their asthma. Your care team will use a comprehensive approach to provide family-centered asthma education so you are empowered to manage the disease.

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Asthma Symptoms Can Mimic Other Illnesses Or Diseases Especially In Older Adults For Example:

  • Hiatal hernia, stomach problems, heart failure, or rheumatic arthritis can create asthma-like symptoms.
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease has many of the same symptoms as asthma. COPD, which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis, is very common in older adults especially those who are or have been smokers.

What Can You Expect When You See An Allergist

Asthma Treatment

An allergist or immunologist will often interview their patient, perform a physical examination, and then run a series of sensitivity/allergy tests. They can help you create an asthma action plan and identify necessary medications, including emergency rescue medications.

An asthma action plan contains basic information like your name and any medications you take. The plan should also include what to do when an asthma attack occurs and when to seek medical attention. Writing this plan out provides peace of mind knowing that you have an emergency course of action.

An allergist may also conduct lung function tests known as spirometry. If the spirometry data indicates poor lung function, your allergist may refer you to a pulmonologist for further evaluation. For some asthma cases, either type of doctor may recommend daily at-home spirometry so that they can monitor your spirometry data over time.

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What Is An Internist

Internists are known as healthcare providers for adults. An internist can provide any adult the majority of their care in either a hospital or the outpatient clinic. In addition to caring for asthma and other respiratory diseases like COPD, internists provide comprehensive care across all spectrums of disease including womens health, mental health, and prevention. An internist may perform a preoperative evaluation for a surgical colleague if an asthmatic needs surgery.

After medical school, internal medicine healthcare providers complete a general residency in internal medicine and must pass an exam sponsored by the American Board of Internal Medicine to become board certified. In order to become a pulmonologist or respiratory care specialist, a healthcare provider must first complete an internal medicine residency and then complete additional training.

Questions To Ask When Choosing An Asthma Specialist

Once you determine the type of asthma specialist you want to see, consider the following questions to help make the best choice:

  • Is the doctor board certified? This means that the doctor passed a standard exam given by the governing board in their specialty.
  • Where did the doctor go to medical school? Your local medical society can provide this information.
  • Is the doctor involved in any academic pursuits, such as teaching, writing, or research? Such a doctor may be more up-to-date in the latest developments in the treatment of asthma.
  • Where does the doctor have hospital privileges and where are these hospitals located? Some doctors may not admit patients to certain hospitals, and this is an important consideration for anyone with a chronic health problem.
  • Does the doctor accept your particular type of health insurance, or is the doctor a member of the medical panel associated with your HMO?
  • Changes in medical coverage may mean that the doctor you now see will not be the one you see in a year or two. This makes it even more important to understand your asthma diagnosis fully, stay abreast of treatment methods, and follow your asthma action plan.

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    Asthma Treatment At Inspira

    Depending on the severity of the disease, there are a few different options for treating asthma. In mild cases, minimizing your exposure to triggers can reduce symptoms and prevent attacks.

    If medical intervention is necessary, your doctor may prescribe a corticosteroid, which slows inflammation in the airways. This medication is traditionally dispensed via a mask or nebulizer for young patients, or a handheld inhaler. Rescue inhalers can be used at the onset of symptoms, and controller inhalers are used on a routine basis to prevent symptoms.

    From chronic conditions to acute pulmonary problems, Inspira pulmonary providers help to diagnose and treat a wide range of issues.

    Why Choose Norton Childrens For Your Childs Pulmonology Care

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    • Our physicians are members of the American College of Chest Physicians, American Board of Pediatrics, American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Thoracic Society.
    • Our cystic fibrosis program is accredited as a Cystic Fibrosis Care Center by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, offering the best care, treatments and support for those with cystic fibrosis. It is the only accredited pediatric CF program in Louisville or Southern Indiana.
    • Your child may benefit from access to new and innovative treatments being studied through our extensive clinical research program, including our membership in the Cystic Fibrosis Therapeutics Development Network.
    • The Childhood Asthma Care and Education Center at Norton Childrens Hospital offers comprehensive, state-of-the-art therapeutic strategies for all stages of asthma.
    • We offer a multidisciplinary Severe Asthma Clinic dedicated to caring for children with the most difficult-to-treat cases of asthma.
    • Our certified asthma educator and other providers offer individualized education on asthma, proper monitoring, effective use of medications and correct use of inhalers.
    • The Norton Childrens Hospital laboratory has one of the regions only pulmonary function testing and diagnostics systems.

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    Medications To Manage Shortness Of Breath And Asthma Attacks

    Asthma medications often come in inhalers, which deliver drugs through your mouth to your lungs. Other treatments come in pills or injections. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to use medications and inhalers correctly to get the best results.

    Your medications may include:

    • Bronchodilators, which are usually inhaled and work to relax the lung muscles and widen the airways.
    • Long-acting and short-acting beta-agonists, which open the airways
    • New injected biologic options for severe asthma, which target molecules in the body that contribute to asthma
    • Inhaled corticosteroids to lessen inflammation and swelling in the airways
    • Oral or intravenous corticosteroids to reduce inflammation and swelling all over the body

    How They Treat Their Patients

    Pulmonary doctors treat their patients using diagnostic tests like CT scans or X-rays to learn about any underlying conditions affecting themfor example, pulmonary disease due to asthmawhile allergists are usually diagnosed based on symptoms alone . Pulmonologists may also prescribe medications that target drugs given by allergy specialists.

    If you have a chronic condition like asthma that doesnt respond to any treatments, and your doctor suspects allergies may be the culprit, then an allergist will probably be able to help more than a pulmonologist would. On the other hand, if youre experiencing symptoms like frequent coughing or wheezing and excess phlegm or sputum, theres typically the little point in seeing an allergist for treatment because their methods are less effective when relieving these types of problems quickly. In this case, see a pulmonologist.

    Pulmonologists are the experts of emergency asthma situations, so if you find yourself in one and go to a hospital, they will be more than happy to help. After your treatment is complete, both allergists and pulmonologists will likely work together collaboratively with an individualized approach for identifying possible triggers!

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    How To Find An Asthma Treatment Specialist

    In order to keep asthma attacks and flare-ups at bay, you need to work with a doctor on a care plan. An asthma treatment specialist can be invaluable in creating this care plan, even more so than a general practitioner. There are multiple types of asthma treatment specialists. Depending on your symptoms and needs, you may do well to research the different varieties of specialists and choose one thats right for you. Millions of Americans suffer from asthma, but luckily, theres a whole area of medical practice dedicated to treating it. Learn how to find an asthma treatment specialist and set off on the road to better health.

    Who Are Asthma Specialists And What Do They Do

    Conditions Treated

    Allergist-Immunologist Its common for people with asthma to also have allergies the same allergens that can set off your hay fever such as pollen, dust mites, and pet dander can trigger asthma symptoms. An allergist-immunologist is a physician who is specially trained to identify asthma and allergy triggers, and can diagnose asthma and other allergy-related diseases. Your allergist-immunologist may conduct allergy and breathing tests to find the cause of your asthma.

    Allergists-immunologists can do a deep-dive investigation into what could be causing your breathing problems. We now understand that asthma in many patients has an underlying inflammation, says Alan Goldsobel, MD, an allergist-immunologist at Allergy and Asthma Associates of Northern California in San Jose. Working with this type of asthma specialist can make a difference in how well you manage your asthma: According to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology , studies have shown that asthma patients who are treated by an allergist have fewer asthma flare-ups and emergency room visits.

    Allergist-immunologists and pulmonologists may help you manage your asthma through their expertise in the following areas:

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    Treatment Of Acute Asthma Exacerbations

    , DO, Wake Forest School of Medicine

    The goal of asthma exacerbation treatment is to relieve symptoms and return patients to their best lung function. Treatment includes

    Corticosteroids Leukotriene modifiers Mast cell… read more .)

    Patients having an asthma exacerbation are instructed to self-administer 2 to 4 puffs of inhaled albuterol or a similar short-acting beta-2 agonist up to 3 times spaced 20 minutes apart for an acute exacerbation and to measure peak expiratory flow if possible. When these short-acting rescue drugs are effective , the acute exacerbation may be managed in the outpatient setting. Patients who do not respond, have severe symptoms, or have a PEF persistently < 80% should follow a treatment management program outlined by the physician or should go to the emergency department … read more ).

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