When To See A Gp
See a GP if you think you or your child may have asthma.
Several conditions can cause similar symptoms, so it’s important to get a proper diagnosis and correct treatment.
The GP will usually be able to diagnose asthma by asking about symptoms and carrying out some simple tests.
Find out more about how asthma is diagnosed.
Video: What Happens After Being Diagnosed With Asthma
Transcript of ‘What happens after being diagnosed with asthma?’
0:00 It can be really scary to be told you have asthma and it’s natural to worry about how it might affect your life. The
0:08 good news is that there’s lots of support out there to help you manage the condition and to help you to stay well.
0:15 You may wonder if your asthma can be cured. Well, even though we don’t have a cure for asthma at the moment, there’s so much we can do with the right medicines,
0:25 the right treatments, the right advice and support to help you stay well, so that the asthma won’t affect your life,
0:31 whether it be work or your play. You might find that when you’re just diagnosed with asthma it takes a little
0:38 bit of time to get your medicines just right so that you are living without symptoms every day. Be patient, hang on in there.
0:47 The most important thing is to develop a really good relationship with your doctor or nurse. With them you can draw up an asthma action plan, which you can
0:56 download from our website. That’ll really help you to manage your asthma well, and we know that you’re four times less likely to need to go to hospital if
1:04 you’ve got one of these. So, if you have just been diagnosed with asthma, try and stay positive. There’s so much you can do to stay well. You can visit our website,
1:14 or phone one of our friendly asthma nurse specialists, or even join a forum. Remember that we’re here to help.
Asthma Uk Is Here To Support You
We also have lots of tips on living with asthma, from doing sports and going on holiday, to studying with asthma and having relationships.
Explore our health advice web pages and . The more you know about your asthma, the better youll be able to work with your GP or asthma nurse to manage it well.
Speak to someone about your asthma
You can also call our Helpline on 00 222 5800 to speak to a respiratory nurse specialist. Or you can WhatsApp them on 0307378 606 728.
You can ask them anything from symptoms and treatments to living life without asthma getting in the way.
Next review due February 2024
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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.
How Is Asthma Treated
Caring for your asthma means doing two things: avoiding things that cause flare-ups and taking medicines if your doctor prescribes them.
Once you know what your triggers are, you and your parents can take steps to avoid them. Here are some ideas:
- Change your sheets and vacuum often to rid your home of dust.
- Keep your pet out of your bedroom if you’re allergic to pet dander.
- Stay inside on days when pollen counts are high .
If exercise makes your asthma worse, the doctor may prescribe a medicine to take before exercising to prevent your airways from tightening up.
It’s not always possible to avoid triggers, so most kids who have asthma also take medicine.
Not every kid’s asthma is the same. That’s why there are different kinds of medicines for treating it:
- One kind is called quick-relief medicine . It works fast to help open a kid’s airways so he or she can breathe again.
- The other kind is called long-term control medicine . It’s a daily medicine that helps keep flare-ups from happening.
You should take your medicine as directed by your doctor. If you don’t, your asthma could get worse and you might even end up in the hospital.
You doctor will create a special plan for dealing with your asthma. This is called an asthma action plan, and should be given to everyone who cares for you, including teachers and camp counselors.
Using an Inhaler
Most asthma medicines need to be breathed in, and an inhaler helps get medicine into the lungs.
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Can My Child Outgrow Their Asthma: What Do Scientists Say
First, not all that wheezes is asthma! Wheezing can be due to an acute viral infection or due to ingestion of a foreign body.
Your child may experience wheezing episodes at a very young age and then never wheeze again. Nearly 50% of children who wheeze once will never wheeze again
Wheezing is common following viral respiratory tract infections such as respiratory syncytial virus or RSV. While these infections increase the risk of recurrent wheezing, your child may never wheeze again. Other causes of recurrent wheezing that are not asthma or allergy related include structural abnormalities of the heart, abnormalities with the vocal chords, or chronic diseases such as cystic fibrosis.
For reasons that the medical community cannot totally explain given our current understanding of he pathophysiology of asthma, many children with asthma will experience significant improvements or the near total elimination of their asthma symptoms as they get older, usually by age 5 or 6. Your doctor cannot tell you how long the remission might last or if your child is likely to experience a remission with any certainty.
In fact it is nearly impossible to tell if your child will out grow or have a reduction in symptoms. This period of remission could last years but could as easily come back at any time. It is not uncommon for children to have significant periods of time without symptoms only to be diagnosed again as adults.
How Is The Condition Diagnosed
To diagnose asthma, your physician will question you about your symptoms, perform a physical exam, and conduct lung function tests. You also may be tested for allergies.
Your internist or family physician may refer you to an allergist or pulmonologist for specialized testing or treatment.
After middle age, most adults experience a decrease in their lung capacity. These changes in lung function may lead some physicians to overlook asthma as a possible diagnosis.
Untreated asthma can contribute to even greater permanent loss of lung function. If you have any asthma symptoms, dont ignore them, and dont try to treat them yourself. Get a definitive diagnosis from your health care provider.
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Do Kids Outgrow Asthma
While scientists are not exactly sure why, as many as half of all kids with asthma see a significant improvement, or total elimination, of their asthma symptoms with increasing age.
It is nearly impossible to determine which kids will outgrow their asthma or have significant reduction in symptoms. However, symptoms can come back at any time so it is more appropriate to think of it as a period of remission. In fact, many of these patients who appear to have outgrown their asthma will have a return of symptoms as an adult.
Will I Always Have To Take The Same Amount Of Medicine
Not always. You will probably take more medicine when you begin treatment to get control of your asthma. Work with your doctor to learn which medicine control your asthma best and how much you need. Once your asthma is well-controlled, your doctor may be able to reduce the amount of medicine you take. The goal is to gain control of your asthma as soon as possible and then control it with as little medicine as possible. Once long-term anti-inflammatory therapy begins, your doctor should monitor you every one to six months. This is to see how your asthma medicines are working and if your asthma is well controlled.
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Does Asthma Ever Go Away
Yup! A lot of kids find their asthma goes away or becomes less serious as they get older. Some doctors think this happens because the airways grow wider as a kid grows up and gets bigger. With more room in the airways, the air has an easier time getting in and out.
Some people do have asthma as adults, but it doesn’t have to slow them down. Some top athletes manage their asthma while still competing at professional and Olympic levels.
How Is Asthma Classified
Asthma is classified into four categories based upon frequency of symptoms and objective measures, such as peak flow measurements and/or spirometry results. These categories are: mild intermittent mild persistent moderate persistent and severe persistent. Your physician will determine the severity and control of your asthma based on how frequently you have symptoms and on lung function tests. It is important to note that a person’s asthma symptoms can change from one category to another.
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What Causes An Asthma Flare
Things that can cause you to have an asthma flare-up are called “triggers.” Different kids have different triggers. Common triggers include:
- breathing in things that cause allergies , such as dust, pollen, dander from animals, and mold
- breathing in things that irritate your airways, like cigarette smoke, perfume, and chalk dust
- infections, like a cold or the flu
- breathing in cold air
Treatment Of Asthma In Adults
The medications and treatments for adult asthma are:
- Anti-inflammatories inhaled corticosteroids are taken daily to prevent asthma symptoms by reducing airway sensitivity and inflammation. Steroid tablets can be taken for acute flare-ups and more severe asthma.
- Bronchodilators inhaled short-acting and long-acting bronchodilators are taken occasionally to relieve symptoms. They work within a few minutes and shouldnt be needed more than three times a week.
- Leukotriene receptor antagonists daily tablets to improve prevention if needed.
- Theophylline taken daily to prevent symptoms if they are still not well controlled.
- Monoclonal antibody therapy also called biological medicines or biologics, these injections block some of the bodys immune response to triggers.
- Bronchial thermoplasty is a surgical procedure done on the airway itself to reduce its thickness.
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After Your Asthma Diagnosis
The good news is there are lots of effective medicines available to help manage your symptoms. With the right treatment plan and good support from your GP you could stay symptom free.
Here are some things you can do straight away to get off to a good start:
Use an asthma action plan
An asthma action plan is a simple tool to help you manage your asthma well. You fill it in with your GP or asthma nurse.
It tells you exactly how to manage your asthma every day and what to do if symptoms get worse. Evidence suggests that using one means youre less likely to end up in hospital with an asthma attack.
Once you’ve got your own, personalised, asthma action plan, take it along to all your appointments to make sure its always up to date.
Know how to use your inhaler
Using an asthma inhaler can be tricky to get right even if youve been using one for some time. Make sure you start using yours in the best way from the beginning. Some inhalers are best used with a spacer.
Your GP should show you how to use your inhaler and spacer in the right way, but you can also ask the pharmacist to show you when you pick up your prescription.
We have some inhaler videos too which you can watch at home.
Go to all your asthma check-ups
When youre first diagnosed, you may need to see your GP or asthma nurse a few times to check how well your treatment is working. You can also talk about how youre coping with your asthma.
If you smoke, get support to quit
Breathing Tests For Diagnosing Adult
The breathing tests for asthma include:
- Spirometry how much air you can breathe out in a set time.
- Bronchodilator reversibility this is when two spirometry tests are done before and after a one-off dose of bronchodilator medication to see if the treatment helps. A positive BDR test usually confirms an asthma diagnosis.
- Peak expiratory flow monitoring measures how fast you can breathe out. You might be asked to monitor your PEF, often referred to simply as peak flow, at home for two to four weeks.
- Fractional exhaled nitric oxide measures the level of inflammation in your airways.
- Bronchial challenge investigates how sensitive your airways are to a deliberately administered irritant . This specialist test is only done under medical supervision in hospital.
Most people need just one or two tests to reach a diagnosis. After asthma is confirmed you might have one or more allergy tests to try to identify potential triggers.
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Cigarette Smoke And Asthma
Cigarette smoke is a common trigger for asthma symptoms. Many other respiratory illnesses are caused and made worse by smoking, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
Managing symptoms will become easier for people with asthma if they are able to quit smoking or avoid being around people who are smoking.
Although quitting can be difficult, there are many effective treatment options available which you can discuss with your doctor or pharmacist.
What Does This Mean For Me And My Child
So the response to the question will my childs asthma go away, is a resounding MAYBE!
You need to to be aware that ignoring asthma or thinking that it is cured is risky proposition. While you need to be mindful of potential symptoms, it may be worth discussing with your doctor decreasing or stopping some medication if your child appears to be symptom free. Also, you and your doctor may need to consider that an incorrect diagnosis may have been made when your child was placed on treatment.
The key is communication with your doctor before making any changes to your childs asthma action plan.
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Originally published at parentsguidetoasthma.com on September 8, 2018.
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If My Child No Longer Has Asthma Symptoms Could It Be That They Were Misdiagnosed With The Disease
Perhaps. Rachelefsky says a lot of children diagnosed with asthma donât have it and many asthmatics go undiagnosed.
âSpirometry is standard, but many physicians in primary care practices donât have a spirometer. They diagnose sinusitis as asthma and mistake asthma for esophageal reflux,â he says.
But for children under the age of 2, it is difficult to do spirometry to test for asthma. When a child is that young, providing a diagnosis âis an imperfect science,â says Reynolds J. Panettieri Jr., a pulmonologist with the University of Pennsylvania.
âIf you have true asthma, you donât outgrow it,â so young children who are wheezing from a viral infection that hangs around for a long time may not have asthma but âtwitchyâ or hypersensitive airways that are a holdover from the virus, he says.
Johnson says, even if a child is too young for standard testing, âItâs better to err on the side of caution and treat kids whether they have asthma or not. The benefits are great,â he says.
Children Do Not Outgrow Their Asthma
Its also a misconception that all children outgrow their asthma.
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, children may experience remission from asthma as adults, but about one-third of children with asthma will have symptoms as adults.
A 2014 study found that its possible to experience a second peak of symptoms later in adulthood.
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Can Asthma Be Cured What Are The Latest Treatments
- May 3, 1999
Javeed Akhter, M.D., Section Head of Pediatric Pulmonology at Hope Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn, Ill., offers the following answer:
|Image: STEVE KAGAN, M.D.MAST CELL. These large cells, filled with potent inflammation-inducing chemicals called leukotrienes, line the respiratory tract and play a central role in allergy-induced asthma.
Asthma is an eminently controllable illness. Indeed, for most sufferers, control is so effective that it amounts to a virtual cure. But asthma is not curable in the same way as, say, a bacterial pneumonia it never entirely goes away. Also, no one cure would ever suffice. It is becoming increasingly clear that there many types of asthma–and they differ greatly in their presentation and genesis. For example, asthma that presents as a chronic cough, the “cough variant of asthma,” appears to be very different from the life-threatening variety, which results in extreme respiratory failure and sometimes death.
Another effective strategy for preventing inflammation is the use of certain medications either daily during a season , during multiple seasons or year-round. One class of these medications stabilizes the mast cell, , which line the respiratory tract and play a central role in allergy-induced asthma. These mast cell-stabilizing inhalants include Cromolyn and Nedocromyl. Cromolyn is of particular interest as it is derived from the plant Ammi Visnaga, long used by American Indians as an herbal remedy for colic.