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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What is persistent asthma?

Your question:  What is persistent asthma?  And what is a good treatment for it?

My humble answer:  Actually, I'm going to quote a doctor for the answer to this question.  Dr. James Thompson M.D. in his post, "Combination Inhalers for Asthma Control:  The New Kid on the Block," provides the following definition tio persistent asthma:

When is asthma persistent? Great Question!

Asthma is persistent when any one of the following is true:
  1. There are limitations in normal routine (work/school) because of asthma. For example, huffing and puffing as you walk up one flight of stairs, noticing classmates or coworkers gliding by with ease.
  2. Symptoms of asthma (cough, wheezing, shortness of breath, or chest tightness) occur more than two days per week.
  3. Reliever inhaler is required more than two days per week (don't count the inhalations taken to prevent exercise-induced asthma).
  4. Night time awakenings from asthma symptoms occurs more than two nights per month.
  5. Lung function is less than 80 percent predicted by lung function test (Spirometry or Peak Flow Rate).
  6. There has been more than one severe asthma attack in the last 12 months.
When severe asthma is occurring most asthma experts now recommend the patient be prescribed the following therapy:
  1. Bronchodilator inhaler (Every asthmatic should have one on hand at all time)
  2. Singulair (if this alone does not control your asthma, move on to #3 below)
  3. Inhaled corticosteroid (if this does not control your asthma, move on to step #4 below)
  4. Combination inhaler (if this doesn't control your asthma, seek an asthma specialist)
Most persistent asthma cases are controlled with one or a combination of the above four medicinal options.

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