One of the most common chronic respiratory conditions, asthma is a chronic disease of the airways (bronchi) to your lungs. Asthma can cause swelling, narrowing or spasms of the airways and extra mucus production. The most common symptoms of asthma include, shortness of breath, wheezing, chest pain and cough. It is unclear what causes asthma, but it is likely a combination of environmental and genetic factors.
Patients may be referred for asthma specialty care when there is concern regarding the proper diagnosis, co-morbid conditions, difficulty in obtaining good asthma control or a need for additional testing. Testing may include pulmonary function tests (PFTs) and other blood tests.
In the treatment of poorly controlled asthma, Summa Health pulmonologists consider traditional options, as well as newer procedures. Biologic therapies, for example, can help stop the body processes that cause lung inflammation.
Asthma is a chronic disease meaning that there is no cure. However, symptoms can be controlled and progression can be slowed by developing and following a plan of care with your pulmonary provider.
Summa Health has developed a specialized asthma clinic with a dedicated team of experts, including an asthma navigator, pulmonologists, and advanced practice providers to help diagnose, treat, and manage ongoing care related to asthma across Summa Health’s care continuum.
The Summa Health Asthma Clinic provides:
During your Asthma Clinic appointment, you will meet with a pulmonologist or nurse practitioner to discuss the disease process and triggers. Follow-up testing may be ordered and/or reviewed, including PFTs, FeNO testing, chest imaging (CT scan, CXR), and blood tests. We also collaborate with additional sub-specialty providers as needed. A plan of care and treatments then will be ordered and reviewed, and we will inform your primary care or referring provider of your follow-up plans.
Even with compliance to a plan of care, patients with asthma are at risk for “flare ups,” or exacerbations, so an action plan also will be provided. It will help you identify some of the early signs of a potential problem, how to take action on your own and when to reach out to your provider.
Managing exacerbations is an important part of living with asthma and Summa Health is here to give you strategies to effectively control exacerbations. Check out the video below for more information.