Do You Have Therapy-Resistant Asthma?
You follow doctor's orders hoping to get a better handle on your hard-to-control asthma under, yet your symptoms continue to persist. While many people believe they have therapy-resistant asthma—when standard treatment options haven't improved symptoms—the problem isn't due to unresponsive asthma but most likely from other more manageable factors.
Therefore, ask yourself the following questions to identify what's causing your persistent asthma to determine how best to address the problem:
- Are you following your doctor's orders exactly? Sometimes it can be easy to relax on the guidelines over time without realizing it and even a slight variation can make a difference. Therefore, double-check your dosages and timing to make sure you're doing everything exactly right to get the full benefit.
- Are you using proper inhaler technique? If you use an inhaler to deliver your asthma medicine, how you take it can be as important as what you take and how much. Yet studies have found that many asthmatics don't practice the correct technique and their health suffers as a result. When in doubt, your doctor or pharmacist can give you a refresher course on using an inhaler right so the medication can do its job.
- Are you exposed to allergens and asthma triggers throughout the course of your day? Even if you're using the right asthma treatment, if you're continually exposing yourself to allergy or asthma triggers that lead to your symptoms, you may not get the relief you seek. Therefore, it's essential to evaluate your home and work environment to look for items that could cause persistent asthma and make the appropriate changes as needed.
- Have you undergone lung function testing to confirm your diagnosis? While your doctor may assume your respiratory issues are caused by asthma, it's important to make sure this is really the case, since other health issues such as vocal cord dysfunction can mimic the symptoms. In addition, some people with unresponsive asthma may be coping with the symptoms of several conditions at the same time. If they aren't addressing all of the causes, the treatment may not be fully effective, leading you to believe you have therapy-resistant asthma. If you suspect you could have other diagnoses, be sure to get a thorough evaluation.
What You Can Do About Persistent Asthma
Your answers to these questions can provide valuable information to help your doctor evaluate if you truly have therapy-resistant asthma and to make sure that you're getting the very best results from your treatment strategy.
Boschert, Sherry. "Therapy Resistant Asthma May Be Neither." Family Practice News. 18 Aug. 2012. Web. 28 Sept. 2012.
Chapman, Kenneth and McIvor, Andrew. "Asthma that is unresponsive to usual care." Canadian Medical Association Journal 181 1 (12 Jan. 2012): 45-52. Web. 21 Sept. 2012.
Mattei, Kristen. "Why are asthma patients noncompliant?" Clinical Correlations. NYU Langone Online Journal of Medicine. 11 Jan. 2012. Web. 21 Sept. 2012.
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