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Asthma Treatment in Charlotte

Asthma can be a frustrating and even life-threatening condition for many individuals, and can impede your daily life if you enjoy exercise or other activities. At Carolina Asthma & Allergy Center, we understand the impact that asthma can have on your lifestyle and well-being, and we are committed to providing comprehensive care to help manage and treat this condition.

Our team of board-certified allergists and experienced healthcare professionals is dedicated to providing personalized treatment plans and ongoing support to help you live your life to the fullest. Whether you are seeking a diagnosis, treatment, or ongoing management of your asthma so you can find relief from your symptoms, we are here to help you every step of the way.

How to Request an Appointment

At Carolina Asthma and Allergy Center, we offer comprehensive evaluation and treatment for asthma. If you suspect you may have asthma or have experienced difficulty breathing or other symptoms, you can request an appointment with our team of board-certified allergists and experienced healthcare professionals.

To schedule an appointment, you can call our office or fill out the online appointment request form on our website. Our friendly staff will work with you to find a convenient date and time for your visit.

During your appointment, our allergists will review your medical history, perform a physical exam, and conduct any necessary tests to determine if you have asthma. Based on your evaluation, our team will develop a personalized treatment plan to help manage your symptoms.

What is Asthma?

Asthma is a long-term respiratory disease that can cause your airways to temporarily inflame and narrow, making it difficult to breathe. Asthma is becoming increasingly common in the U.S., with over 26 million people living with the condition. The symptoms of asthma can differ greatly for different people, as well as from episode to episode in the same individual.

What are the Symptoms of Asthma?

For some, asthma symptoms can be mild and go away on their own or after taking a small amount of asthma medication. For others, symptoms can be more serious and lead to a severe asthma attack, which can be very dangerous and even fatal.  For this reason, it’s extremely important to properly diagnose and treat your asthma symptoms as soon as you suspect you may have the condition.

Some of the symptoms that are linked to asthma include:

  • Rapid breathing or shallow breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing spells (typically early in the morning, at night or with exercise)
  • Wheezing (a whistling sound that occurs when you breathe)
  • Tightness in neck or chest muscles
  • Low energy or tiredness 

What Causes Asthma?

The two main categories of asthma are allergic asthma, which is asthma triggered by an allergic reaction, and non-allergic asthma, which is caused by factors unrelated to allergies. Allergic asthma is the most common type of asthma.

Asthma can affect people of any age, but it develops most often during childhood. If you have a family history of allergies or asthma, you are also more likely to develop the condition. Many of the asthma patients we treat at Carolina Asthma and Allergy Center are young children. Our physicians are skilled at working closely with children (many also have Board Certification in Pediatrics) and their caregivers to educate them on their condition and individual treatment plan, as well as what to do if an emergency arises. 

Common Asthma Triggers

Asthma triggers are substances that can irritate the sensitive airways of people with asthma and cause symptoms.  A large part of managing asthma is identifying one’s own triggers and avoiding them.

  • Allergens such as pollens, mold spores, pet dander, and dust mites (allergy-induced asthma)
  • Physical activity or exercise (known as exercise-induced asthma)
  • Smoking or smoke exposure
  • Chemical fumes, gases, dust or other workplace irritants (known as occupational asthma)
  • Sinus infections, colds and flu
  • Changes in weather or temperature, humidity, or cold air
  • Strong emotions, anxiety, stress, or extreme laughter
  • Some medications, including beta blockers, aspirin or ibuprofen

Asthma can affect people of any age, but it develops most often during childhood.  If you have a family history of allergies or asthma, you are also more likely to develop the condition.  Many of the asthma patients we treat at Carolina Asthma and Allergy Center are young children.  Our physicians are skilled at working closely with children (many also have Board Certification in Pediatrics) and their caregivers to educate them on their condition and individual treatment plan, as well as what to do if an emergency arises.

How is Asthma Diagnosed?

No matter what type of asthma you have, an allergist is the most qualified professional to diagnose and treat your asthma. The allergists can run a number of tests to confirm an asthma or allergy diagnosis during your visit. These tests are normally separated into two groups: lung function tests and x-rays.

Lung function tests must be administered by a physician. There are two main types of lung function tests: a spirometry test or a methacholine challenge test. During a spirometry test, the doctor measures the amount and force of air that a patient can exhale from their lungs. If symptoms from the spirometry test are inconclusive, a methacholine challenge test may be useful. In this test, a patient inhales nebulized methacholine or histamine. As a result, the patient may have asthma if their breathing ability decreases by 20 percent or more. Your allergist will be able to recommend the best test for your situation following their initial examination.

A chest x-ray may be ordered as well to rule out other causes of respiratory symptoms such as infections or other lung diseases.

If you live in the Carolinas and are curious if you or a loved one have asthma, give us a call. At Carolina Asthma and Allergy Center, our physicians have received specialized training in asthma and are Board Certified by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology (ABAI).

Asthma Treatment in Charlotte

There is no cure for asthma, but under the right care, the symptoms can be managed with few, if any symptoms. Asthma conditions can change over time, which makes asthma management an on-going process. At Carolina Asthma and Allergy, we help patients track their signs and symptoms so we can adjust treatment if necessary.

Asthma treatments include:

  • Patient Education & Partnership in Treatment Plans
  • Medication
  • Desensitization

Each asthma patient has unique symptoms and triggers, so it’s important for us to run several tests before implementing an individualized treatment plan.  With today’s advanced diagnostics tools, knowledge and treatments, asthma does not have to be something that keeps you or your child on the sidelines.  At Carolina Asthma and Allergy Center, we partner with our patients, to educate them on their treatment plan and create an ongoing process for managing and controlling their asthma, so it has the least possible impact on their life.

Nucala Injections

Nucala injections are aimed at reducing severe asthma attacks by targeting eosinophils in the blood. This therapy isn’t used to manage symptoms during an asthma attack. Instead, it’s a preventative therapy administered every four weeks by a doctor or at home.

Over time, these injections should lower your body’s count of eosinophils and thus reduce airway inflammation. This should result in asthma attacks becoming less frequent and severe. According to Nucala, patients undergoing injection therapy see 61% fewer asthma attacks requiring hospital or ER visits.

Nucala injections can be used in combination with other medications to improve quality of life with asthma. Some mild side effects are common, including headaches, fatigue, and site reactions.

Xolair Injections

Xolair injections are intended to reduce symptoms for severe allergic asthma, nasal polyps, and hives. This therapy works by targeting and removing IgE, thus lowering the body’s immune response. Ideally, patients see a marked drop in the frequency and severity of asthma attacks.

A doctor will prescribe Xolair injections once every 2-4 weeks, typically in combination with other asthma medications. The first few injections may be administered at a clinic to monitor for any adverse effects, though later you may be able to self-inject at home. This is determined by your medical team that considers your doctor’s recommendation, your comfort with home injections, & your insurance company’s restrictions. Xolair injections are a type of preventative therapy. These injections are not for controlling symptoms during an asthma attack.

It’s important to note that Xolair can result in a life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. If you experience severe symptoms after taking Xolair, seek emergency medical attention and call 911.

Xolair may also result in serious side effects in a small percentage of patients, including an increased risk of cancer, heart problems and blood vessel conditions. In common cases, Xolair may cause mild symptoms such as a rash, nausea, stomachache, headache, and fever.

How Can Asthma Be Prevented & Managed?

For individuals who suffer from asthma, the best way to prevent a flare up is to follow the asthma management plan they built with their allergist. There are four parts to your asthma management plan as defined by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA):

  1. Understanding and avoiding your asthma triggers
  2. Taking medication as prescribed by your allergist
  3. Tracking your asthma
  4. Knowing what to do if your asthma symptoms get worse

While it may not seem like it right now, living a fulfilling life with asthma is possible. By consulting with a licensed allergist, you can create a management plan that is directly catered to your needs and lifestyle. The most important, yet sometimes most difficult part, is sticking to the custom asthma management plan. Once you develop guidelines to control your asthma symptoms with your doctor, your chances of suffering form asthma attacks, asthma-related illnesses and trips to the emergency department are dramatically decreased.

Summary

At Carolina Asthma and Allergy Center, we are dedicated to providing compassionate care and ongoing support to help you live your life to the fullest. Contact us today to request an appointment and take the first step towards managing your asthma. 

Asthma FAQs

Can certain foods trigger asthma?

Foods triggering asthma is unusual. Although food allergies may trigger asthma in a small number of people, not all individuals with food allergies have asthma. Substantial scientific investigation has found that the following foods and food additives can trigger asthma. Diagnosed foods that trigger asthma: milk eggs peanuts tree nuts soy wheat fish shellfish Sulfites and sulfiting agents: sulfur diooxide, sodium bisulfite, potassium bisulfite, sodium metabisulfite, potassium metabisulfite, and sodium sulfite. Other food ingredients have been previously suspected to trigger asthma. However, scientific evaluation has not been able to conclusively link these food components to asthma. They include tartrazine (and other food dyes or colorings); benzoates (food and drug preservative); BHA and BHT (food preservatives); Monosodium glutamate (MSG, flavor enhancer); aspartame (NutraSweet®, intense sweetener); and nitrate and nitrite (food preservatives). 

How is asthma managed?

You can take an active role in controlling your asthma symptoms by working with your doctor, taking your medication regularly, and making the lifestyle changes that can reduce your risks. Follow these guidelines for more successful asthma management: Eat right, exercise, and get enough rest. Know your personal asthma triggers and learn how to avoid them. Watch for warning signs of asthma episodes and take steps promptly. Stay calm when symptoms occur, and don’t hesitate to seek help If your medication does not seem to relieve your symptoms, seek medical care immediately. Make sure that your family, friends, and coworkers are aware that you have asthma, and show them how they can assist you if urgent help is needed. Be sure to keep emergency information and telephone numbers handy. 

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Pollen counts are updated daily from February 15 to November 15.
Last updated: October 30, 2023
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