In The News: Asthma

Over the Counter Medicine Charleston Allergy & Asthma

Do Over the Counter Allergy Medications Really Work?

Patients, friends, and acquaintances often ask, “what is the best over-the-counter medication for nasal allergy symptoms?” Adults and children with mild to moderate allergy symptoms are fortunate in that most of the best allergy medications are now available over-the-counter. Over the past several years and in part due to efforts by consumer advocacy groups, safe and effective medications for allergies including long-acting, nonsedating antihistamines and nasal steroid sprays have been made available without prescription. While there are still a few types of allergy medications that require a prescription, these prescription medications are not always superior in efficacy to the over-the-counter medicines.

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PPIs and Asthma

Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) Getting Bad Press: Still a Great Medicine for Asthmatics

Asthma is unfortunately a common condition (1 in 13 in U.S. populationand many people who have it also suffer from gastroesophageal refluxa digestive disease in which stomach acid or bile “refluxes” back onto the swallowing tube (esophagus) and ] irritates the lining. Reflux can be a reason for worsening asthma symptoms. What happens is acid comes up ancan spill tiny amounts into the lungs at the level of the larynx (voice box). If someone has twitchy, asthmatic lungs, this tiny bit of gastric acid in the lungs can cause acute asthma. These episodes happen most frequently at night, as we often hear people describe waking up coughing and choking in the middle of the night. 

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Female Athlete with Vocal Cord Dysfunction VCD

Vocal Cord Dysfunction – A Very Common and Often Misdiagnosed Condition

Katie is a 16-year-old high school student who is a very good soccer player. She is currently playing on her high school team and a traveling squad of All-Stars. In the last 6 months, Katie has begun having excessive shortness of breath with wheezing while playing soccer. Symptoms are worse when she is playing a match but she also notes similar symptoms during practice. She has had one recent episode which was sufficiently severe and caused her to faint. Katie has seen her family physician and he has suggested that she may have exercise – induced bronchospasm (EIB). She has tried treating with inhaler prior to exercise however this medication has been ineffective and the symptoms continue.

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Can’t Catch Your Breath During Your Workout?

Did you know that over 25 million Americans suffer from asthma, 17+ million are adults and 6+ million are children? If you suffer from asthma, it is likely that you might experience symptoms when you exercise, known as Exercise Induced Bronchospasm (EIB). Additionally, there are some who cough, wheeze or get excessively short of breath only when they exercise. These individuals have what is termed Exercise Induced Asthma (EIA); many are elite athletes whose frequent training or overtraining can cause damage to the lungs.  Researching this condition might confuse you and honestly, it’s just semantics when you break it down between EIB and EIA. For all intents and purposes, we’ll refer to this condition as EIB.    

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Have You Been Misdiagnosed with Asthma?

A new study indicates as many as one in three individuals with a current diagnosis of asthma may have been misdiagnosed. This apparently is not uncommon when proper testing is not obtained with initial diagnosis. This study emphasis that diagnosis and long term management of asthma requires objective measurements of lung function and that without pulmonary function data in long term asthma management, misdiagnosis can often occur. We routinely perform breathing tests at Charleston Allergy & Asthma including spirometry, impulse oscillometry and methacholine inhalation challenge.

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