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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Asthma

  1. What is asthma?
  2. What are the symptoms of asthma?
  3. Can medicine cure my asthma?
  4. What medications are used to treat asthma?
  5. What are some asthma triggers?
  6. Can people die from asthma?
  7. What can I expect from my asthma treatment?

Allergy

  1. What are allergies?
  2. What are the most common allergic diseases?
  3. How can I tell the difference between a cold and an allergy?
  4. What is dust mite allergy?
  5. What is cockroach allergy?
  6. How can I manage cockroach allergy?
  7. What can I expect from my allergy treatment?

Asthma FAQ

Q1. What is asthma?
A1. Asthma is a disease of the lungs in which the airways become blocked or narrowed causing breathing difficulty. This chronic disease affects 20 million Americans. Asthma is commonly divided into two types: allergic (extrinsic) asthma and non-allergic (intrinsic) asthma. There is still much research that needs to be done to fully understand how to prevent, treat and cure asthma. But, with proper management, people can live healthy and active lives.
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Q2. What are the symptoms of asthma?
A2.Common symptoms of asthma include the following:
  • Wheezing
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tightness of breath
  • Increased mucous production
Click here for more innformation on asthma.
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Q3. Can medicine cure my asthma?
A3. No, there is no cure for asthma. Although asthma cannot be cured, it can be controlled. There are many medicines that help people with asthma. Some are preventive medicines that help people with asthma and others are known as quick relievers (these help relieve the acute symptoms of asthma).
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Q4. What medications are used to treat asthma?
A4. Asthma medications can be classified in two categories:
  1. Long-term control (preventative) medications are taken on a daily basis to help control persistent asthma. These medications include:
    • Anti-inflammatory agents are used to reduce the inflammation in the lungs to prevent an asthma exacerbation or to lessen the severity of an asthma exacerbation. They include:
      • Inhaled corticosteroids – Aerobid®, Azmacort®, Beclovent®, Flovent®, Pulmicort®, Vanceril®
      • Inhaled corticosteroid and Long-acting bronchodilator – Advair Diskus®
      • Inhaled non-steroids – Intal®, Tilade®
      • Oral corticosteroids – Medrol, Prelone, Prednisone
  2. Long-acting bronchodilators are used to relax the muscles in the airway to lessen bronchoconstriction. They include:
    • Long-acting beta2-agonists – Severent®, Prevental Repetabs®, Volmax®
    • Methylxanthines – Slo-bid™, Theo-dur™, Uni-dur™
  3. Leukotriene modifiers help prevent airway inflammation and decrease the mucous in the lungs. They include:
    • Accolate®, Singulair®, Zyflo™
  4. Quick-relief medications are used to relieve asthma symptoms. They help by relaxing the muscles in and around the airways. They include:
    • Inhaled short-acting bronchodilators – Albuterol, Maxair™, Tornalate®
    • Inhaled Anti-Cholinergics – Atrovent®
    • Oral corticosteroids – Medrol, Prelone, Prednisone
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Q5. What are some asthma triggers?
A5. If you have asthma, it is important to be aware of things in your environment that tend to make asthma worse. These factors or triggers vary from person to person and can include:
  • Allergens
  • Tobacco smoke – both active and passive can trigger asthma
  • Exercise
  • Cold air, wind, rain and sudden changes in the weather
  • Paint fumes, smog, aerosol sprays and perfume
  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Some medications
Each case of asthma is unique. If you have asthma, it is important to keep track of the factors that you know trigger asthma episodes.
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Q6. Can people die from asthma?
A6. Each day, 14 people in the United States die from asthma. However, with proper treatment and management, most people should be able to keep their asthma under control to avoid life-threatening asthma attacks. It is vital that all people with asthma follow their doctor’s instructions and keep their emergency (quick reliever) medications current and handy.
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Q7. What can I expect from my asthma treatment?
A7. With proper medical treatment, your asthma symptoms should not:
  • Interfere with daily activities
  • Wake you up at night
  • Cause you to miss school or work
  • Cause you to wheeze during strenuous physical activities
  • Send you to the emergency room
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Allergy FAQ

Q1. What are allergies?
A1. Allergies are diseases of the immune system that cause an overreaction to substances called “allergens.” Allergies are grouped by the kind of trigger, time of year or where symptoms appear on the body: indoor and outdoor allergies (also called “hay fever,” “seasonal,” “perennial” or “nasal” allergies), food and drug allergies, latex allergies, insect allergies, skin allergies and eye allergies. People who have allergies can live healthy and active lives.
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Q2. What are the most common allergic diseases?
A2. The most common allergic diseases are: Click on each allergic disease above to learn more.
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Q3. How can I tell the difference between a cold and an allergy?
A3. You can tell the difference by your symptoms. Not everyone may be able to tell without a doctor’s diagnosis. However, here are some clues:
  • With an allergy you do not have a fever or muscle aches, but with a cold you might.
  • Allergies last weeks or months, while colds last only 7 to 10 days.
  • Nasal discharges caused by allergies are usually clear, think and watery, while a cold starts off clear but changes to thick, yellow/green.
  • With allergies you may have itching in the ear, nose and throat. With colds, this itching is rare.
  • Sneezing spells are common with allergies and rarely occur with colds.
  • Allergies occur during different seasons depending on what you are allergic to. Colds occur mostly in the fall and winter.
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Q4. What is dust mite allergy?
A4. Dust mites may be the most common cause of year-round allergy and asthma. About 20 million Americans have dust mite allergy. Dust mites are well adapted to most areas of the world—they are found on every continent except Antarctica. It may not be possible to rid your home entirely of these creatures, but there are ways in which you can lessen your allergic reactions to them.
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Q5. What is cockroach allergy?
A5. Cockroach allergy was first reported in 1943, when skin rashes appeared immediately after the insects crawled over patients’ skin. Skin tests first confirmed patients had cockroach allergy in 1959.
In the 1970s, studies made it clear that patients with cockroach allergies develop acute asthma attacks. The attacks occur after inhaling cockroach allergens and last for hours. Asthma has steadily increased over the past 30 years. It is the most common chronic disease of childhood. Now we know that the frequent hospital admissions of inner-city children with asthma often is directly related to their contact with cockroach allergens—the substances that cause allergies. From 23 percent to 60 percent of urban residents with asthma are sensitive to the cockroach allergen.
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Q6. What can I expect from my allergy treatment?
A6. With proper medical treatment, your allergy symptoms should not:
  • Interfere with daily activities
  • Wake you up at night
  • Cause you to miss school or work
  • Cause you to wheeze during strenuous physical activities
  • Send you to the emergency room
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Q7. How can I manage cockroach allergy?
A7. Rid your home of the roaches. Because they resist many control measures, it is best to call in pest control experts. Keep in mind that tackling a multiple-unit dwelling will be more difficult than a single family home.
  • For ongoing control, use poison baits, boric acid and traps (be careful to place these products in areas where children and pets will not come into contact with them).
  • Do not leave food and garbage uncovered.
  • Speak to your doctor about managing nasal and sinus symptoms and asthma.

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