Asthma is a chronic disease that affects the air pathways making it difficult for a person to breathe. The air pathways become inflamed and temporarily narrow, decreasing oxygen flow and circulation in the lungs. This disease affects around 26 million people across the U.S. and results in almost 2 million visits to the emergency room every year.
The most basic symptom of asthma is shortness of breath and difficulty breathing to varying degrees. Other symptoms include wheezing, coughing and tightness, and pressure and pain in the chest. In severe cases, patients can end up in the emergency room. Sometimes attacks are mild and some are severe; the severity varies from person to person and attack to attack.
Asthma-Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Overlap is a disorder that as yet has only been loosely defined, but is quite common, accounting for anywhere from 15% up to 25% of obstructive airway illnesses. Patients with AS/COPD overlap suffer worse outcomes than those with either illness alone. Treating this disorder requires experienced, expert and specialized care to avoid serious potential dangers and complications.
ABPA stands for Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis, a disease which is caused by exposure to various types of Aspergillus fungus. This fungus is quite common and can even be encountered in microscopic form. This causes it to be very easily inhaled, infecting the lung tissue and possibly causing allergic reactions with symptoms similar to (and eventually resulting in) asthma.
This disease presents in five stages, including:
Until a patient reaches stage five, which is generally fatal, the disease has the potential for reversal with expert treatment.
Asthma is treated individually for each patient. Treatment plans can include medications, avoidance of triggers, and an action plan to manage the disease. Dr. Blessing-Moore and Dr. Maskatia are experienced in specialized asthma treatment in the San Mateo and Palo Alto areas.