The Coker Chest Clinic specialises in respiratory problems, including the diagnosis and treatment of asthma. We can conduct thorough investigations and provide you with a confident diagnosis within 0-2 days.
Asthma is a long-term condition affecting the airways. It often begins in childhood, but can develop later in life. In fact half of the patients develop asthma symptoms and are diagnosed with this condition in adulthood .
5.4 million people in the UK receive treatment for this common condition: 1.1 million children and 4.3 million adults, according to Asthma UK.
Symptoms of asthma
The symptoms of asthma are usually consistent from person to person; however, they can vary in severity. Symptoms include:
- A feeling of tightness in the chest
- Inability to take a deep breath in
These symptoms may appear at any time, but most likely in response to a trigger such as exercise, a stressful situation or breathing in airborne substances such as pollen or animal dander. They can also appear more often when experiencing another illness such as flu or a cold. This response is called an ‘asthma attack’, which can happen suddenly or come up gradually. Asthma attacks may have additional symptoms, including:
- Pounding or racing heartbeat
- Blue lips or fingers
In most cases, asthma attacks can be addressed with an inhaler, which can soothe symptoms quickly. However, more severe attacks can be lethal. On average, three people die from an asthma attack in the UK every day.
Investigations & tests for asthma
Asthma can usually be diagnosed from symptoms; however, if symptoms are mild or inconsistent, you may be referred for further investigations.
Further investigations include a FeNO test, which measures the amount of nitric oxide in your breath to indicate whether inflammation is present in the lungs; a spirometry test, which measures your lung strength and capacity; a peak flow test, which measures how fast you can breathe out after breathing in fully; and mannitol challenge testing, which checks for airway sensitivity.
As asthma can be triggered by allergies, it is important to analyse the patient’s family history and conduct allergy testing to help reduce the occurrence of allergy-induced asthma attacks in future. Eczema and hayfever are most commonly linked to asthma. Also eosinophilic oesophagitis (presenting mainly as indigestion or difficulty in swallowing.
Treatment for asthma
There are very effective treatments available to completely alleviate patients symptoms.
If asthma is diagnosed, we can organise a treatment plan depending on the severity of asthma. This may include prescribing a variety of inhalers, tablets such as leukotriene receptor antagonists (LTRAs) or anti-IgE treatment. In severe cases, a surgical procedure called a bronchial thermoplasty may be recommended.
Dr Coker says, “Asthma does not have to have a negative impact on your lifestyle; in fact most patients with well treated asthma do not have any symptoms and live comfortable, healthy lives with no limitation in exercise tolerance. We look forward to tailoring a personal asthma action plan to help you lead your best life.”
Conditions related to asthma
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To arrange a telephone, video or face-to-face consultation with our specialist consultant in respiratory problems, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.