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Thursday, December 5, 2013
Controlling Symptoms of Asthma
I had asthma when I was a child and now it has come back in my 50`s. I have had to go to a pulmonary specialist as my primary care physician could not bring the asthma under control, (it was pretty bad and would wake my up several times in the night.) It took about 3 or 4 months with the specialist to get things under control. During that time I had a pulmonary function test which did show asthma. The specialist told me to see if I could lower or finally stop the medication. I did finally get off all the medication about 2 months ago. I will be seeing my pulmonary specialist in May - this is a six month check up. I do flow meter tests twice a day. I was wondering, if, once you get your asthma back does it mean you`ll have problems with it off and on the rest of your life, or is it possible to get rid of it? I wondering if I will need to see a specialist forever or if I could just let my primiary care physician take over the six month check ups? Should I ask my specialist or just figure once you have asthma you have it forever.
Once an asthmatic always an asthmatic. Asthma can go into remission but you never get rid of it. Depending on your primary care physician`s ability to treat and monitor asthma will determine who should follow you. You should see your specialist periodically to make sure things are going well. Also, you should see an allergist who can determine whether certain environmental factors are triggering or causing your symptoms.
Jonathan Bernstein, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati