Written by Page Anderson

New Treatments for Asthma

Asthma is an increasingly common health problem in the United States. Asthma is a swelling and tightening of the airways that presents itself in the form of wheezing, chest tightness and shortness of breath. There are multiple reasons for this. One source is outdoor air quality. Smog and smoke, industrial waste released into the air and carbon emissions from cars all add to the problem. The quality of indoor air is also an issue. Buildings that have repurposed air tend to have lower air quality, even with the most effective air filters.

Asthma is not curable, but it can be controlled. Inhaled corticosteroids are one regularly used treatment. The aim of all asthma treatments is to provide long-term control as an intervention for prevention of symptoms, offer quick relief if an individual is having an asthma attack and identifying triggers in order to prevent future asthma attacks.

The most common remedies include medications that prevent the onset of asthma. In the case of an ongoing attack, there are quick acting medicines that stop or lessen the severity of an asthma attack.

New interventions include:

• Biologics. These are medications that enhance and work with the immune system, preventing the airways from expanding and causing a shortness of breath. These are antibiotics with antibodies. Some can be ingested orally, and others are given via an injection.
• Bronchial thermoplasty. When asthma is too severe, it may require a surgical intervention such as bronchial thermoplasty. In this case, the airways are targeted by radiofrequency energy. Interestingly the aim is to destroy smooth muscle linings in the airways. This prevents the airway muscles from performing their normal function of constricting and expanding, ultimately expanding the opening by preventing its narrowing. The current protocol calls for three sessions that are given in three-week intervals.

Research is ongoing in the search for preventive measures and cures for asthma. A recent new pharmaceutical has been introduced – the first in two decades – that shows great promise. The end goal is to wipe out asthma in our lifetime.

If you are struggling with asthma, contact the professionals at Annapolis Allergy & Asthma. We are experienced in helping patients cope with and find relief from asthma symptoms.

Updated 5/19/20

We remain open and here to serve you during the COVID-19 emergency. We are also committed to the safety of our patients and staff. Thus, our providers, Dr. Gels and Uwe Reichmann PA, have been diagnosing and treating all patients, whether new or return patients via telehealth. Use your phone, laptop, tablet or desktop. We have also been busy answering phone messages, emails and faxes to our office. 

Testing: We are pleased to announce that we will begin skin testing in the office as of 5/25/20. Patients will first be screened by a telehealth visit with one of our providers to decide the extent of testing. This will be then followed by an in-office visit for the testing, done via sterile technique. To minimize your time in the office, a follow up telehealth visit with the provider will be scheduled to review your results in detail.

Injections: We are now giving allergy shots BY APPOINTMENT ONLY, for your safety. Please come directly up to our office on time so that no one waits before their injection (call ONLY if late). If you haven’t had an allergy shot for a while, you will be scheduled to see Uwe to determine your dose the day of your shot. Patients are then observed for reactions in isolated rooms, then exit the back doorway. We are making allergy serum if you need it. Call us the day before to address insurance, payments, etc. to streamline your visit. We request you keep a credit card on file to streamline the process. Those on immune therapy will continue their treatments (Xolair, Fasenra, Nucala, Dupixent).

Office Policy: We follow CDC and specialty guidelines. Please, only ONE person in the office at a time, and one adult per minor. All patients (and staff) are being screened for illness (fever, etc.) and exposure to COVID. All staff and patients are required to wear a mask (school aged and above). Please bring a personal mask from home: due to the shortage, we cannot routinely provide patients with masks.  NO MASK, NO SHOT.  If you have asthma, bring your albuterol inhaler with you. 

This is allergy season! Pollen is now peaking for many trees. If you have allergy symptoms, we are here for you! We can diagnose and treat over video and send prescriptions to your pharmacy electronically.

Contact us via phone (410-573-1600) or on the portal on this webpage to see our providers. Let us make an appointment when it is convenient for you.

Annapolis Allergy & Asthma, LLC