Non-pharmacological treatments for asthma

Published on January 5, 2014   34 min

A selection of talks on Immunology

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My name is Professor Neil Thomson. I'm based at the Institute of Infection, Immunity & Inflammation at the University of Glasgow in the United Kingdom. The title of today's talk is Non-Pharmacological Treatments for Asthma.
Patients with poorly controlled asthma should undergo careful assessment. Firstly, is the diagnosis correct? Or is there an alternative diagnosis or, as is often the case, an additional diagnosis? The next step is to assess what are the causes of the patients’ persistent symptoms. Could this be due to non-adherence with their current drug therapy, other important trigger factors, or co-morbidities that are accounting for their persistent symptoms. In some individuals, it may be possible to allocate a particular sub-phenotype of asthma following these assessments.
There are a range of important trigger factors that can precipitate attacks of asthma and co-morbidities that can make asthma symptoms harder to control. Exposure to allergens such as house dust mite, pets, or dietary products can precipitate attacks of asthma in a sensitised individual. Some individuals can become sensitised to substances at work and develop occupational asthma. Environmental pollutants such as car exhaust and passive smoke can trigger attacks of asthma as well as viral infections. Some patients with asthma are sensitive to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and these agents should be avoided in these individuals. All asthmatics should avoid beta-blockers. Asthma may get worse pre-menstrually or during pregnancy. Exercise is a particularly important trigger factor as it effects many individuals. Some of the co-morbidities that can make asthma symptoms worse include a high BMI, vocal cord dysfunction, dysfunctional breathing, and psychological factors.