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.