Check out this recent Video-KVUE Interview-New Asthma Medications with Allen K. Lieberman, M.D., as he discusses this very important topic for those who would like to learn more about these new alternatives.
Scroll to the bottom and click on the link to the interview on KVUE.
KVUE: What is the difference between allergies and asthma?
Dr. Lieberman: Allergies and asthma certainly go together. Asthma is when you have swelling and spasm inside the lungs. This will make the airways narrow so people experience common symptoms such as coughing, shortness of breath and wheezing. Allergies are one of the most common triggers for asthma and most patients with asthma have allergies so there is a very strong connection there.
KVUE: Inhalers have been around a long time. Are they still the most common way to treat asthma?
Dr. Lieberman: Yes, inhalers are still the treatment of choice for asthmatics. There is a wide variety of choices available and many inhalers will contain two medications–one to open the airways; and another to prevent swelling on the inside. They are much more potent than they used to be so most asthmatics will do well with an inhaler. In fact some of the newer inhalers only need to be used once a day.
KVUE: What about these newer asthma medications now available?
Dr. Lieberman: In general over 90% of asthmatics will do fine with one inhaler or another. When these don’t work there are new medications known as biologics. These newer biologics will target a certain cell type in the asthmatic known as the eosinophil. Eosinophils are found in the lungs and can lead to severe asthma. These newer biologics will target the molecules that are responsible for the eosinophils to grow.
KVUE: How would someone get started on one of these newer treatments?
Dr. Lieberman: The first step is to have an evaluation with an asthma specialist. It is important to know the person’s lung function status, what they are allergic to and also check the eosinophil level. By putting all of these pieces together we are moving closer and closer to precision medicine.
Board Certified Allergists Doctor Allen K. Lieberman and Doctor Hetu Parekh treat the WHOLE patient — and family members of ALL ages! Austin Family Allergy & Asthma can provide treatment for cedar fever, hay fever, oak allergies, asthma and food allergy issues. Same day or next day appointments are available and some Saturdays. Call 512-346-7936 to book your appointment today. Sí, Hablamos español!