Asthma

Asthma is a chronic, inflammatory disease in which the airways become sensitive to any substance that triggers an allergic reaction.

Several things happen to the airways when an asthma patient is exposed to triggers, including:

  • Lining of the airways become swollen and inflamed
  • Muscles that surround the airways tighten
  • Production of mucus is increased, leading to mucus plugs

All of these factors cause the airways to narrow, making it difficult for air to go in and out of the lungs.

More than 20 million Americans currently have asthma and another 10 million have been diagnosed with asthma at some point in their life, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, Roughly 6.5 million American children, or nearly 9 percent of the nation’s pre-adult population, have asthma.

Evaluation

UT Southwestern Medical Center offers comprehensive diagnosis and treatment options for asthma conditions, including short-term and long-term therapies to improve your symptoms and overall health. Our asthma specialists thoroughly examine each patient’s medical history and current condition to both effectively treat the patient and keep the condition under control.

Following a complete asthma examination that includes spirometry breathing tests and an evaluation of your susceptibility to allergies, a UT Southwestern pulmonologist will carefully evaluate your condition and discuss how your sensitivity to particular allergens or other factors can affect asthma.

Treatment Options

If patients experience coughing, wheezing, tightness in the chest, and/or noisy or fast breathing, a UT Southwestern asthma specialist can show them how optimal asthma care can enable them to more fully enjoy life. With the right diagnosis and treatment, patients can be assured that the latest standards of care will help them effectively control their asthma conditions and result in a renewed ability to participate in all aspects of life.

Our asthma specialists can not only prescribe the right medications to treat the condition, but also advise what steps to take to further reduce or completely eliminate symptoms. We provide long-term follow-up care to keep asthma under control, including periodic testing to ensure that medications remain synchronized with evolving needs.