Valrico Office

3658 Lithia Pinecrest Rd.
Valrico, FL 33596

Riverview Office

13105 Elk Mountain Dr.
Riverview, FL 33579

Phone: (813) 681-6537
Fax: (813) 661-3227

Asthma

An asthma attack can be a frightening and sometimes life threatening occurrence, but with the right treatment plan, patients can manage their asthma and lead a normal lifestyle without being in fear. Your allergist will work with you individually to develop a personalized asthma management plan to fit your personal needs. We will work together to ensure you can maintain the highest quality of life while keeping your asthma symptoms under control.

Peak Flow Monitoring  |  Long-term Control Medications  |  Quick-relief Medications
Inhaled Medication Devices

Peak Flow Monitoring

A peak flow monitor is used to measure air flow from your lungs, called peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR). The readings will enable your allergist to determine if your lung function is decreased at all and helps us better manage your asthma. It is used to:

  • determine the severity of your asthma
  • test how you respond to a treatment during an asthma attack
  • monitor the treatment progress for chronic asthma
  • detect declining lung function early to be able treat symptoms before an asthma attack occurs

Personal Peak Flow Measurement

The first step in using a Peak Flow Monitor is determining your personal, “normal” peak flow measurement, which shows your lungs functioning at its best. During a time when your asthma is under control, you will be asked to take your peak flow measurement daily for two to three weeks and keep record of your readings. Then, we will measure your lung function with a spirometer to compare the two measurements, which will assist us in creating your personal asthma management plan and determining your personal peak flow measurement.

How to Use a Peak Flow Monitor

Using a Peak Flow Monitor is easy. You simply blow hard on the mouthpiece of the meter to obtain the best possible reading. Repeat this three times and record the highest of the three numbers. Based on your Peak Flow Measurement and the peak flow zone your reading falls into will determine how well your lungs are functioning and what care you should seek, if any.

There are three peak flow zones on a monitor:

  • Green: if 80 to 100 percent of your personal peak flow measurement is in this zone, your asthma is under control
  • Yellow: if 50 to 79 percent of your personal peak flow measurement is in this zone, your asthma is worsening and you may need to use your asthma medication to prevent an attack.
  • Red: if less than 50 percent of your personal peak flow measurement is in this zone, you need to immediately take your quick-relief asthma medication and seek medical attention.

Patients will be asked to keep a chart of peak flow readings to track your asthma symptoms. It is important to follow the instructions provided to you by your allergist as far as how often you should take readings so we can keep track of treatment progress.

It is also possible for your personal peak flow measurement to change, so speak to your allergist to learn how often you should check for a new measurement.

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Long-term Controlled Medications

Long-term controlled medications are used to minimize the inflammation in the airways to prevent asthma symptoms. Most often, these types of medications are used daily depending on the type and severity of asthma. Either inhaled medications or oral medications will be used to manage your asthma symptoms.

  • Inhaled medications are the most common type. They are used to maintain the healthiness of your airways and prevent any symptoms associated with asthma. These inhaled medications may contain inhaled corticosteroids, long-acting beta agonists (LABAs) or a combination of medicines that serve as an anti-inflammatory.
  • Oral medications are used to help prevent asthma symptoms for up to 24 hours by keeping the airways open. These are less commonly used.

Your allergist will help determine which would be best for you based on your age, type of asthma and severity of asthma.

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Quick-relief Medications

Quick-relief medications, also referred to as “rescue” medications, are designed to provide immediate, short-term relief of symptoms during an asthma attack.

For most asthma patients, inhaled medications are used to provide several hours of relief within just a few minutes. Oral medications and intravenous corticosteroids are sometimes used as well.

Your allergist will help determine the best quick-relief medication for you based on your age, type of asthma and severity of asthma.

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Inhaled Medication Devices

Over the years, there have been several treatment methods used for asthma. By far, the most common type used has been inhaled medications. There are three types of devices used to deliver inhaled medications:

  • Metered Dose Inhaler (MDI) is the most common type, which uses a chemical propellant to force the medicine out of the inhaler.
  • Dry Powder Inhaler (DPI) does not use chemical propellants like MDI’s. Instead they have a lever or button that needs to be pressed or twisted to make the medication available.  Then the patient must make a powerful and quick inhalation to deliver the medication.
  • Nebulizers use a tube or mask that fits over the nose and mouth to deliver a fine, liquid mist of medication. These are most often used with young children or patients with more severe asthma.

All of these devices work efficiently to deliver medications to your lower airways, helping to avoid an asthma attack and/or alleviate the symptoms of one. Your allergist will help determine which device will be most beneficial for you.

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