Asthma: All You Need is Help from your PCP

“Just breathing can be a luxury sometimes.” –Walter Kirn

We all know the word asthma.  We know it makes it hard for people to breathe sometimes.  Over 25 MILLION Americans are familiar with the symptoms.  Coughing.  Wheezing.  Struggling to catch your breath.  Never being able to fully enjoy a run or recess.  And even though so many people suffer from this condition, many live uncontrolled for much longer than needed.  If you have asthma, your PCP is all the help you need.

Many asthma suffers believe the myth that asthma medications stop working with repeated use.  We’re here to tell you that this is FALSE.  The reality is that your body’s needs change depending on age, environment, and lifestyle habits.  With a couple office visits to test your pulmonary function, we can have you breathing like an Olympic athlete in NO TIME.

I have Asthma.  How can my PCP help me?

First, you need to start with an office visit with your primary care provider (PCP) to learn about your asthma, what you’ve tried so far, and how they can help you now.  It’s absolutely critical that you establish continuous care with one office and avoid frequenting various urgent cares, pharmacies, or emergency rooms just to get another inhaler.  When you consistently visit one office, we are able to track your pulmonary function using technology.  When we use tech to track your vitals, we are able to create smart treatment plans based on real data.

Spirometry

Spirometry measures your air flow and tells us how well your lungs work.  This test includes:

  • Forced Vital Capacity (FVC)—The total amount of air you can breathe out after taking the deepest breath possible.
  • Forced Expiratory Volume in One Second (FEV1)—The amount of air you can forcefully exhale during the first second of the FVC test.
  • Peak Expiratory Flow Rate (PEFR)—PEFR measures how fast a person can breathe out, and the estimated value depends on gender, ethnicity, height, weight and age.
  • Total Lung Capacity (TLC)—The total amount of air in the lungs after a deep inhalation.
  • Forced Expiratory Volume (FEV)—The amount of air forcefully blown out of the lungs during the first, second and third seconds of the FVC test.
  • Maximum Voluntary Ventilation (MVV)—The amount of air a person can breathe in and out in one minute.
  • Forced Expiratory Flow (FEF)—The flow or volume in the middle of an exhalation.
  • Functional Residual Capacity (FRC)—The amount of air that stays in the lungs after a normal breath.
  • Tidal Volume (VT)—The amount of air inhaled or exhaled while breathing normally.
  • Minute Volume (MV)—The amount of air exhaled per minute.
  • Vital Capacity (VC)—The total volume of air you can exhale after inhaling as much as possible.

All of these results are critical to knowing how effective your medication regimen is.

Other Tests

We will also use a FeNO Test (or inhaled nitric oxide test), to determine whether or not your asthma is related to allergies AND to tell us how well your lungs are responding to your steroid treatment.  As we collect results on both of these tests, over time we are able to measure their effectiveness and tweak your treatment to specifically help YOU.

Asthma Help with EPIC Health

It’s important that your PCP is able to customize your treatment plan based on your needs.  After years of rescue inhaler use, it might be time to add a maintenance inhaler to help.  Also, it’s important to understand that there are many different types of inhalers, so just because one doesn’t help you doesn’t mean we can’t find a better one that does.  Let us help you learn to control your asthma.  You are a unique person; why shouldn’t your asthma treatment reflect that?

Breathing is a core function of your body.  You deserve a treatment that helps control your asthma and a PCP who can create a custom program to suit your needs.  If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms of asthma or just feeling short of breath, it’s important to follow up with us right away.

Call EPIC Health at 248-336-4000 or request an appointment online with our health care experts today! We can help you live a Happier, Healthier Life.