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Reasons to see an asthma specialist

Asthma is among the most common diseases and when you consult a general physician with breathing problems, the standard practice is to refer you to an Asthma specialist since it is a complicated disorder.

An asthma specialist in London may be a:

  • Pulmonologist

  • Allergist

  • Immunologist 

Who is the most suitable doctor to treat you? That depends on your specific respiratory condition and general health status since an existing health problem can also trigger various symptoms.

Here are some reasons to see an asthma specialist:

  • If you have experienced a life-threatening respiratory attack and had to be rushed into hospital in the intensive care unit for treatment

  • If your condition is not under control even after treatment, medication and lifestyle changes for six months

  • If you suffer from allergies that need allergy shots to control the symptoms

  • If you have been prescribed steroids to treat your asthma

  • If you are getting worse in spite of treatment

Depending on the status, the specialist is likely to investigate for other related conditions like GERD, COPD, Sinusitis, allergic rhinitis, sleep apnoea and obesity that can make it worse. 
If you are currently undergoing treatment with your family physician in London an asthma specialist may be recommended if further diagnosis such as skin allergy tests or checking lung function.  Moreover, the symptoms that you show may be unusual signs and a result of your occupation or induced by exercise, prolonged cough and become worse only at night.
Lung disorders are broadly divided into those that typically affect the airways, the air sacs, the walls of the air sacs, the blood vessels, the lining that surrounds the lungs, and the chest walls.

Disorders related to the airways are:

  • Asthma characterized by inflammation of the airways with spasms and resulting in wheezing and breathlessness.  An existing allergy or infection, along with exposure to pollution,  can set off asthma attacks

  • COPD or Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a lung condition where the patient has difficulty in breathing 

  • Chronic bronchitis is a part of COPD that manifests with a constant phlegmy cough 

  • Emphysema, where the lung is damaged, resulting in air being trapped in it, making it difficult to exhale.

  • A viral infection of the airways causing acute bronchitis

  • Repeated lung infections resulting in mucous accumulation in the lungs, causing fibrosis.

The airways lead into small tubes that branch out to form clusters of air sacs or “alveoli” which form the lung tissue.  Diseases related to these alveoli include:

  • Pneumonia, a bacterial infection

  • Tuberculosis where the pneumonia progresses due to the Myobacterium tuberculosis bacteria

  • Emphysema, which affects the connection between two alveoli, restricting airflow. This also affects the airways

  • Pulmonary oedema where fluids leak out from the lung’s blood vessels into the air sacs. This can be an outcome of heart failure and pressure in the blood vessels or when the lungs are injured

  • Lung cancer

  • Sudden injury to the lungs resulting in acute respiratory distress syndrome, needing complete life support.

The delicate lining between the alveoli is affected by a number of lung diseases such as interstitial lung diseases, a term used to include sarcoidosis, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and autoimmune diseases.

Since lung disorders are complex, identifying them requires the expertise of an asthma specialist in London for diagnosis and treatment.