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Allergy & Asthma Specialists SM is a dynamic, state of the art Allergy/Clinical Immunology practice established in 1989. We promise to provide to our patients the most scientifically advanced allergy and asthma care in a personal, thorough, considerate and efficient environment in order to obtain the best possible health for every patient.

Accurately Diagnosing Asthma

Diagnosing Asthma in a Child

If you’re concerned that you or your child might have asthma, your primary care doctor will likely refer you to an allergy doctor. An allergy doctor is a specialist who can perform diagnostic tests to determine whether you could have asthma. Tests such as a lung function test will help your allergy doctor accurately diagnose asthma.

Medical History
Before you undergo any tests, your allergy doctor will review your medical history. Be sure to inform the doctor of any medications you’re taking and any medical conditions you’ve been diagnosed with, such as allergies. Mention whether you have a family history of asthma, eczema, hay fever, or similar conditions. Your allergy doctor will also ask you about your symptoms. Some common symptoms include shortness of breath, wheezing, and frequent coughing. Discuss the frequency of your symptoms and at which times they tend to occur.

Spirometry
Spirometry is a pulmonary function test that evaluates the amount of air you’re capable of exhaling. It also measures how quickly you can breathe out. During this test, you’ll breathe into a special mouthpiece that is attached to a spirometer, which is a recording device. You can expect to exhale as intensely as possible into the mouthpiece. For an accurate diagnosis, the allergy doctor is likely to ask you to exhale three times. This test can determine whether your airways are obstructed.

Inhalation Challenge Tests
An inhalation challenge test is much like spirometry; however, it measures the amount of air you can inhale and how quickly you can inhale it. The test is commonly administered before and after taking an inhaled medicine.

Since 1989, Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM has been proud to serve families in the King of Prussia area. Our allergy doctors are dedicated to upholding the highest standards of patient care. If you would like to schedule an appointment for an asthma screening, contact us at 1 (800) 86-COUGH.

Board certified allergists/immunologists comprise the entire physician staff of Allergy & Asthma Specialists.  Allergy doctors at this premier medical practice provide comprehensive allergy and asthma diagnostics and state of the art treatment, including two types of immunotherapy, at offices located in center city Philadelphia, Blue Bell, King of Prussia, Jenkintown, Doylestown, Lansdale, Pottstown, and Collegeville, Pennsylvania. Schedule today online at www.AllergyandAsthmaWellness.com or by calling 1-800-86COUGH.

Diet and Nutrition Tips for People with Asthma

Diet and Nutrition

Good nutrition plays an important role in everyone’s health, but it is especially important for people living with a chronic disease. Poor nutrition makes it more difficult for the body to fight off respiratory viruses, which can make someone more vulnerable to an asthma attack. In addition, many people have food allergies that can trigger an asthma episode, so it’s important to always check the nutritional label before consuming a new food product.

Eat a Well-balanced Diet
Weight gain occurs when you eat more calories than you burn. Not only is excessive weight gain bad for your overall health, but it can also trigger your asthma symptoms. Though paying attention to caloric content is important, it’s equally important to consider the nutritional content of the foods you’re eating. A healthy, well-balanced diet includes plenty of fruits and vegetables as well as foods with omega-3 fatty acids. You should also limit your consumption of trans fats and omega-6 fatty acids.

Check for Food Allergies
If you have food allergies to milk, eggs, shellfish, or peanuts, exposure to these food items can dramatically worsen your asthma symptoms. Even exposure to a small amount of a food allergen can trigger a life-threatening anaphylactic attack, which might require immediate asthma medication. It’s not always clear what ingredients are in different food items, so be sure to check the labels and ingredient list before purchasing any new snacks or meals.

Be Cautious about Preservatives
Sulfites, which are commonly used as a food preservative, can release sulfur dioxide, which can irritate your lungs. Sulfites aren’t added to fresh fruits and vegetables, but they are added to some processed foods, like dried fruits, canned vegetables, and some condiments.

If you would like to learn more about controlling your allergy or asthma symptoms, schedule an appointment with Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM.

Board certified allergists/immunologists comprise the entire physician staff of Allergy & Asthma Specialists.  Allergy doctors at this premier medical practice provide comprehensive allergy and asthma diagnostics and state of the art treatment, including two types of immunotherapy, at offices located in center city Philadelphia, Blue Bell, King of Prussia, Jenkintown, Doylestown, Lansdale, Pottstown, and Collegeville, Pennsylvania. Schedule today online at www.AllergyandAsthmaWellness.com or by calling 1-800-86COUGH.  

An Overview of Spirometry Testing

Spirometer

Spirometry is an important tool for diagnosing and controlling asthma, as it helps allergy doctors measure how well a patient inhales and exhales air. Generally, spirometry is used during the first appointment with an allergist or immunologist, as well as during treatment, to document the patient’s normal airway function. Spirometry can also help evaluate how a patient’s airway is responding to a change in medication or new asthma treatment.

Preparing for a Spirometry Test
Patients who will be taking a spirometry test should follow their doctors’ instructions regarding the use of inhaled breathing medications or any other medications prior to the appointment. It’s also recommended that patients wear loose clothing to ensure that their clothes won’t interfere with the ability to take long, deep breaths. It’s also a good idea for patients to avoid eating a very large meal prior to the appointment, as this can make it more difficult to breathe.

Taking a Spirometry Test
During the test, the nurse or allergy doctor will instruct the patient to take a deep breath, exhaling as hard as possible for several seconds into an attached tube. This may cause a brief feeling of dizziness in the moment following the test. To ensure that the results are accurate, the patient will need to perform the test at least three times.

Assessing Results of a Spirometry Test
A spirometry test records a patient’s forced vital capacity as well as forced expiratory volume. Forced vital capacity measures the largest amount of air that the patient can exhale after deep breathing, and forced expiratory volume determines how much air the patient can force from his or her lungs.

To learn more about preparing for your spirometry test, contact Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM at 1 (800) 86-COUGH.

Board certified allergists/immunologists comprise the entire physician staff of Allergy & Asthma Specialists.  Allergy doctors at this premier medical practice provide comprehensive allergy and asthma diagnostics and state of the art treatment, including two types of immunotherapy, at offices located in center city Philadelphia, Blue Bell, King of Prussia, Jenkintown, Doylestown, Lansdale, Pottstown, and Collegeville, Pennsylvania. Schedule today online at www.AllergyandAsthmaWellness.com or by calling 1-800-86COUGH.

Safe Exercise for Children with Asthma

In the past, children who had asthma would have to sit out during recess or gym class because of their breathing difficulties. Not only did this prevent children from getting adequate exercise, but it also isolated them from their classmates and friends. Today, exercise is actually becoming part of a child’s typical asthma treatment.

This video takes an inside look at a school where children with asthma are encouraged to swim, run, climb, and participate in other common childhood activities. Allowing this exercise represents a dramatic shift in thinking in the medical community, as exercise is becoming encouraged instead of avoided. By helping children strengthen their heart and lungs, exercise helps children take control of their asthma symptoms. 

Before beginning any exercise program, it’s important for asthma sufferers to speak with an allergy doctor. Call 1 (800) 86-COUGH to schedule an appointment with Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM

Board certified allergists/immunologists comprise the entire physician staff of Allergy & Asthma Specialists.  Allergy doctors at this premier medical practice provide comprehensive allergy and asthma diagnostics and state of the art treatment, including two types of immunotherapy, at offices located in center city Philadelphia, Blue Bell, King of Prussia, Jenkintown, Doylestown, Lansdale, Pottstown, and Collegeville, Pennsylvania. Schedule today online at www.AllergyandAsthmaWellness.com or by calling 1-800-86COUGH

Reasons to Request a Lung Function Test

Child Coughing

Except for appointments involving very young children, allergy doctors often include lung function testing as part of a basic allergy evaluation. Doctors can now assess the lung function capacity of someone as young as three years old using state-of-the-art, computerized tests. In addition, doctors can use specialized lung function testing to evaluate children and adults who experience exercise-induced asthma or chronic cough syndrome.

If you or your child experiences persistent coughing, especially at night or when exercising, you should ask your doctor about scheduling a lung function test. Your doctor can use a spirometry test to determine how well your body is moving air in and out of your lungs. In addition, your doctor can measure how your airways respond to foreign substances through an inhalation challenge test. Other signs that you should request a lung function test are if you experience chest tightness, shortness of breath, or your body makes a squeaky, whistling sound when you are breathing in and out. 

For more information about lung function testing, schedule an appointment with Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM. You can reach our King of Prussia office by dialing 1 (800) 86-COUGH.

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