Friday, 29 August 2014

GPs urged to test all asthma patients for allergies to reduce attacks

This recent article in the publication 'GP' highlights the issue of allergens in the patients environment causing at least some of the worsening of their symptoms, sometimes leading to acute attacks. Prevention of exposure could help two thirds of all asthma patients in the UK control their illness more effectively. Prevention starts with awareness on the part of the patient but also on the part of their doctor but the important allergy tests are not being carried out.

Asthma UK states that if more allergy tests (including dust mite, pollen, animal dander, food and mould) were carried out then patients (and their carers) would be able to avoid their triggers and thus manage their own illness better. Two thirds do not know what their triggers are!

Moulds in particular are increasingly coming under suspicion as having a lot more involvement in uncontrolled asthma than previously suspected. Severe Asthma with Fungal Sensitisation (SAFS) is a fairly new concept that affects roughly half of all severe, uncontrolled asthmatics. Treatment with an oral antifungal is known to benefit such patients.

 Treatment options in severe fungal asthma and allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis

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