Asthma is a condition which causes bronchoconstriction, or tightening of the airways in the lung. This leads to inflammation and difficulty breathing as well as shortness of breath and chest tightness. Cough may be the only sign of asthma. Some environmental triggers such as tree and grass pollen, ragweed, mold, pets, cigarette smoke, pollution, household cleaners, certain medications and physical exercise may cause asthma to worsen. Exercise-induced asthma may manifest as chest tightness, coughing or wheezing after even minimal activity.

The evaluation of asthma includes a complete medical history and spirometry (pulmonary function test) to determine your lung capacity. Skin testing can help determine what environmental factors and food may be causing an exacerbation of asthma.

Contact Dr. Ellen Epstein to determine the best course of treatment for your asthma. This may include medications for allergic triggered asthma, rescue medications, long term medications such as Xolair (a new injectable medication for moderate to severe asthma) and immunotherapy.

You may be taking asthma medications but do not have a normal active lifestyle. You may not be able to perform everyday activities with ease. You should consider XOLAIR (pronounced ZOH-lair) if you have moderate to severe persistent asthma, even if you are already taking inhaled steroids. Xolair is indicated for patients with moderate to severe persistent asthma with asthma triggered by year-round allergens in the air. A simple skin or blood test will confirm that you have this kind of asthma. Dr. Epstein is one of the few asthma specialists on Long Island trained to administer this therapy.


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