Asthma Phenotypes: A Practical Approach to Diagnosis and Treatment

This is a free full text editorial by the former WAO President, Richard Lockey, who teaches that “Asthma is the most treatable of all chronic diseases known to mankind.”

Yet, outcome data from throughout the world indicate that the diagnosis and treatment of asthma are not optimal and need improvement. Why?

Here are 4 reasons:

- asthma is not thought of as a complex, heterogeneous disease or syndrome that consists of different phenotypes and endotypes

- asthma is variable, particularly in its severity, and is influenced by known, unknown, avoidable, and unavoidable environmental factors

- treatment usually requires complex inhalational devices that are difficult to understand and use, and with which adherence is suboptimal

- assessment of asthma is primarily based on symptoms, and, at times, all symptoms are due to asthma, but many times some or all symptoms are due to unrecognized and untreated comorbid or coexisting conditions.

Allergists/immunologists are well suited to provide the type of comprehensive care required to optimize asthma outcomes.

References:

Asthma Phenotypes: An Approach to the Diagnosis and Treatment of Asthma - The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice http://buff.ly/1xJUNPB
(free full text)

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