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How can I prevent asthma attacks?

Depending on what "triggers" your asthma attacks, the best prevention is to minimize those triggers and to take medications as directed by your physician.

What is sarcoidosis?

Sarcoidosis is a rare disease that results from inflammation.  Currently, the cause is unknown and usually develops between 20 to 50 years of age.  Almost ninety percent of the cases of sarcoidosis are found in the lungs, but it can occur in almost any organ.  It causes small lumps, or granulomas, which generally heal and disappear on their own.  However, for those granulomas that do not heal, the tissue can remain inflamed and become scarred, or fibrotic.  Treatments are determined by your physician and may include medication such as corticosteriods

What do breathing tests show?

Spirometry is a simple breathing test that measures how much air you can blow out of your lungs and how fast you can blow it.  This is used to help determine if there is airway obstruction.  Further testing such as methacholine challenge pulmonary function test may be ordered to help determine a diagnosis of asthma.

What is pulmonary fibrosis and how is it treated?

Pulmonary  fibrosis is often refereed to as Interstitial Lung Disease.  Fibrosis results in permanent loss of that tissue's ability to breathe and carry oxygen.  Air sacs, as well as the lung tissue between and surrounding the air sacs, and the lung capillaries, are destroyed by the formation of scar tissue.  Specific treatments are determined by your physician and may include oral medications, pulmonary rehabilitation, vaccinations, supplemental oxygen, and possible lung transplantation.

What causes COPD?

The most common causes of COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) is cigarette smoking.  Other causes of COPD include long term exposure to irritants such as chemicals, dust, and air pollution.  In some rare cases, heredity or genes play a role in the development of the disease.  If a protein in the body called Alpha-1 Antitrypsin is lacking in someone they may be more vulnerable to the destruction of the lung lining and develop the disease.

What are the side effects of my broncholdialator medication? (Albuterol, Combivent, Xopenex)

Some typical side effects to these medications include rapid heart rate, headache and nervousness. These tend to go away as your body adjusts to the medicine; however, if it becomes bothersome or worsens, you should contact your physician.