Learning Objectives: To understand the principles of asthma management in patients of different ages, and to outline major avoidance measures, classes of medications available, and indications for immunotherapy (IT). Data Sources: MEDLINE and major textbooks of allergy and immunology. Conclusions: There has been an understanding of asthma as a chronic inflammatory disease for many decades but recent information about mediators and cytokines has led to new therapies and better understanding of the effects of IT and other preventive measures. The best treatment for any individual patient depends upon many factors and is a decision to be made between the patient and the physician. It seems that the best response to IT occurs in those who are highly sensitive to unavoidable allergens, and who experienced a late-phase asthmatic response to the allergen initially. New data suggest that IT should be considered early, as it may prevent progression of asthma to more severe, less reversible disease. The best therapy results in the ablation of airway early- and late-phase reactivity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine