Asthma has been described as sinusitis of the lungs, whereas sinusitis has been described as asthma of the sinuses. Both problems are inflammatory airway conditions with multiple causes. Allergy evaluation and immunotherapy are often helpful and indicated in both conditions. We have to be even more vigilant with asthma to control the inflammation because airway remodeling can lead to permanent deficits in lung function. When airway remodeling happens in the sinuses, we have surgical options, but unfortunately, we have no such options for the lungs.
Guidelines for asthma were first published in 1991 and revised in 1997, 2002, and 2007. The latest update highlights the importance of keeping asthma under control through critical components: 1) assessment and monitoring, 2) patient education, 3) control of environmental factors contributing to asthma, and 4) pharmacotherapy.
One of the key differences in the 2007 guidelines is the inclusion of the statement that, “the evidence strengthens recommendations that reducing exposure to inhalant indoor allergens can improve control.” Allergies are involved in over 90% of pediatric asthma cases and 60% of adult asthma cases.
At our clinic, we have fellowship training and offer comprehensive pulmonary function and allergy testing to help diagnosis asthma. We then strictly follow the new comprehensive guidelines for managing asthma. Also, the adjunctive therapies we offer such as immunotherapy, sinus surgery, adenotonsillar surgery, and reflux management can often help control asthma.