One in four patients with severe asthma underestimates the gravity of the problem and fails in following their therapy. These facts force us to reinforce the importance of not underestimating asthma, of diagnosing it the right way and of treating it in a personalized fashion. Professor Giorgio Walter Canonica, Supervisor of the Personalized Medicine Center: Asthma and Allergology at Humanitas, spoke about this in an interview for Rai Radio1’s program “Life – Wellbeing as a goal”.
“For a long time, asthma has been considered a childhood disease. Yet nowadays, this disease affects people at every age. We keep diagnosing late-onset asthma, sometimes severe, in patients that in the past were diagnosed with chronic bronchitis”, Prof. Canonica explains.
“Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease. So, as with the other chronic diseases, those who suffer from it are unlikely to follow their therapy thoroughly. This happens because patients don’t want to take medications when they are not experiencing any symptoms. For this reason, only 13.8% of patients follow their therapy thoroughly. We have to raise awareness to patients, and inform people about the importance of treating this disease in the right way”, the professor suggests.
Diagnosis and treatment of severe asthma
“There is a network of centers for severe asthma. It is very important to diagnose and cure this kind of asthma in the right way.
If the patient feels a slight whiz when they exercise or strain themselves physically, they should report it to a doctor. Then they will perform a series of standard tests, such as a spirometry.
The latest international guidelines include new treatments against severe asthma. Such are the insertion of a new bronchodilator for moderate-to-severe asthma (already in use for COPD), a dedicated immunotherapy that will be available shortly in Italy in the form of pills, a new biological medication, and a monoclonal antibody that will control, diminish or stop the eosinophilic inflammation in the bronchi”, Prof. Canonica explains.