Out of all asthma patients, only 86% follow treatment: a dramatic situation that requires more information and education. Professor Giorgio Walter Canonica, Head of the Centre for Personalized Medicine: Asthma and Allergology in Humanitas and lecturer at Humanitas University, guest on ‘Tutta Salute’ study at Rai3, spoke about asthma.

“Short-breathing or hunger for air and hisses are, along with coughing, typical symptoms of an asthma attack. Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways and it is a heterogeneous disease: it recognizes different causes, the most typical is allergy but there are also other causes that must be properly investigated. Examples include physical exertion, exposure to irritants (such as smog) or viral infections.

In terms of the symptoms, the asthma attack is characterized by respiratory hisses, hunger for air and breathing difficulties (which we call dyspnea), coughing, and sometimes chest constriction. From a functional point of view we have the closure of the bronchus and an over-secretion of mucus, which further reduces the caliber of the airways, increasing the hunger for air,” said the professor.


Diagnostic tests

“First, the entire history of the patient must be collected; then a functional respiratory evaluation and an allergological investigation must be carried out. Today there are new possibilities, such as the so-called FENO, which is the analysis of the gas that is exhaled and that indicates a bronchial inflammation depending on the assigned value.


The need for personalized therapy

Depending on the diagnosis, the most suitable therapy will be chosen for each individual patient, as well as the most appropriate inhaler: this is why we talk about personalized therapy.

Treatment must prevent asthma seizures and also the progressive decline of lung function: for this reason, it is important to adhere scrupulously and continuously to the prescribed therapies. The drugs available today stabilize the situation and prevent crises from arising.


Watch the full interview with Professor Canonica, click here