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Clinical Services at Rush Asthma Glossary and Terms

Glossary of Asthma Terms

asthma action plan allergen allergist beta-agonists bronchoconstriction bronchodilators control drug immunotherapy metered dose inhaler nebulizer peak flow rescue/quick-relief drug sinusitis spacer spirometry

Asthma Action Plan: An educational tool that you and your provider complete together. The Asthma Action Plan functions as a guide or chart to help you manage your asthma.

Allergen: A substance that triggers an allergic reaction and can also trigger an asthma attack.

Allergist: A doctor with specific training in identifying allergens and in asthma care.

Beta-agonists: Asthma drug that helps open airways by relaxing the muscles around the bronchotubes.

Bronchoconstriction: When muscles wrapping the airways constrict, pinching the airways closed.

Bronchodilators: Drugs that relax muscles around the airways.

Control drug: Asthma medication used daily to prevent asthma symptoms and attacks.

Immunotherapy: A series of shots to help build the immune system against a specific asthma trigger, like cat or dog dander or pollen.

Metered dose inhaler: One of the most common devices used for asthma medication, the metered dose inhaler allows for a specific amount of medication to be inhaled at one time.

Nebulizer: A device that creates a mist using your asthma medication, making it easier to inhale.

Peak flow: Measurement of how efficiently you can blow air out of your lungs. If your airways are narrow or blocked, your peak flow readings will decrease.

Rescue/quick-relief drug: A drug used as needed to relieve asthma symptoms during an attack.

Sinusitis: Inflammation or infection of the sinuses. Has been known to exacerbate or worsen asthma.

Spacer: Used with your meter dosed inhaler to deliver medication more effectively, reducing aftertaste.

Spirometry: Test used to diagnose asthma, by measuring the maximum volume you can exhale.







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