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Treating Allergic Asthma

Posted Aug 24 2008 1:49pm
CHERYL: I've been dealing with asthma my entire life. I had allergies as a young child.

ANNOUNCER: For Cheryl, asthma and allergies have always gone hand in hand. She's not alone, according to specialist doctor Beth Corn.

BETH E. CORN, MD, ASTHMA AND ALLERGY SPECIALIST: Asthma is inflammation of the airways. The inflammation can come from allergy. The body perceives something that's really not dangerous as extremely dangerous. And, in order to rid the body of whatever it is that it perceives as dangerous, the body has a series of chemical reactions that result in inflammation.

CHERYL: I recall sitting on a chaise lounge on a beautiful clear summer day and everything is fun and then, all of a sudden, out of nowhere, I start to wheeze and start getting tight and not being able to breathe.

ANNOUNCER: Cheryl tried everything to control her allergic asthma.

CHERYL: I have all kinds of doctors; they've given me all kinds of medications. Most of them have been inhalers; many of them have been pills. I'm not the type of patient where they saw good results.

ANNOUNCER: So Doctor Corn suggested she try a new prescription drug designed to block the immune response that causes airways to become inflamed.

BETH E. CORN, MD, ASTHMA AND ALLERGY SPECIALIST: The medication is so effective is because of where it works. It works so early on in the allergic cascade of events, it just basically halts this whole inflammatory process. So, if you can imagine, it really is the ideal prevention.

ANNOUNCER: There are drawbacks – the new treatment is expensive and – in rare cases - has caused serious allergic reactions itself. But, for Cheryl, the results have been life changing

CHERYL: I used to give every breath a thought and I don't any more. It's just wonderful. I just feel terrific. You can see the smile on my face; that should pretty much say it all.

ANNOUNCER: Thanks for joining us on today's Once Daily.

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