Recent Advances In Asthma Treatment

Posted on

Asthma is a respiratory illness where certain triggers cause inflammation of the airways, making it difficult to breathe. Those who suffer from asthma are more sensitive to these triggers, which include stress, exercise, strong odors, air pollution, cigarette smoke, chemical fumes, and allergens like animal dander, mold, and pollen. Being obese or having a health problem such as acid reflux, depression, or obstructive sleep apnea can make asthma symptoms worse. Asthma is typically treated, like at Allergy Associates, by trying to avoid triggers, using an inhaler for quick relief of symptoms, and taking a long-term control medication. While there isn't a cure for this condition, researchers are constantly looking for better treatments.

Bronchial Thermoplasty

People who have severe asthma that isn't well controlled by medications and inhalers now have the option of a new treatment called bronchial thermoplasty. This treatment is only available to adults who haven't smoked in at least a year. The patient is sedated and a catheter is inserted through the mouth or nose down into the lungs to deliver thermal energy to make it so the airways are less able to constrict and limit a person's airflow. It helps to do this by thinning out the airway smooth muscle. The full treatment involves three sessions, each about three weeks apart. The benefits typically last about five years. While kids can't have this procedure, having their tonsils and adenoids removed can sometimes help them control their asthma symptoms as it helps limit airway obstruction.


Research published in 2016 points to the potential of a peptide called nociceptin for improving asthma treatment, although research is still in the preliminary stages of animal testing and hasn't yet reached the stage of clinical trials. It appears that nociceptin may be helpful both before and during asthma attacks and for both dilating the airway and reducing the immune response that causes inflammation. This would potentially reduce the need for steroid use in asthma treatment.


A class of medications called calcilytics may help to limit lung inflammation and tightening of the airways as well as reducing asthma symptoms. These medications are currently in use for treating osteoporosis, so there's hope that they will be approved for use in treating asthma in the near future.


Fevipiprant is a new asthma medication that's currently undergoing clinical trials. It may improve the lung function, repair airway lining and reduce inflammation in those with severe asthma, potentially cut a patient's risk of having to be hospitalized or suffer an asthma attack by up to half. Treatment involves taking a pill twice a day and helps limit the use of steroids and inhalers. Results of the phase III clinical trials should be available in 2018, but it will still be a while before the medication could be available from your local asthma treatment clinic.