Why Choose Loma Linda University Asthma Program?

Our asthma program is unique in that we not only personalize therapy to each individual but are also are able to provide cutting edge non-steroid medications that work within your body to decrease airway inflammation. Deciding on what new therapies available for asthma can often be scary and confusing, we take the time to inform and educate our patients before a shared decision is made. Our program specializes in new injectable biologic medications as well as non-biologic medications for the treatment of the most severe asthmatics. On the Pacific Coast our program is one of the few centers of excellence in providing bronchial thermoplasty, a procedure that decreases the airway smooth muscle in severe asthmatics. These therapies have been shown to improve asthma control and quality of life in the most severe asthmatics, by working as a team we are able to provide hope where hope has been lost.

How do I know if I have asthma? 

The most common symptoms of asthma are shortness of breath, wheezing, chest tightness, and cough. You may have days when you have every symptom and other days you may have no symptoms. When you do have asthma symptoms, you may feel like you are breathing through a straw. You may also hear wheezing (a whistling or squeaking sound) as air tries to move through your narrowed airways. You may also cough, most often at night or early in the morning. Chest pain, chest pressure, or a feeling of tightness in your chest can be other symptoms of asthma.

Treatments and Services

At Loma Linda University’s Comprehensive Program for Obstructive Airway Diseases we take pride in being the region's leader in providing education and novel approaches to disease management for asthma.

BIOLOGIC THERAPY FOR DIFFICULT TO CONTROL ASTHMA

What is biologic therapy?

Biologic therapy or drugs are genetically engineered proteins. They target specific parts in your immune system that cause inflammation. Biologics therapy are for asthmatics who continue to have symptoms despite being on inhaled corticosteroids, and other standard treatments.

Am I a candidate for biologic therapy?

Biologic therapy are for the most severe asthmatics that are on optimal therapy. Extensive testing is necessary prior to starting biologic therapy, we want to be sure that you receive the appropriate biologic therapy.

Why use biologic therapy?

Biologics can help control symptoms like shortness of breath and coughing when other medicines have failed. Being on biologic therapy may prevent you from having asthma attacks and can lessen the intensity of the attack.

Other Asthma Treatment Options

Biologics don’t work for everyone. If you do not qualify as a candidate for biologic therapy, there are other types of treatments that can help reduce or treat your asthma symptoms. It is encouraged that asthma sufferers first consider all types of asthma treatments, consult your doctor or our specialists if you wish to learn which precision treatment is best for you.

Bronchial Thermoplasty

What is Bronchial Thermoplasty (BT)?

There are various types of drugs that can be prescribed to treat asthma. For many asthma sufferers, however, some medical treatments simply are not effective despite being on these drugs. If your daily activities are currently being impacted by your asthma or asthma symptoms, come to Loma Linda University COPD, Asthma & Allergy Network clinic the regions only center of excellence in precision asthma therapy. We know that managing asthma can be incredibly difficult at times, but modern medicine has developed particularly exceptional precise treatments that can effectively manage your severe asthma symptoms.

Bronchial Thermoplasty (BT) is an FDA approved treatment for severe persistent asthma in patients 18 years and older, whose asthma is not well controlled with medication. This clinically proven procedure has been shown to improve asthma-related quality of life and asthma control, including decreasing the number of severe asthma attacks, reducing ER visits, and reducing hospitalization for respiratory symptoms.

Am I a candidate for BT?

Bronchial Thermoplasty is a non-invasive outpatient procedure. It is often performed under moderate sedation or light anesthesia and typically takes less than an hour to complete a treatment session. The procedure delivers energy to airway walls to precisely target and reduce the extra smooth airway muscle present in the airways. This allows your airways to stay open, resulting in easier breathing.

You may be eligible for BT if:

  • You are 18 years or older with severe asthma
  • Taking multiple asthma medications (check with your doctor to make sure that you are on the appropriate medication and taking it as prescribed)
  • And one or more of the following:
    • Still having asthma attacks
    • Adjusting your lifestyle to avoid asthma triggers
    • Absent from work, school or other daily activities because of your asthma

You may not be a candidate for BT if:

  • Are under 18 years old
  • Have a pacemaker, internal defibrillator, or other implantable electronic device.
  • Have a known sensitivity to medications required to perform bronchoscopy, including lidocaine, atropine, and benzodiazepines.
  • Have been previously treated with BT.

The complete BT procedure is performed in three separate treatment sessions. Each procedure is scheduled approximately three weeks apart.

As with any procedure, there are risks, and individual results may vary. The most common adverse event of BT is a temporary worsening of respiratory-related symptoms. These events typically occur within one day of the BT procedure and usually resolve within a week with standard care. There is a small risk (3.4% per procedure) that symptoms may require hospitalization.

Other Asthma Treatment Options

BT is not for everyone. If you do not qualify as a candidate for BT, there are other types of medications that can help reduce or treat your asthma symptoms. It is encouraged that asthma sufferers first consider all types of asthma treatments, consult your doctor or our specialists if you wish to learn which precision treatment is best for you.

Related Conditions & Treatments

Physician, Dr. Tan
“Loma Linda University is the first academic hospital in the Inland Empire and is also currently the only center of excellence in the region to perform Bronchial Thermoplasty on asthma patients.“

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