Asthma in Teens and Adults (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
A new treatment called bronchial thermoplasty is available for adults with severe asthma. For this therapy, bronchoscopy is used to apply heat to the airways. This reduces the thickness of the airways and improves the ability to breathe.20, 21
Allergy shots (immunotherapy) may be recommended for people who have asthma symptoms when they are around substances to which they are allergic (allergens). In some people, allergy shots have been shown to reduce asthma symptoms and the need for medicines.24 But allergy shots are not equally effective for all allergens. Allergy shots should not be given when asthma is poorly controlled. For more information, see:
Allergy shots contain small doses of one or more substances to which you are allergic so that your body can become less responsive to them over time.
Some people have used ephedra—a stimulant sold for weight loss and sports performance—to try to treat asthma symptoms. But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has banned the sale of this dietary supplement because of concerns about safety. Ephedra, also called ma huang, has been linked to heart attacks, strokes, and some deaths.
A review of complementary and alternative treatments for treating asthma in children concluded that none have been proved to reduce asthma symptoms and some may have harmful side effects.27 Some of these studies included teenagers and adults. The therapies reviewed include:
Talk to your doctor before trying a complementary or alternative treatment.
For more information on alternative treatments, see the topic Complementary Medicine.
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