In most cases symptoms are intermittent or seasonal but at other times they may become chronic. Other exacerbating factors are various irritant aerosols (tobacco smoke, household aerosols, pollutants, chemical odors etc.), upper airway infections, exercise and others. Patients with asthma must be evaluated properly, particularly if their disease is significant enough to cause them substantial dysfunction in their daily activities. Evaluation should include spirometry (pulmonary capacity testing) and a thorough evaluation for allergic sensitivities, chronic sinusitis and other potential aggravating factors. Treatment of asthma include patient education, anti-inflammatory therapy (mostly via inhalers), bronchodilators, allergen avoidance and potentially immunotherapy in selected patients. Desensitization immunotherapy, commonly called allergy shots, is the only potentially curative treatment available in allergic respiratory illnesses.
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