Asthma is a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways. Asthma symptoms and attacks which manifest in episodes of more severe shortness of breath, usually occur after exercise or exposure to allergens, viral respiratory infections, irritant fumes or gases.

These exposures cause an inflammation of the airway wall and an abnormal narrowing of the airways, which lead to asthma symptoms, such as wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing. Effective treatment can prevent the onset of symptoms in response to these triggers and can control symptoms once they occur.

Asthma Services + Programs

Clinics and programs for asthma support groups, clinics, and education centres can be found through the Canadian Lung Association.

The registered respiratory therapists at the Lung Health Clinic at the Garratt Wellness Centre at Vancouver General Hospital work with asthma patients on taking control of asthma symptoms, correctly using asthma medication, avoiding or reduce exposure to asthma triggers.

The Asthma Clinic at The Lung Centre focuses on a multi disciplinary approach to the management of asthma patients. There is a strong emphasis on asthma education. Patients with more severe disease are evaluated with sputum induction and assessment of exhaled nitric oxide. These tests help to better tailor treatment to individual patients. There is an extensive program of research focusing on the evaluation novel new first in asthma patients monoclonal antibodies as well as innovative newer treatments such as thermoplasty. The group has focused also on developing educational material to better serve our multi cultural patient populations. More broadly it works with health outcomes researchers to look at more cost effective ways to treat asthma.

The Asthma Clinic at the Pacific Lung Health Centre at St. Paul’s Hospital provides patients with evaluations of their asthma status, management strategies for difficult asthma, and patient-focused education.

Asthma Resources + Organizations