[Question] ||| "My doctor wants me to start using a second inhaler because I have chronic bronchitis. Why do I need two?"
[Answer] ||| "By chronic bronchitis I’m thinking you are referring to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD for short. COPD is a lung condition in which the muscular walls of the bronchioles, or smaller airways can spasm and also a situation of inflammation exists. Both of these reactions trigger excessive mucus production, hence the term chronic bronchitis. Most inhalers will work by delivering medicine to the bronchioles to relax the spasms. There are two different pharmacologic ways of accomplishing this and they work synergistically; this may be why you have been prescribed two types of inhalers. Even though there is also inflammation going on, it is distinctly different than the inflammatory process involved in asthma. Therefore, the use of steroid inhalers is generally not for everyday maintenance therapy in COPD as it is useful for persistent asthma. Inhaled steroids might be used if the person with chronic bronchitis develops a respiratory infection; in this case called acute exacerbation of COPD."
[ABOUT THE EXPERT] ||| Agnes Oblas, ANP-C; New Paths to Healthcare, LLC
A certified nurse practitioner, Agnes Oblas received her bachelor's degree in Nursing (BSN) from the University of Minnesota before beginning her nursing career in Boston, first at Beth Israel Hospital and the Massachusetts General Hospital.
In 1972, Oblas was awarded my first Master’s degree (MSN) in Medical-Surgical Nursing from Boston University. In 1979, sensing the need to advance hercareer further, Oblas was awarded her second MSN from Simmons College, also in Boston, in the area of Adult Primary Care. Oblas successfully sat for Board Certification as an Adult Primary Care Nurse Practitioner in 1980 and have maintained certification ever since.
As a nurse practitioner in primary care, Oblas provides comprehensive, patient-centered healthcare, assessing, diagnosing and managing the full spectrum of medical problems present to any primary care setting. Oblas also focuses on disease prevention and risk deduction as well as sick care, while considering psychological issues that affect a patient's illness and/or recovery.
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