Inhaled corticosteroids are often used to treat
Now, a new, noninvasive breath test called fractional exhaled nitric oxide, or FeNO, has taken away much of the guesswork about whether a patient should be on inhaled corticosteroids. The test is helping to guide treatment decisions and is the first to measure airway
"With one breath into a hand-held device, physicians can measure the level of inflammation in a patient's lungs," said Dr. Stanley Fineman, an allergist at the Atlanta
A physician typically determines whether inhaled corticosteroids are the best course of treatment, based on the severity of the patient's asthma. Traditionally, a physician will talk to patients about their history and symptoms (coughing or
"One of the things people need to understand is that the use of corticosteroids can be lifesaving," Fineman said. "As long as you monitor the effects and the side effects, then you should be able to control any potential side effects and minimize them."