Chapter 1
Life on the Sidelines

A Fight Just to Breathe

Most people rarely think about their own breathing. Their bodies adopt a natural rhythm to survive — inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale. They don’t even have to try.

But in the more than 235 million people in the world living with asthma, something as simple as breathing doesn’t come so easily. With this chronic disease, the airways in the lungs are constantly inflamed, tightening in reaction to certain triggers. This can lead to coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. The most common type of asthma is called allergic asthma, meaning symptoms are triggered by breathing in allergens, like dust mites, pet dander, or pollen.

In Anne’s case, severe allergic asthma has been with her since kindergarten. All her life, frequent asthma attacks left her struggling to breathe — and struggling to live her life to the fullest.

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A Constant Hindrance

For as long as she can remember, Anne has had to make sacrifices because of severe asthma.

The Doctor Is In

Dr. Stuart Kravitz was trained as an allergy and asthma specialist. He is meticulous in his assessment of new patients, who come to him at varying stages with their disease. Some don’t even know for sure whether they have asthma or some other chronic respiratory condition. Others, like Anne, have already received a diagnosis of severe asthma but are still struggling to find a treatment plan that truly works for them.
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A Chronic Condition

Dr. Kravitz discusses his approach to treating severe allergic asthma.

The Root of the Problem

Anne, at age 63, had seen a lot of different approaches to severe asthma throughout her life. When she was first diagnosed as a child, doctors didn’t even know there could be an allergy component to asthma, when in fact, it was Anne’s main trigger.

As she grew older, she saw doctor after doctor, but the treatments she received never truly targeted the underlying causes of her asthma. Being in the medical field herself as a nurse-midwife, Anne was determined not to give up. Finally, decades after her diagnosis, she found Dr. Kravitz.

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The First Appointment

When Dr. Kravitz first meets a new patient, he focuses on education and developing a management plan.

Levels of Severity

There are varying degrees of asthma, ranging from mild to severe, intermittent to persistent. When diagnosing asthma, it’s important to understand the intensity of the disease to get a full picture of how it impacts a person’s daily life — and how best to treat it. For people with severe asthma, like Anne, the best treatment approaches are more likely to be ongoing and proactive.
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Gameplan

Dr. Kravitz works to build a treatment plan tailored to each patient’s each individual triggers and needs.

Bridging The Gap

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