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Real Talk: Eosinophilic Diseases

Nov 19, 2021

There has been a growing awareness of eosinophilic asthma in recent years, and thereare increasingly more treatment options for people with this type of asthma. In thisepisode, co-hosts Ryan Piansky and Mary Jo Strobel explore the topic of eosinophilicasthma, triggers, treatment options, and more with Ravi Viswanathan, MD.

Dr. Viswanathan is a board-certified Allergist & Immunologist, and Assistant Professorin the Section of Allergy, Pulmonary & Critical Care at the University of WisconsinSchool of Medicine & Public Health, as well as the Medical Director of the Allergy Clinic.His research and clinical interests include severe asthma, mast cell disorders, and drugallergy. Dr. Viswanathan has authored and co-authored multiple publications and bookchapters, including the chapter on “Management of Asthma in Adolescents and Adults”in Middleton’s Allergy Textbook. He is also involved with teaching at the University ofWisconsin School of Medicine for topics on asthma, drug allergy, and muscle disorders.

In this episode, Dr. Viswanathan shares more about the different types of asthma, andthe differences between them. He explains more about the diagnostic journey for aperson with eosinophilic asthma, the different triggers that may exacerbate symptoms, and treatment options available to patients. Dr. Viswanathan also sheds light onresearch being conducted in this area, and how patients may better manage theirasthma by working closely with their healthcare team. Tune in to find out more abouteosinophilic asthma and how patients can get better outcomes and improve their qualityof life.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this podcast is designed to support, not replace therelationship that exists between listeners and their healthcare providers. Opinions, information,and recommendations shared in this podcast are not a substitute for medical advice. Decisionsrelated to medical care should be made with your healthcare provider. Opinions and views ofguests and co-hosts are their own.


Key Takeaways:

[1:43] Ryan introduces the guest for this episode — Dr. Ravi Viswanathan.

[2:20] Dr. Viswanathan shares a bit about his background and experience treating people who have asthma.

[3:57] What do the terms “phenotype” and “endotype” mean? What are the differences between them?

[5:25] What are some examples of different phenotypes of asthma?

[6:03] There has been a growing awareness of eosinophilic asthma. What has led to this awareness?

[7:34] What makes the phenotype in eosinophilic asthma different from other types of asthma?

[8:27] Ryan shares his experience about having asthma as a child and having high eosinophil counts, but only being diagnosed with eosinophilic asthma much later. Is this a common occurrence?

[9:25] At what point do doctors start to establish a diagnosis for a specific phenotype of asthma, instead of just asthma in general?

[10:55] What are some common tests that can help diagnose between specific phenotypes of asthma?

[13:08] Dr. Viswanathan shares more about sputum samples and bronchial washing.

[14:35] What is considered well-controlled asthma, and how can people know if their asthma is indeed well-controlled?

[15:56] What are some common asthma triggers, and are these triggers generally consistent across different types of asthma?

[18:15] What are some things beyond medicine that can help control asthma?

[20:25] What are some treatment options available to people with asthma and what are the differences between these treatments?

[24:00] How do these treatment options work to help people with asthma?

[25:49] Having a combination of therapies may help patients better deal with their symptoms and improve their quality of life.

[27:02] Is immunotherapy or a gradual increased exposure to triggers to build up tolerance something that is applicable to EOS asthma?

[28:48] How quickly would symptoms return for someone whose treatment has been stopped or interrupted?

[30:02] How often should patients visit their doctor to monitor all the factors involved in EOS asthma?

[31:07] What is the benefit of having different treatment options available?

[33:43] Are there large disparities in efficacy between different drugs used in treatment?

[35:21] From a research perspective, what are some areas that are being looked at in regard to eosinophilic asthma?

[36:48] Dr. Viswanathan shares some final closing thoughts.


Mentioned in This Episode:

American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders (APFED)

APFED on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram

Dr. Ravi Viswanathan

Dr. Ravi Viswanathan at UW Health

APFED Resources on Eosinophilic Asthma

EOS Asthma

EOS Connections Online Community

APFED’s Specialist Finder


This episode is brought to you thanks to the support of our Education Partner: GlaxoSmithKline.