* Facts and Frequently Asked Questions
In 2003, 20.7 million adults and 9.1 million children in the US were diagnosed with asthma.
There were 12.7 million visits to the physician office, 1.2 million visits to the hospital outpatient department, and 1.8 million visits to the hospital emergency department for asthma.
In 2002, more than 4,200 people died of asthma.
More than 50 million people in the US suffer from allergic diseases. A recent nationwide survey found that more than half (54.6 percent) of all Americans test positive to one or more allergens.
Among specific allergens, dust mite, grass, ragweed, or cockroach caused sensitization in approximately 25 percent of the population.
Allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic disease in the United States, costing the health care system $18 billion annually.
The prevalence of allergic rhinitis has increased substantially over the past 15 years.
In 2002, approximately 14 million office visits to health care providers were attributed to allergic rhinitis.
Chronic sinusitis is the most commonly reported chronic disease, affecting 16.3 percent of people (nearly 32 million) in the United States in 1997.
In 1996, the estimated U.S. health care expenditures attributable to sinusitis were approximately $5.8 billion.
US Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease
US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statisitcs
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONSWhat is the ASAP@GBMC?
The Asthma Sinus Allergy Program at GBMC is a state-of-the-art center that satisfies the need for efficient evaluation and effective treatment of asthma, sinus and allergy problems, with significant emphasis on patient education.How big are these problems?
Each year, asthma accounts for about 1.8 million visits to the emergency department, 465,000 hospital admissions, and more than 4,000 deaths in the United States. Sinusitis and allergies rank among the most common chronic diseases, affecting up to 40 million people. These conditions can disrupt daily activities as well as sleep, adversely affecting performance in school or at work.What are the signs and symptoms?
Affected patients can have any combination of breathlessness, chest tightness, wheezing, cough, nasal congestion, postnasal drip, sinus pain, headache, runny nose, sneezing, itching, hives, swelling or watery eyes.Why should I consult an allergist?
It is recommended that an allergist be consulted if the condition is persistent or recurrent, if it interferes with daily activities, if it affects quality of life, if commonly used medications are not sufficient or cause side effects, or if you want to identify and avoid the allergens that contribute to the condition. What tests can be done?
Depending on the patient history and physical examination, diagnostic evaluation may include painless allergy skin testing without needles to identify factors that contribute to the condition, spirometry to measure lung function, and nasal endoscopy to look for anatomic abnormalities such as nasal polyps that can cause congestion. While waiting 20 minutes for the allergy skin test result to develop, patients can avail of our complimentary internet cafe. Please ask us for the latest SSID and password to use your laptop and access the internet using our wireless network.What is a spirometer?
A spirometer is an instrument that measures how well the lungs are working. The patient takes a deep breath and blows the air fast and hard out of the lungs. The computer measures the amount of air exhaled over a time period. These measurements can help the doctor assess whether, and to what extent, the patient has a lung problem such as asthma.How can the ASAP@GBMC help?
We provide personalized care that involves detailed patient education about the disease and its management. Treatment could include steps to minimize exposure to the identified allergens, medications to prevent or relieve symptoms, and immunotherapy that is proven to provide long-lasting benefit. What insurance plan can I use?
We accept most insurance plans including Aetna, Beech Street, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Cigna, CoreSource, Coventry HMO/PPO, Elder Health, First Health, Johns Hopkins EHP, Kaiser Permanente, Mail Handlers Benefit, Medicare, MultiPlan, Maryland Health Insurance Plan (MHIP), National Capital PPO (NCPPO), Private HealthCare Systems (PHCS), Tricare, Trailblazer and United Healthcare HMO/PPO.How can I schedule an appointment?
Please contact us via telephone 410.583.8393, fax 410.583.8394 or email
and we would be happy to assist you.