Allergy Sleep & Lung Care offers bronchial thermoplasty, a new treatment option

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Jan. 7, 2015 – After several years of suffering with shortness of breath, David Cohen, 72, realized he could not keep living his life on the couch, unable to walk to his front door without stopping to catch his breath.

“I was getting harder and harder to catch my breath, I would sit in my living room and watch TV, and if I wanted to talk to someone, I would have to stop and catch my breath every other word,” says Cohen. “As soon as I start talking or getting up to walk, it was hard to breathe.”

Cohen decided to visit Allergy Sleep & Lung Care in Fort Myers, Florida to see why his breathing was affecting his everyday activities. After running several tests, Imtiaz Ahmad, M.D., Board Certified Pulmonologist and founder of Allergy Sleep & Lung Care, diagnosed him with severe asthma and recommended a new treatment called Bronchial Thermoplasty delivered by the Alair™ System.

“This relatively new FDA approved treatment can replace the usual treatment regimens with medicine that patients have to take every day,” says Dr. Ahmad. “Once a patient stops taking the medicine, the symptoms come back. With bronchial thermoplasty, patients would no longer have to worry about their medication and just worry about living.”

Bronchial thermoplasty is an outpatient procedure completed in three separate sessions. Each session takes about an hour to complete with no discomfort or recovery time needed. Once these sessions are completed, the patient will see and feel the improvement in breathing that lasts for at least 5 years after. Dr. Ahmad performs the procedure at Lee Memorial Hospital and is one of only a handful of physicians in Southwest Florida offering the treatment.

“Dr. Ahmad explained everything about the procedure and I really had no worries about it,” says Cohen. “I completely recommend this treatment and Dr. Ahmad with no reservations or second thoughts at all.”

After Dr. Ahmad finished the first treatment in April 2014, Cohen was able to immediately go out to lunch with friends and noticed his breathing improved by about 50 percent. By the third procedure, his breathing was back to normal. Cohen credits this treatment and Dr. Ahmad for helping him get back to a normal life.

“I used to walk up to 2 miles a day, twice a day. Now, I’m starting to walk a lot farther,” says Cohen. “I joined the community center and hope to be getting on the treadmill soon and continue my walking.”