Asthma overview

Asthma is a common lung condition that causes occasional breathing difficulties. There is no cure for asthma but in most sufferers, available treatments can keep their symptoms under control.

But around 17 per cent of people with asthma suffer from either difficult-to-treat or severe asthma.

Difficult-to-treat asthma

This type of asthma means your asthma symptoms may not be controlled despite daily high dose inhaled steroid treatments. 

Severe asthma

If you have this type of asthma, you may find that high dose asthma treatments don't work for you. You have also had other causes and triggers such as smoking and other long-term conditions ruled out.

At our asthma clinic, many patients have severe asthma, which leads to symptoms that are difficult to explain or control.

We provide patients with a detailed assessment to help us understand what the reason(s) for someone’s symptoms are and how best to treat them.

Click on the 'information tab' on this page to find out more about what happens when you come in for assessment. 

Blood tests for asthma

During our investigation about your asthma, we may have to do some blood tests to see how well your immune system is working and if your medications are being absorbed properly. 

Bone densitometry (DEXA) scan

This scan is an X-ray examination, which allows us to take a series of images of the bones in a patient’s body. We use this scan to measure the density of your bones, which shows us how strong your ...

CT scan for asthma

This is a scan of your lungs and chest. It gives us more detail than a chest X-ray. The pictures can help understand more about what might be causing your symptoms.

Echocardiogram (echo) for asthma

An echocardiogram looks at the structure and function of your heart, and helps doctors to see if your symptoms are partly caused by your heart, or if there are any side effects from your asthma. 

Histamine challenge (provocation) test

A histamine challenge (provocation) test is a breathing test that helps us to understand how your lungs work. It also helps us to understand whether your symptoms are due to asthma.

Lung function tests

We have a number of tests that we use to look at lung function, and how your lungs are functioning in aspects of your breathing and exercise. 

Skin prick testing

Skin prick testing is a universal allergy test and often used to find out what is causing an allergy. 

Sleep study for asthma

This test is an overnight sleep study, which provides information about how much your oxygen levels vary while you are asleep. 

Asthma biologic treatments

Biologic treatments - also known as monoclonal antibodies - can help patients control specific forms of asthma better. They work by targeting and blocking specific pathways of patients with severe...

Bronchial thermoplasty

Bronchial thermoplasty is a group of three procedures that can be offered to some patients with asthma.

Meet the team


Professor Fan Chung
Dr Johanna Feary 
Dr James Hull
Dr Pujan Patel (clinical lead)

Specialist nurses

Irene Berrar-Torre
Ella Campbell
Edel Lawless
Kena Simpson
Ilie-Narcis Statescu
Rachel Stead (lead nurse)

Clinical psychology service

Chang Lu


Jacob Beard
Gemma Korff

Speech and language therapist

Dr Julia Selby (clinical lead)
Annette de Looper
Alex Melville


If you have any questions, please contact the asthma nurse specialist team or the asthma secretaries:  

Telephone: 0330 128 8043   
Asthma nurse specialists
Asthma secretaries: 

Royal Brompton Hospital
Sydney Street

United Kingdom

+44(0)207 352 8121