Asthma


Child having an asthma attach and using medication

More than 15 million Americans have asthma, most with an onset before 20 years of age. A layer of smooth muscle surrounds the airways inside your lungs. Inflammation of the airways and constriction make the airway much smaller in individuals with asthma. Individuals with asthma are much more sensitive to certain triggers. Smoke, allergens, exercise, cold air, and infection are some triggers of asthma.


What are the Symptoms of Asthma?

Symptoms of asthma include a sudden shortness of breath that is caused by a specific trigger. Patients with adult-onset asthma may not have a specific trigger that causes an attack; other symptoms include wheezing and a dry or productive cough. The disease can cause significant changes in lifestyle. Symptoms are usually worse at night and may cause disturbances in sleeping.


How is Asthma Diagnosed?

Your doctor can diagnose asthma by evaluating your symptoms, performing a thorough physical examination, and ordering pulmonary function tests, blood tests, skin tests, and sensitivity tests. Pulmonary function tests look at how well you are breathing and how reactive your airways are. For those with allergic asthma, skin tests may help to identify some of the substances that aggravate it.


How is Asthma Treated?

Asthma - Grapphic of a normal and asthmatic bronchiole

Your doctor will prescribe certain drugs depending on the severity of your asthma. Many of these drugs will be inhalers. An acute bronchodilating inhaler will provide immediate relief of most asthma attacks. Inhaled steroids offer more long-term effects but do not relieve an attack immediately. All inhalers prescribed to you must be inhaled properly, with a spacer for optimal benefit, to work properly. Your doctor may recommend that you receive an influenza and pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine. A peak flow meter is sometimes useful in monitoring your asthma. Asthma is a chronic disease which can often be controlled and allow for a normal lifestyle as evidence by many Olympic and professional athletes who suffer the disease.

 

If You Suspect You or a Loved One Suffer From Asthma, Call Our Office Today!

Although asthma is treatable, if not diagnosed and treated it can interfere with daily activities and may lead to a life-threatening attack. This is why it is important to have your asthma diagnosed by a pulmonary specialist. They are physicians who specialize in the treatment of lung diseases so they have the experience necessary to get you the quality care you need. Call our office today for an appointment with our dedicated and professional staff who can help you get the diagnosis and ongoing treatment you need to keep your asthma under control so you can live life to the fullest.








Home | Physicians | Procedures | Diseases | Locations

 

Copyright © 2013 Bay Area Chest Physicians, P.A. All rights reserved.