Asthma Conditions & Treatments
There are an estimated 17 million people living in the United States that are self-reported asthmatics. Asthma is a chronic disease marked by wheezing, chest tightness, and/or shortness of breath.
If you or someone you know:
- Coughs a lot while exercising or following exercise
- Has shortness of breath
- Wheezes while breathing
- Has a tight feeling in the chest
You should consult a physician because any one of these can be a symptom of being asthmatic.
Asthmatic symptoms are caused by the constriction (tightening of the muscles) and inflammation (swelling and irritation) of the airways. Constriction and inflammation of the airways and increased mucosa make it difficult and sometimes impossible to breathe.
Allergens, irritants, respiratory infections, and/or exercise can trigger asthmatic symptoms. Asthma is often categorized according to symptom "triggers".
- Allergic asthmatics are triggered by allergic reactions to allergens such as pet dander, dust mite, mold, and pollen.
- Seasonal asthmatics are triggered by seasonal allergic reactions to allergens such as trees, grasses, or weeds.
- Non-allergic asthmatics are triggered by irritants in the air that you breathe such as tobacco smoke, wood smoke, room deodorizers, fresh paint, perfume, etc.
- Exercise-induced asthmatics are triggered by exercise or physical activity.
- Nocturnal asthma can occur in a patient with any type of asthma; however, the asthma symptoms will increase or worsen at night.
Although there is no cure for asthma, the symptoms can easily be controlled through physician recommended medications and trigger avoidance. Long-term medications help treat and control asthma so you can lead a normal life. A high percentage of asthmatic patients suffer from allergies. Controlling these allergies is the first step to controlling asthma.
Asthma is not a medical condition that goes away. Airway inflammation is more likely to occur and become severe the longer it goes untreated. Not treating airway inflammation and constriction may cause you to lose lung function; thus, seeking medical care for asthma is essential.
For people with allergic asthma, identifying and treating allergies is instrumental in treating asthma. An allergist can help you determine your allergies and prescribe an effective treatment plan.
For treatment, it is important to recognize asthmatic "triggers". Airway inflammation may always be there, even when you are seemingly symptom-free. Talk to an asthma specialist today about controlling your asthma.
Asthma is the most common chronic illness among children. If a child's has airway inflammation and is left untreated, it can result in loss of sleep, exercise limitations, absenteeism, emergency room visits, and even death in a few cases.
The good news? Just like adult asthma, a child's asthma can be effectively treated with medication and "trigger" avoidance. Again, receiving medical help for asthma by an experienced asthma specialist is essential.