Asthma is a chronic disease of the lungs that causes inflammation and narrowing of the airways making it difficult to breathe. It can affect people of all ages but usually starts during childhood. In the United States, more than 25 million people have asthma, around 7 million are children.
If you have asthma, you may experience:
If your airways are inflamed, you’ll experience the symptoms of asthma, and if they intensify, you’re likely having what’s called an asthma attack or a flare-up. Severe asthma attacks require urgent care and can lead to severe complications such as anaphylactic shock, which can be fatal.
If you’re not sure whether you have asthma, a breathing test called spirometry can determine how well your lungs work by measuring airflow before and after you take asthma medicine.
Allergies can trigger asthma, which is why it’s crucial to get allergy tests. Common causes and triggers of an asthma attack include:
An allergy occurs when your immune system overreacts to a substance that it views as harmful. A substance that causes an allergic reaction is called an allergen. When your immune system senses this threat, it tries to fight off the allergen, causing an allergic reaction.
Common allergic reactions include the following symptoms:
The most common types of allergens are:
Being aware of your allergy triggers can help you avoid inducing an allergic reaction.
Over-the-counter and prescription medications, such as antihistamines and decongestants, can treat allergy symptoms. Allergy shots, nasal sprays, and eye drops can alleviate allergy symptoms, too.
You can manage your asthma with inhalers, medications, nebulizers, steroids, and bronchodilators. Other options include using a peak flow meter to warn about signs of an impending asthma attack.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!