Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that affects 25 million Americans. It causes inflammation in your airways, making it difficult to breathe. Environmental factors such as dust, pollen, mold, and pet dander can trigger this inflammation and make the muscles around your airways tighten, in what’s known as an “asthma attack” — and it can be a terrifying and life-threatening experience.
There is no cure for asthma, which is thought to be hereditary, but our allergists can help you keep your symptoms under control and minimize its impact on your life.
Allergic Asthma is triggered by allergens, such as cockroaches, dust, mold, pets, and pollen.
Non-Allergic (Intrinsic) Asthma is triggered by anxiety, exercise, acid reflux, cold or dry air, smoke, viruses, fumes, and certain medications (most often blood thinners).
Coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and tightness in your chest.
An allergist or asthma specialist is the best physician to design a treatment plan.
Asthma is diagnosed by taking a history of your symptoms and using a few special tests to check your lung function. If allergic asthma is suspected, you’ll be given allergy tests, too. Rarely, chest x-rays or acid reflux tests will also be recommended.
In most cases, daily medication is required to prevent asthma attacks. You’ll also need to avoid your personal triggers.
You may be provided with multiple types of medication. Quick relief medications, such as bronchodilators to open your airways or beta-agonists which relax the muscles around your airways. These can be provided as an inhaler, nebulizer, or orally. When you feel an asthma attack starting, these medications will quickly relieve the symptoms.
Long-term control medications, such as corticosteroids or other anti-inflammatories, help prevent and reverse the inflammation that causes asthma. You may also be given a long-acting bronchodilator to help keep your airways open, or allergy injections or medications to prevent allergic triggers.
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