Asthma Q & A

What is asthma?

Asthma is a chronic condition that affects the airways in your lungs. When you have asthma, these airways (bronchial tubes) are always inflamed, making it difficult for air to flow in and out so you can breathe. They also produce extra mucus, which can cause you to cough or wheeze and have trouble catching your breath.

During an asthma attack, the muscles around the airways may also tighten, making your chest feel tight and causing you to struggle to breathe. For some asthma sufferers, symptoms become worse during physical activities. Additionally, specific triggers may cause your bronchial tubes to become swollen and make it difficult to breathe.

Depending on the severity of your symptoms, asthma can be a life-threatening situation.

What are the symptoms of asthma?

Asthma is a different experience for everyone. You may have asthma attacks as a result of exercise or physical activity, or you may have frequent symptoms that typically include:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Coughing, wheezing, or a whistling sound when you exhale
  • Worsening symptoms when you have a cold or flu
  • Tightness or pain in your chest

If your symptoms are occasional or triggered by physical exertion, you can take appropriate precautions such as using an inhaler. Signs that your symptoms are getting worse include increased difficulty breathing, more frequent asthma attacks, and increased use of your inhaler.

What are my treatment options?

Asthma is a chronic condition, meaning there’s no cure, but you can still control your symptoms with effective treatment options. To assess your condition and prescribe the most appropriate treatments or medications, Dr. Bazel and his team first perform a comprehensive physical health exam to rule out other infections or conditions. Based on your specific asthma symptoms, Dr. Bazel explains the best ways to prevent asthma attacks from occurring, like learning to recognize and avoid asthma triggers.

Depending on the severity and frequency of your symptoms, Dr. Bazel may prescribe asthma medications or quick-relief inhalers. Allergy medications may also help alleviate symptoms if allergens are one of your triggers. Additionally, long-term asthma medications may include:

  • Daily oral medications that relieve symptoms for up to 24 hours
  • Inhaled corticosteroids to reduce inflammation in bronchial tubes
  • Long-acting beta-agonists to open airways

If you’re suffering from asthma, or your symptoms are getting worse, call or schedule an appointment today at one of Dr. Bazel’s locations using the online booking tool.

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