Asthma

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the lungs. This means that the airways are inflamed and swollen. Many conditions or triggers can make the inflammation worse causing the airways to swell and obstruct the airflow in and out of the lungs. Asthma can be erious and can even fatal. However, the majority of asthmatics lead healthy andnormal lives with appropriate medical care. The Board Certified Allergists/Immunologists of Allergy & Asthma Specialists have received years of advanced training to evaluate, identify the causes of, and treat  your asthma.

Symptoms of Asthma

Many people think of asthma as an “attack” when one minute you feel fine and the next minute you are gasping for air.  Asthma has many symptoms besides an isolated attack. These symptoms include:

  • Coughing, especially at night, with exercise, when laughing, or exposure to cold air 
  • Wheezing or making a squeaky or whistling sound when breathing
  • Chest tightness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest colds or bronchitis a few times a year
  • Chest pain, especially when lying flat
  • Ribs and neck muscles show when breathing
  • Fatigue

Asthma triggers

A large number of Asthma triggers and conditions can cause your airways to become inflamed and swollen, obstructing airflow in and out of your lungs. Since asthma triggers can vary from person to person, it is important to identify your specific asthma triggers as your first step to controlling your asthma.  These triggers and conditions include:

  • Allergens such as pollen from grasses, trees and weeds, dust mites, cockroaches, mold, animal dander and, rarely, foods
  • Irritants such as tobacco smoke, air pollution
  • Exercise
  • Cold air or hot humid air
  • Changes in barometric pressure
  • Infections such as a cold, sinus infection or the flu
  • Medicines such as aspirin and NSAIDS
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
  • Pregnancy

Examination

Your examination at A&AS for Asthma will include  a detailed medical history, an extensive review of the conditions of your everyday living environment to help identify triggers, a physical examination and a panel of skin tests for the appropriate number of allergens. Within 20 minutes, skin testing results will reveal which allergens may trigger your asthma.  Also, extensive, state of the art, computerized lung function testing will be completed to measure lung capacity and the speed you exhale air from your lungs. More specialized pulmonary function testing may be performed for patients with exercise induced asthma or chronic cough syndrome. 

Asthma treatment includes:

  • Avoidance of triggers
  • Daily medicines for long term control
  • Quick relief inhalers
  • Allergy immunotherapy