What is Asthma?

What is Asthma?

Asthma is a chronic condition that narrows and inflames the airways. The symptoms range from mild to severe, depending on the individual. It can be managed and treated; however, symptoms may still flare up from time to time. When a person’s airways become inflamed, they narrow, swell, and produce extra mucus, making breathing extremely difficult. Asthma has no complete cure.

Symptoms of Asthma

There is no verified cause of asthma; however, many researchers believe that environmental and genetic factors can contribute to the condition.

Asthma symptoms can include the following:

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Tightness in Chest
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Shortness of Breath

Often, symptoms of asthma are triggered by allergens from animals, dust, mold, and more. Irritants such as air pollution, cigarette smoke, and various chemicals can also trigger an allergic reaction. Exercise, colds, certain medicines, and sulfites have also been known to trigger asthma attacks.

Treatment of Asthma

Although the most severe asthma symptoms can be fatal, the condition is easily treated. Many individuals work with their personal physician in order to create a plan of action. This may include what triggers to avoid, what medicines to take, and when to call the doctor or visit the emergency room.

Asthma treatments commonly include:

  • Asthma medicines in pill form
  • Inhaled medicines
  • Asthma trigger avoidance

Most individuals who suffer from asthma take an inhaler in order to get certain medicines directly to the airways. Your doctor will determine a plan of care that is suited to your particular symptoms and asthma triggers.

Your asthma is considered well-controlled if:

  • your symptoms do not surface more than two days per week
  • these symptoms do not wake you up more than one or two nights per month
  • you can go about your daily activities without problems
  • you take quick-relief medicines no more than twice per week
  • you have a maximum of one asthma attack per year requiring you to take corticosteroids orally

Do you think you have asthma? One of the experienced physicians at Greater El Monte Community Hospital can provide you with a diagnosis and plan of care. Contact us to find a physician!

This article contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. The information is not intended to replace the advice or diagnosis of a physician. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.

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