Asthma is a common respiratory condition with a long recorded history. Today, it’s estimated that about 25 million people in the US are living with asthma, and the symptoms can be dire, if the condition isn’t properly managed. Part of proper asthma management is making sure that you have a care team that fits your needs.
Our caring professionals at California Lung Associates in Los Angeles, California, understand the difficulties that come with asthma, and can help you get answers to questions that you may have. Asthma doesn’t have to limit you, your activities, or your daily life — like any chronic condition, managing it with a healthcare specialist can make a substantive difference.
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects your bronchial tubes, the pipe-shaped organs that funnel air into the lungs and diaphragm. When your bronchial tubes are triggered, the lining swells, tightens, and fills with mucus. The compression of the airways make breathing very difficult, while the mucus further restricts the air that you’re able to breathe in or out.
Asthma is most common among children, with as many as 1 out of every 12 children affected by asthma. According to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America, as many as 20 million adults are living with asthma. This condition manifests in a number of recognizable symptoms, including:
- Shortness of breath
- Irritation in throat and chest
While many people develop asthma, most people living with it have dealt with it since childhood. Children as young as five can be diagnosed with asthma, and many children and adults carry asthma medication with them to protect their health. Asthma is primarily caused by genetic factors, including family history.
Another risk factor for asthma is having several serious lung infections during childhood. Doctors aren’t sure, but suspect that, without exposure to more pathogens, the bodies of babies and infants are less likely to be able to fight off conditions like asthma and allergies. More evidence is needed to be conclusive, but our specialists can assist you, no matter the reason for your asthma.
What’s the difference between a pulmonologist and an allergist?
While seeing an allergist is usually a good idea, your allergist should not take the place of a pulmonologist if you or a loved one is living with asthma. Allergists, also called immunologists, are important because most of the asthma patients they treat are triggered primarily by allergies. Allergists have the therapies to treat your allergy-triggered asthma, too.
Pulmonologists are essential to proper lung care for people living with asthma because this type of provider specializes in every condition that affects your lungs, your upper respiratory system, your chest, or thoracic cavity, and your chest wall. Like allergists, pulmonologists can help you pin the cause of your asthma symptom triggers, and provide a comprehensive treatment plan to keep you healthy.
Choosing a pulmonologist from our team of providers means that we will give you an accurate and thorough diagnosis, and make sure that you deeply understand how your body is reacting, and how to treat your symptoms. There is no cure for asthma, but careful management and consistent therapy is the key to living a fun and active life.
Do I really need another doctor?
Even if you are fortunate enough to have your asthma well-controlled, seeking the care of a pulmonologist is always the best chance for you to be as healthy as possible. Visiting an allergist is helpful in many ways, including having a full understanding of your asthma triggers, but choosing the right pulmonologist means choosing a specialist in lung health and function.
If you’re living with any type of asthma, call us today at 213-441-0156, or book an appointment with us online.