Asthma is one of the most well-known chronic conditions. Characterized by inflammation that reduces or prevents breathing, asthma is understandably a reason for many people to panic. Part of living with asthma is keeping it under control, and making sure that there is a plan in place in the event of an asthma attack.
Our caring professionals at California Lung Associates in Los Angeles, California, understand how suddenly asthma attacks can change your day. They also understand the importance of having an asthma action plan to keep you safe. There is no cure for asthma, but with careful management, you will be healthier and safer for longer.
Asthma is a condition that affects the lungs and a person’s ability to breathe comfortably. Your bronchial tubes are the passages that connect your lungs to your throat, where air is pulled in from the mouth. When these breathing passages are triggered by an irritant or exercise, they swell, sometimes producing thick mucus, and reducing your ability to take in air.
Heart-wrenching asthma attacks aren’t the only symptom of asthma. Coughing and wheezing, common though they may be in healthy lungs, can be a symptom of asthma. Shortness of breath that interrupts sleep, chest tightness, and heavy coughing and wheezing during colds and flus can also indicate asthma.
Asthma attacks have three main types of triggers. Many people with asthma are living with allergies. Allergic reactions often trigger asthma attacks, or exacerbate other asthma symptoms. Food allergies can cause your tongue to swell, and your throat to close, but they rarely trigger asthma attacks.
Exercise can also trigger an asthma attack. This is more likely to happen with air that’s cold and dry, but they can happen at any time of the year. If your asthma was developed or is triggered by fumes, gasses, and chemicals, you are probably experiencing occupational asthma, and your treatment may involve any working professional associations or insurances that you may have.
There are about 25 million people living with asthma in the US, according to The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. While anyone can develop asthma, you’re more likely to have it if a parent or grandparent was affected by asthma. Black Americans are nearly five times as likely to develop asthma, and it is more common in women than men, and more common in boys than girls.
Asthma is the cause of around 10 million doctor visits each year, costing about 100 billion in treatments, doctor visits, and time off of work.
Once you’ve been diagnosed with asthma, your provider creates an asthma management plan for you. Depending on your asthma triggers, this plan may include medication and regular visits. Equally important is closely monitoring any upper respiratory illness, and understanding the plan of action in the event of an asthma attack.
Your provider chooses a fast-acting medication for an asthma attack. Some patients may be prescribed a daily control medication. Your doctor may prescribe an exercise regimen, allergy medication, supplements, or other therapies to control your asthma, and lessen your chance of a painful and frightening asthma attack.
If you’ve been experiencing more coughing and wheezing that gets worse with allergies, or the changing of seasons, we may be able to help you feel better and protect your longevity. Call us today at 213-441-0156, or book an appointment with us online.