Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that affects an average of 26 million Americans. People who suffer from asthma often experience shortness of breath and difficulty breathing. The air passages and airways that deliver oxygen to the lungs become inflamed as a result of which these passages and airways become narrower. This, in turn, obstructs airflow to the lungs and patients experience symptoms like coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing.

People who suffer from asthma often have to refrain from engaging in activities that are too physically demanding. Asthma is frequently found in children and can disrupt their daily lives. At Allergy & Skin Spa, located in Brentwood, allergy and asthma are effectively treated daily. Dr. Kia will help you find the right treatment plan to treat your asthma.

WHAT CAUSES ASTHMA?

No exact cause has been determined for asthma. Doctors believe that it may be caused by environmental and genetic factors. While there are no causes as such for asthma, it is set off by certain triggers. These triggers are mentioned below.

Respiratory infections
Infections like common colds can cause the inflammation of airways which triggers asthma in asthma patients.

Airborne substances
Allergens like pollen, pet dander, dust, and insect waste trigger asthma. Allergens like these often cause an allergic reaction and cold which, in turn, causes asthma.

Medications
Asthma patients are highly sensitive to certain medications, especially drugs like ibuprofen and aspirin. This is why all medications should be checked for contraindications, especially before administering them to an asthma patient. It is better to consult a physician before deciding on any medications.

Stress
Extreme stress and physical activities can trigger asthma in asthma patients. The lungs need to work twice as much in order to keep up with the oxygen demands of the body, and this can cause shortness of breath in people who suffer from asthma.

Genetic predispositions
Over the years, medical research has found that asthma can be passed down to children if any of their relatives suffer from asthma.

Smoking
Smoking by itself is harmful to our health but, for people who suffer from asthma, it can be deadly. The tobacco and chemicals from cigarettes settle down as thick goop on the passageways to the lungs. It also starts to build up in the small vessels that lie within the lungs. This makes it harder for the lungs to oxygenate the body, thereby worsening the symptoms of asthma.

Stress
Extreme stress and physical activities can trigger asthma in asthma patients. The lungs need to work twice as much in order to keep up with the oxygen demands of the body, and this can cause shortness of breath in people who suffer from asthma.

Genetic predispositions
Over the years, medical research has found that asthma can be passed down to children if any of their relatives suffer from asthma.

Smoking
Smoking by itself is harmful to our health but, for people who suffer from asthma, it can be deadly. The tobacco and chemicals from cigarettes settle down as thick goop on the passageways to the lungs. It also starts to build up in the small vessels that lie within the lungs. This makes it harder for the lungs to oxygenate the body, thereby worsening the symptoms of asthma.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF ASTHMA?

Asthma patients exhibit some very pronounced symptoms because of which it is easier to detect. When detected early on, asthma can be treated more effectively. Here are some of the most common symptoms of asthma:

Coughing fits
One of the main symptoms of asthma is coughing fits, especially at night. This is because when a person lies flat, mucus tends to collect at the base of the throat which obstructs the intake of air. This triggers coughing fits. People who suffer from asthma are recommended to sleep with their head in an elevated position to avoid the mucus from accumulating at the back of the throat.

Chest tightness
People who suffer from asthma often complain of a persisting feeling of chest tightening. It feels as though the chest is squeezing tight, making it difficult for patients to breath and causing them to continuously have to take large gulps of air. This is a common symptom of an asthma attack and occurs because the airways become swollen.

Whistling sounds
Patients who suffer from asthma often hear a whistling sound when they inhale. This is again caused by inflamed pathways.

Some patients experience these symptoms frequently while others may not experience any of these symptoms for a long time. In fact, many asthma patients can go for long periods of time without experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms.

HOW IS ASTHMA DIAGNOSED?

Asthma is diagnosed with the help of tests to determine the functioning of the lungs. The most popular asthma test is the pulmonary function test or the PFT. Other tests include allergic tests that test whether you are allergic to certain substances, foods, and so on. Dr. Kia, with over ten years of experience in treating asthma, makes use of very precise methods to diagnosis the condition.

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WHAT IS A PULMONARY FUNCTION TEST?

PFTs are used to determine lung function. This is done using spirometry tests. The spirometry tests are conducted using a device called the spirometer. Your nostrils are closed by clipping them. A breathing mask is then placed across your mouth. On the doctor’s instruction, you will have to inhale deeply, hold your breath for a couple of seconds and then exhale to your maximum capacity. The test is repeated at least three times or more until the reading taken each time is consistent. The highest values of these readings are then taken.

If the readings are below normal, you might be given medications to dilate your airways. After 10-15 minutes, you will be asked to retake the test. It’s not something to worry about. At Allergy and Skin Spa in Brentwood, allergy and asthma can be treated with no issues.

HOW IS ASTHMA TREATED?

If caught early on, the symptoms of asthma can be managed very effectively. Many people who suffer from asthma do not experience asthma attacks for prolonged periods of time with the right medications and a proper treatment plan. In children, proper treatment of asthma from childhood can help them live a worry-free life later on. Asthma is easier to manage in children and the symptoms can be treated with much more ease as compared to adults who suffer from asthma.

MEDICATIONS

Medications vary based on your age and the extent of your symptoms. The most common medications prescribed to asthma patients include inhalers. These inhalers provide quick relief from the symptoms of asthma by quickly opening up obstructed airways. Often, these inhalers are combined with allergy medications. In some patients, the inhalers are taken during an asthma attack while in some patients, inhalers are to be taken every day.

Your doctor will discuss an asthma treatment plan with you in which the dosage and frequency of your medications will be listed. The optimum course of treatment will be worked out and our team will continue to work with you to help you conquer your condition.