Asthma is a serious respiratory disease that occurs when the lining of the airways become inflamed and swollen causing muscle spasms that restrict the air flow to and from the lungs. This sometimes, life-threatening disease affects millions of Americans on a daily basis.
Asthma is often under diagnosed because the symptoms resemble a number of other respiratory conditions like bronchitis and lower respiratory infections. Some common signs and symptoms for asthma include:
- Tight feeling chest
- Difficulty breathing
- Persistent coughing
These symptoms are more apparent at night and first thing in the morning; however, an asthma attack can occur at any time of the day or night.
It is still not fully understood what causes asthma attacks, but there are a number of triggers, such as weather conditions, a viral infection, exercise and contact to certain allergens. These factors can cause the airway muscles to contract and swell, as well as increase mucus production making it very difficult to breathe.
While anyone can experience an asthma attack, they most commonly occur in children under 5, adults in their 30s and over 65, as well as people residing in urban communities. Other risk factors include having a personal medical history of allergies and a family history of asthma.
While there is no known cure for asthma, it is easily manageable. Treatments vary depending on the severity of your asthma, but may include avoiding the source(s) of the asthma attacks and using a hand-held inhaler to administer asthma medication.
If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of asthma, please contact your physician. If you/your child is diagnosed with asthma we will work with you individually to create a personal plan to educate you and your child about asthma, how to manage it and steps to take to prevent an attack.