Asthma is a disease that affects your lungs, causing wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and coughing, particularly at night or early in the morning. It affects both children and adults, especially people whose parents or other family members have asthma. Genetic, environmental, and work factors have been linked to developing asthma.
You will likely have asthma attacks only when something bothers your lungs. An asthma attack may include coughing, chest tightness, wheezing, and trouble breathing. Your body’s airways become smaller during an attack, because the sides or walls of the airways swell up. This allows less and less air in and out of your lungs, and the mucous that your body makes naturally can clog up the airways, making breathing even more difficult.
It’s not easy to tell if someone has asthma, especially if they are very young. If you find yourself coughing a lot, particularly in the morning or night, or having difficulty catching your breath after any moderate physical activity, you should get checked out by a doctor. A doctor can evaluate your breathing during a checkup, and will likely ask several questions to help determine if you have any trouble breathing. A doctor may ask if there is a history of asthma in your family.
There is no way to completely eliminate asthma, but you and your provider can develop a plan for living with it and reducing harmful symptoms. Airborne allergens (such as pollen), air pollutants (such as smoke), and various other irritants and substances may contribute to signs and symptoms of asthma. If you find out what triggers your asthma, it is best to try to avoid those substances and situations.
There are various ways of treating asthma, but there is no cure.
There are two main types of asthma medicines: immediate relief and long-term control. The most common method of treatment for immediate relief is with an inhaler. Medicine is usually used for long term relief from asthma, but a pill won’t help during an asthma attack.
The CDC also recommends their EXHALE program, a set of six strategies used by CDC’s National Asthma Control Program and its partners to help Americans with asthma.
San Ysidro Health offers high-quality, accessible primary care and other services that can help you manage your asthma.
By calling or texting (619) 662-4100, you can schedule an appointment today.