Our Pulmonologist in Newport Beach & Foothill Ranch, CA, Explains Asthma
You may know someone in your life with asthma – and if it’s a close friend or family member, you might have seen what an attack looks like. But what exactly is happening during an asthma attack? Our pulmonologist in Newport Beach and Foothill Ranch, CA, explains what asthma is, its causes, and how it can be treated. Keep reading to learn more.
What Is Asthma?
Asthma is a condition that makes breathing difficult, causes narrowing and swelling of the airways and excess mucus in the lungs. This can trigger wheezing and coughing when you exhale. Asthma can be mild or major enough to interfere with daily life and cause life-threatening asthma attacks. There is no cure for asthma; however, there are treatments available.
Symptoms & Causes
Asthma symptoms vary. You may have occasional asthma attacks, experience symptoms only at certain times — such as when exercising — or have symptoms all the time. Asthma signs and symptoms include:
- Chest tightness or pain
- Wheezing when exhaling (especially for children)
- Shortness of breath
- Trouble sleeping caused by coughing, shortness of breath, or wheezing
- Coughing or wheezing attacks that are worsened by a respiratory virus
Certain people have asthma that is tied to certain activities or triggers, such as exercise, chemical fumes, gases, or dust, or allergies such as pollen, mold, or dander. Risk factors for developing asthma include having another allergic condition, being overweight, smoking, exposure to chemicals, exhaust fumes, or pollution.
You should see our doctor immediately if you frequently cough or wheeze or have any other symptoms of asthma. Treating asthma early can prevent long-term lung damage and stop the progression of the disease. Treatments that may be used include:
- Quick-acting inhalers, such as Albuterol, to dilate the bronchi
- Steroid medications to reduce inflammation in the lungs
- Reduce swelling with NSAIDs such as ibuprofen
If you already know you have asthma, make sure that you speak to our doctor about monitoring it to ensure it’s under control. Contact us right away if your asthma symptoms worsen or your medication doesn’t seem to be helping. We can help you by adjusting dosages or discussing changes in your condition.