Could It Be Asthma?
Approximately 15 million people in the United States have asthma. It remains the most common chronic disease in children. Asthma is a lung disease in which the linings of the airways become inflamed and swollen, and muscle spasms restrict the flow of air to the lungs. The incidence of this disease has grown substantially in recent years.
Although the exact cause of asthma is not fully understood, there are a number of factors that are known to trigger asthma. Common triggers are; allergens, viral and bacterial infections of the respiratory tract, strong odors and sprays, household cleaners, chemicals, air pollutants, changing weather conditions, exercise and emotional stress.
Your first step is to talk to a professional about your condition. An asthma specialist is well prepared to evaluate whether asthma is present and improve the condition if present. You may be referred by your primary care physician, or visit an asthma specialist on your own. If you are unsure if the symptoms you are experiencing are suggestive of asthma, call and ask a health care professional who is willing to listen.
A health care practitioner can examine you and evaluate your symptoms. Tests will then be performed to evaluate the status of your lung function. Perhaps additional tests such as blood tests, x-rays and allergy tests may also be performed.
Once your health care practitioner identifies factors that trigger episodes of asthma, you can attempt to decrease your exposure to such triggers. You may be able to control your environment with recommendations from the allergy and asthma specialist.
Although prevention is most important, other measures may be needed. Medications are frequently used to control the asthma and return people to good health. The asthma specialist is knowledgeable in the latest safe and effective medications available for treating asthma.
If medications are not enough to restore health, or medications want to be eliminated, asthma may be controlled with allergy vaccinations.
The asthma and allergy specialist can regularly monitor your lung function and other health factors to assess the status of the asthma. The specialist can also develop a program for you to monitor and control your asthma at home.
The wonderful news is, with proper diagnosis and early treatment; most people with the disease can lead normal healthy lives and avoid permanent lung damage.
The Allergy and Asthma Center
7230 Engle Road, Suite 300 Fort Wayne, Indiana 46804