Asthma

Angela Martin

What is Asthma and what can it cause?

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways. Asthma causes recurring periods of wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing. The coughing often occurs at night or early in the morning.

Symptoms to look for include:

If your child has one or more of these common symptoms, make an appointment with an allergist / immunologist:
• Coughing that is constant or that is made worse by viral infections, happens while your child is asleep, or is triggered by exercise and cold air
• Wheezing or whistling sound when your child exhales
• Shortness of breath or rapid breathing, which may be associated with exercise
• Chest tightness (a young child may say that his chest “hurts” or “feels funny”)
• Fatigue (your child may slow down or stop playing)
• Problems feeding or grunting during feeding (infants)
• Avoiding sports or social activities
• Problems sleeping due to coughing or difficulty breathing




Diagnosis:


An allergist diagnoses asthma by taking a thorough medical history and performing breathing tests to measure how well your lungs work.

One of these tests is called spirometry. You will take a deep breath and blow into a sensor to measure the amount of air your lungs can hold and the speed of the air you inhale or exhale. This test diagnoses asthma severity and measures how well treatment is working.




Treatment and management:

There is no cure for asthma, but symptoms can be controlled with effective asthma treatment and management. This involves taking your medications as directed and learning to avoid triggers that cause your asthma symptoms. Your allergist will prescribe the best medications for your condition and provide you with specific instructions for using them.

Frequently asked questions about Asthma

1. How Can I Prevent an Asthma Attack?
2. How Can I Discover my Allergies?
3. My Asthma Worsens Whenever I Take Pain Medication. Why?
4. What Are the Side Effects of my Bronchodilator Medicine?
5. Can Asthma Drugs Affect my Baby if I'm Pregnant?
6. How Can I Prevent Asthma Symptoms After Exercise?
7. I'm Exposed to Substances at Work That Worsen my Asthma. What Can I Do to Prevent This?
8. I Have Heartburn; Can It Worsen Asthma?
9. I Have Allergies to Mites and Mold; How Do I Avoid Them?
10. What Do I Do If I Have an Asthma Attack?