Treating Asthma at St. Luke's
Asthma occurs when the main air passages of your lungs, the bronchial tubes, become inflamed. The muscles of the bronchial walls tighten, and cells in the lungs produce extra mucus further narrowing your airways. This can cause minor wheezing to severe difficulty in breathing. In some cases, an asthma attack can be life threatening.
Asthma is a long-lasting disease that does not go away. There may be times, even years, when a person will not have any symptoms, but symptoms and attacks will happen over time. However, with proper care and attention, the condition can be managed.
Signs and Symptoms of Asthma
The most common symptom of asthma is a chronic dry cough. Additional symptoms of asthma include:
- Coughing with exercise
- Coughing at night
- Tightness in the chest
- Sensitivity to season changes and increased coughing
Asthma Risk factors
A number of factors may increase your chances of getting asthma. These include:
- Secondhand smoke
- Family history
- Low birth weight
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Lung function tests using spirometry
- Methacholine challenge test
- Chest X-ray or a sinus X-ray
- Allergy tests
Asthma Treatment and Care
There are many treatments for asthma. Anyone can live a normal life with the proper asthma treatment and proper medication. Since asthma is a chronic disease, treatment goes on for a very long time. Some people have to stay on treatment for the rest of their lives. The best way to improve the condition and live life to the fullest is to learn about the condition and do what is needed to make it better.
- Inhaled corticosteroids help to minimize the inflammation of the airways and help to prevent symptoms.
- If a person is having an active asthma attack, a fast-acting bronchodilator can be taken with an inhaler or a nebulizer machine
It is important that asthmatics try to avoid situations that may trigger attacks.