What is Asthma?
Asthma is extremely common and is a condition where your airways swell and narrow, and produce mucus, making it difficult to breathe easily, and triggering wheezing and coughing. Some people may find asthma is only a minor nuisance, but for others, it can interfere with daily activities and may even be life-threatening. The symptoms of asthma can be mild or severe and may come and go, but it is important to ensure your doctor NYC specialist adequately manages your asthma.
Although asthma isn’t curable, the symptoms are controllable, but because it can change over time, it’s important to work with your doctor to ensure treatment is adjusted as necessary.
What Are the Symptoms of Asthma?
The symptoms can vary from person to person but include:
- Shortness of breath and which can cause trouble sleeping
- Feeling chest pain or tightness
- Coughing or wheezing attacks that can be worsened by colds or flu
- Making a wheezing or whistling sound when exhaling
Sometimes the signs and symptoms of asthma are worsened in specific situations and which include:
- Exercising and especially when the air is dry and cold
- Workplace irritants such as dust, chemical fumes or gases
- Airborne substances like pollen, mold, or pet dander that can trigger allergy induced asthma.
When to See a Doctor for Asthma Treatment?
If you think you have asthma and have frequent attacks of wheezing or coughing that last for more than a few days, schedule an appointment to see our best primary care doctors NYC. It is better to treat asthma early as it can help to prevent the condition from worsening over time and may prevent long-term lung damage.
Our doctor will conduct a physical exam to rule out other possible conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or respiratory infection that could cause asthma symptoms. We may also prescribe specific lung function tests to determine the amount of air moving in and out of your lungs when you breathe.
These lung function tests are frequently conducted before and after taking a medication that will open your airway. If your lung function improves after using the medication, you most likely have asthma. Other tests that may be useful include imaging tests to scan your lungs and nose cavities, and allergy testing.
The physical exam and diagnostic tests will help determine the severity of your asthma and are used to tailor your treatment. Treatment aims to provide long-term control and prevention in stopping asthma attacks before they begin.
Usually, you will learn to recognize triggers and can take steps to avoid them, and you will need to make sure your daily asthma medications are effective in controlling symptoms.
Asthma Treatments in NYC
The medication prescribed depends on your age and your symptoms and factors that trigger your asthma. Asthma treatment may involve long-term medications that are generally taken daily, and which make it less likely you will have an asthma attack.
Medications for Long-Term Relief
Medications may include inhaled corticosteroids that are anti-inflammatory drugs. These must be used for several days to weeks to reach the full benefits. Long-acting beta-agonists are inhaled medications that open the airways, and which are taken with an inhaled corticosteroid. Combination inhalers use both these medications. Oral medications such as leukotriene modifiers can relieve asthma symptoms for up to 24 hours.
Asthma Attack Treatment for Quick Relief
Your doctor or primary care physicians may also prescribe asthma attack treatment in the form of an inhaler for short-term symptom relief and which is carried with you. These inhaled medications work quickly to relieve symptoms and can be an effective short-term asthma breathing treatment.
If your long-term asthma treatment is working effectively, it shouldn’t be necessary to use quick-acting asthma attack treatment inhalers very frequently.
Our physicians will work with you closely to create an effective asthma plan, outlining when to take specific medications and when to increase or decrease the dosage based on symptoms. It is important to review this plan regularly; for example, if you find an asthma cough treatment isn’t working effectively as the symptoms can change over time.
Natural Asthma Treatment Remedies
In addition to taking medications, there are often several things you can do to reduce the possibility of an asthma attack.
Airborne pollen can frequently prompt an asthma attack, so use air-conditioning to reduce your exposure to pollen. Air-conditioning can also reduce exposure to dust mites. If you don’t have air-conditioning, try to keep your windows and doors shut during the pollen season.
Reduce Bedroom Dust
Asthma symptoms can sometimes worsen during the night, so make sure your bedroom is as dust free as possible. Use protective pillowcases and mattress covers and remove carpeting and install hardwood flooring that is easy to clean thoroughly. Wash curtains or blinds frequently and clean your home regularly to remove dust. You may also find it useful to wear a mask while cleaning.
Prevent Mold and Reduce Pet Dander
Make sure you clean damp areas in the bathroom and kitchen regularly to prevent mold spores. Remove moldy leaves from your yard. If you are allergic to pet dander, make sure your pets are regularly groomed and bathed.
What are the symptoms of Asthma?
Asthma symptoms can include:
- A tight feeling in the chest
- Shortness of breath
- Wheezing or noisy breathing
Symptoms vary in frequency and can be daily, weekly or less often. Symptoms can be mild or severe and life threatening. Although it is rare, an episode of asthma can sometimes even lead to death.
Not taking your medicines correctly can cause symptoms to get worse. If your symptoms get much worse all of a sudden, you might even need to go to the hospital for treatment.
It is critical that you see a well qualified, board certified physician to assess and manage any and all of your symptoms.