Every year, asthma strikes more and more people. About 26 million people in the United States have asthma, which is about 8.3% of the population. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, asthma was the cause of 14.2 million doctor visits and 1.8 million emergency room visits in 2016. That same year, more than 3,500 people died from their asthma.
If you think you might have asthma, you need to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment. At AIR Care, we can help. While there is no cure for asthma, there are effective ways to manage this common disease so you don’t end up in the emergency room or a funeral home.
What is asthma?
Asthma is a lung disease that causes your airways to become inflamed and narrow with increased mucus production, making it difficult for air to pass in and out of your lungs. When this happens, it becomes difficult to breathe and may trigger coughing and shortness of breath. Some people have frequent asthma attacks, while others only have them once in a while.
For many, asthma can interfere with daily activities and quality of life. Walking, climbing stairs, and playing sports can be challenging.
Symptoms of asthma
Asthma symptoms vary from person to person, and different people have different triggers for their asthma attacks. A trigger is something that, when you’re exposed to it, can make your asthma flare up. Common asthma symptoms include:
- Frequent coughing, especially at night and early morning
- Chest tightness
- Shortness of breath
Not all people with asthma have the same symptoms, and not all people who have the symptoms mentioned above have asthma. That’s why it’s you should see a doctor if you think you have asthma or are suffering from symptoms.
How doctors can help asthma sufferers
If you think you have asthma, we do a comprehensive exam to determine if you have asthma or some other condition. With a proper diagnosis, we can determine how severe your asthma is and develop a personalized treatment plan — also called an asthma action plan — to help prevent flare-ups, doctor’s visits, emergency room visits, and long-term lung damage.
Asthma symptoms and triggers can change over the years, so see your doctor regularly to help keep your asthma under control. There are a variety of medicines we can prescribe to help manage your asthma. In most cases, an asthma treatment plan includes a range of medications to help with different situations.
What kind of asthma treatments are available?
Most people with asthma have a quick-relief medication and long-term management medication. The quick-relief inhalers, also called rescue inhalers, are for sudden attacks to quickly relax your chest muscles and open your airways. These medications are not for daily use but can help prevent an emergency room visit or worse.
Daily long-term control medications control your asthma on a day-to-day basis, reducing the likelihood of an attack.
We also work with you to help you identify asthma triggers and other conditions that may exacerbate or affect your asthma so that we can effectively treat those as well.
If you think you have asthma, learn how to make your suffering stop by calling one of our two AIR Care locations in Dallas or Plano, Texas, or make an appointment online.