Asthma is a chronic disease that causes inflammation and constriction of the airway. There are several different types (see below) that vary by severity, but all are characterized by an increased sensitivity to allergens and irritants like pollen or dust. The result is inflammation of the airways which often leads to swelling and then constriction.
Common symptoms of asthma may superficially resemble those of a bad allergy, a common cold, or a similar infection including wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing, and/or chest tightness. These, coupled with a lack of a definitive test for asthma, can make a diagnosis relatively tricky; identifying asthma in a patient often requires several visits to a physician. Once diagnosed, the vast majority of patients are able to live comfortable and even active lives. However, managing symptoms must remain a priority pretty much indefinitely.
There are two primary types of asthma:
There is a very wide range of triggers for asthma, ranging from common allergens to stress. This is a comprehensive list of the most common triggers:
There are a wide range of treatments for asthma patients ranging from inhalants to corticosteroids. For emergencies, hospitalization may be required.
Most asthma patients are prescribed a rescue inhaler to manage minor and mild symptoms on a regular basis. People who have trouble using inhalers, such as children or the elderly, may also be prescribed alternative delivery systems like nebulizers. Those with persistent asthma may also be prescribed inhaled steroids to fight inflammation and strengthen the airways. A range of other medications may also be used to treat asthma and should be discussed with your doctor.
If you have a newly occurring case of asthma, it is important to see a doctor very soon. If you have had the illness most of your life, you are probably dealing with it in some way or another already. The vast majority of asthma patients are able to control their symptoms—however, when symptoms become unmanageable with current medications and/or treatments, patients should see their doctor to discuss new treatment options. Of course, if breathing becomes truly difficult, it is a life or death emergency, and patients should immediately go to an emergency room or call 911 if they are unable to get one quickly.
Those in need of urgent care in Los Angeles who wish to avoid attending a medical facility may benefit from the assistance of a board-certified doctor like Dr. Michael Farzam from House Call Doctor Los Angeles.
We can visit nearly any location in the Greater Los Angeles area, not just homes, but offices, hotels, work sites – just about anywhere you’re likely to be. To contact us, use the phone number above or view our contact page.
Doctor is usually at your location in one hour or less. Call for an appointment.