- Difficulty breathing
- Chest tightness
- Increased mucus production
Asthma is caused by one or more of the following which results in narrowing of the breathing tubes of the lung:
- Spasm (constriction) of the muscles around the bronchial (breathing) tubes
- Inflammation (swelling) of the bronchial tubes
- Increased mucous in the bronchial tubes
Common Asthma triggers:
- Allergens – Animals, dust, pollens, molds, foods
- Irritants – smoke, cleaners, perfumes, organic fumes
- Other –cold air, stress, heartburn, respiratory infections
How is Asthma Diagnosed and Treated?
Asthma is best diagnosed by your doctor with a combination of your medical history, family medical history, physical exam and lung function tests (spirometry).
While there is no cure for asthma, there are a number of ways to control asthma symptoms. Your doctor will prescribe asthma medications to meet your needs. Together, you and your doctor can develop a treatment plan tailored for you.
The classes of medicines to treat asthma are rapidly evolving. Make sure you understand how to properly take your medicines. Your doctor or pharmacist can help.
- Bronchodilators act to relax the muscles that tighten around airways.
- Anti-inflammatory medicines, such as corticosteroids and leukotriene modifiers are used to prevent and reduce inflammation and swelling of the airways.
- Allergy shots can decrease the severity of allergic triggers of your asthma.
- Injectable biologic medicines for moderate to severe asthma work by disrupting the pathways that lead to inflammation in the airways.