Asthma begins when small airways in your lungs become inflamed, a condition that makes them hypersensitive to substances and circumstances that trigger a reaction. When you’re exposed to your triggers, three things happen:
The net result is that airways become narrow and blocked, which means you struggle to breathe. Once you develop asthma, your airways stay chronically inflamed and swollen, if not properly treated.
If you have allergies, the substances you’re allergic to may also trigger an asthma flare-up. Other common triggers include:
When strenuous exercise obstructs airflow, it’s called exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB). As many as 90% of people with asthma experience EIB, which usually lasts about 30 minutes or longer after you stop exercising. Your Park South doctor can work with you to develop a treatment plan that helps you stay active.
Asthma is often thought of as a childhood disease, and it usually occurs at a young age but affects about 8% of all children and adults. In some cases, childhood asthma persists into adulthood; in others, it first appears during adulthood.
While the frequency and severity of asthma flare-ups are different, everyone experiences one or more of the following symptoms:
As you treat existing allergies, you also lower your risk for asthma flare-ups. Otherwise, treatment consists of:
Identifying your personal asthma triggers then creating a plan to avoid them is an important part of asthma treatment. Of course, you don’t want to avoid sports activities and daily exercise, so your Park South doctor works with you to alleviate EIB.
You can take inhaled or oral medications to prevent future asthma flare-ups.
Inhalers containing medications that you take as needed for rapid, short-term symptom relief during an asthma attack.
If you have asthma, it’s important to be prepared with adequate medication — call Park South Medical or book an appointment online.