Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that affects the health and day-to-day function of more than 26 million people of all ages and walks of life in the United States. If you or a loved one have asthma, the more you know about it, the better you can manage it.
Let’s talk about the signs and symptoms of asthma and where you can go for asthma treatment in Florida.
What is Asthma, And Why Do I Have It?
This is a question many healthcare providers hear. Asthma, though common, can be very different from person to person and vary in severity, too. People of all ages and walks of life can have mild, moderate, or severe asthma or even change among different stages throughout their lives.
Asthma is a persistent respiratory disease that cannot be cured. However, it can be managed successfully.
Asthma causes also are highly individualized. Most asthma “attacks”, i.e., the sudden or more gradual onset of symptoms–originate with triggers within the sufferer or the external environment. Triggers may include:
- Allergies to mold, pet dander, fragrances, dust, foods, pollen, and more
- Exposure to outdoor pollution
- Exposure to tobacco smoke
- Cold weather
- Emotional reactions, such as laughing and drying
- A cold or the flu
Most people with asthma also have relatives suffering from this respiratory problem. So, researchers believe heredity plays a significant role in developing asthma.
Symptoms of Asthma
Most people think of asthma as episodes of wheezing and shortness of breath. While this impression is correct, additional symptoms happen, too, and some may become life-threatening.
After a triggering substance or event, the asthmatic experiences a tightened airway and bronchioles in the lungs. Mucus production escalates, and breathing becomes noisy and labored.
Other common asthma symptoms are:
- Constricted air flow both into and out of the lungs
- Chest tightness
- Dry cough, especially at night
- Shortness of breath
- Nasal flaring and sternal retractions (at the bottom of the breast bone)
- Decreased blood oxygenation
- Rapid pulse
- Insomnia or frequent waking
People with asthma often get colds more frequently, particularly chest colds.
Fortunately, there are many suitable asthma treatments. Medications, such as Albuterol inhalers, work well to open airways, and maintenance drugs, such as Advair, combine a bronchodilator and steroid to promote free air movement and control symptoms on an ongoing basis.
Your asthma care plan will be tailored to your unique health needs. Many people monitor blood oxygenation with pulse oximeters and measure their peak flows (of air) to better predict the onset of symptoms and their severity.
Individualized Asthma Management at Dugan Family Medicine
If you are looking for effective asthma treatment, look no further than Dugan Family Healthcare. Our providers partner with patients in managing the sometimes puzzling and dangerous symptoms of asthma.
Headquartered in the heart of Central Florida, our veteran-owned medical practice serves patients of virtually all ages across Florida.
If you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment, call us today at (407) 784-3290