Asthma

Asthma occurs when the bronchial tubes which carry air into our lungs become swollen, inflamed and go into spasm.

People with asthma often experience tightness in the chest, difficulty taking a deep breath, wheezing or coughing. Asthma is frequently caused by an allergy to some substance such as pollen, animals, dust, or eating certain foods. Sometimes infections can set off an asthma attack; as can tobacco smoke, strong odors, air pollution or even changes in the weather. in Children especially, respiratory tract infections can also cause asthma symptoms to flare.

Asthma is very common and is responsible for many days of missed school and missed work. Fortunately, with proper diagnosis, asthma can usually be treated. Asthma symptoms can usually be brought under control so that you can live a normal life with very little interference from your asthma. The three basic ways to treat asthma include avoiding what causes it, using medicine to prevent asthma flare-ups and using other medications to give quick relief when asthma symptoms occur.

In some people with severe allergies, a process called immunization can be helpful. Warning signs that your asthma is out of control include nighttime coughing, wheezing when you laugh, exercise or cry, an increasing need for asthma inhalers, and feeling shortness of breath or wheezing when you exert yourself or with exposure to cold air.

The goal of treatment for patients with asthma is to bring the asthma under control so that you can participate in the normal activities of daily living without having your lifestyle hampered by asthma symptoms. It is important to know your triggers and treatments that have been successful in the past.

Peak Flow Monitoring:

Because of the wide range of normals and high degree of variability, peak flow is not the recommended test to identify asthma. However, for many peak flow monitoring can be useful tool on monitoring changes in asthma control and in general, if there is a 10% or more drop in your readings, you should take action.