How an Allergist Can Help Asthma

Asthma is considered a chronic lung disease. During an asthma attack, the lining of the airways become swollen and inflamed causing muscle spasms that limit the air flow to and from the lungs. This common disease affects an estimated 16 million Americans, including children.

Common symptoms for asthma include difficulty breathing, a tight feeling in the chest, coughing and wheezing. Most often these symptoms are more noticeable at night and first thing in the morning, but an asthma attack can occur at anytime of the day and/or night.

While the exact reason for an asthma attack is still unknown, it is said to be a combination of the inflammation of the lung coupled with the narrowing of the lung passages. There are many known contributing factors that can lead to an asthma attack, including:

  • Contact with some allergens, such as grass, leaves or animals
  • Contact with strong smells, such as smoke and perfumes
  • Exercise
  • Viral Infection
  • Weather conditions

Treatment

Depending on how severe your asthma is, treatment varies. Generally, treating asthma requires you to avoid the source(s) of your attacks, as well as taking medication, such as the use of a hand-held inhaler.

It is important to discuss with your allergy specialist information regarding an asthma action plan. This plan states what medications you need to take should your asthma get out of control. It also addresses the goals you have for managing your asthma.