What is "asthma control"?
Asthma sufferers may experience:
- Shortness Of Breath
- Chest Tightness
- Persistent Cough (Especially At Night Or In The Morning).
The trachea and bronchial tubes are very sensitive. Exposures to certain “triggers” causes the airway muscles to spasm and tighten. As asthma worsens, inflamed airways become increasingly constricted. This makes it difficult to breathe.
Many of the 14 to 15 million Americans with asthma make unnecessary compromises to avoid attacks. While there is no cure, asthma can be controlled with an accurate diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring. Don’t delay diagnosis. It’s the first step toward control.
When should you see an asthma specialist?
- Before a life-threatening attack.
- When you have moderate to severe persistent asthma symptoms (frequent severe episodes, continual daytime symptoms, frequent nighttime symptoms, limiting of activity, daily use of medication).
- You are not meeting your asthma control goals after three to six months,
- If you have multiple ER or urgent care visits for asthma.
What triggers asthma?
- Sensitivity to allergens: pollen, dust mites, mold, and animal dander.
- Irritation from tobacco smoke, pollution, common cold, sinus infections, cold air,
- Exercise, in some cases.
What are realistic asthma control goals?
Regardless of the severity of your condition, the goals of asthma treatment are the same: control of your symptoms and a normal lifestyle.
You should be able to:
- Take part in usual activities, including healthy exercise.
- Sleep through the night.
- Avoid asthma attacks.
- End coughing, wheezing and breathlessness.
- Avoid ER visits or hospitalizations.
- Avoid possible medication side effects.
How is asthma treated?
The more you know about your asthma and medications to treat it, the better you’ll be able to work with your doctor to control it. Lung function testing is a critical early step in getting an accurate diagnosis and as part of your asthma control and monitoring plan. You can keep track of your progress at home with a peak flow monitor and diary.
Avoidance of triggers and environmental control are important. When allergy triggers cannot be avoided or occur year-round, immunotherapy (“allergy shots”) may be considered. Treatment options also include long-term medications, quick-relief medications, and other anti-allergy therapies.
Want additional information about living with asthma?
Contact us today or call (239) 437-6670.