Asthma is a condition that causes your airways to swell and makes it difficult to breathe. This can cause coughing, shortness of breath, or a whistling sound when exhaling. There is currently no cure for asthma. It can be managed, however. Visit AFC Urgent Care Methuen for asthma treatment, as well as prescriptions for inhalers. If you are having difficulty breathing, visit the emergency room.
Symptoms of Asthma
Some patients with asthma can have infrequent attacks that happen only during certain triggers, such as exercising. Others can have problems with their asthma everyday. In some cases, it can be severe and even life-threatening. Some common symptoms of asthma include:
- Shortness of breath
- Tightness or pain in the chest
- A high-pitched wheezing noise while exhaling
- Coughing attacks made worse by a cold or the flu
It’s important to monitor symptoms to make sure your asthma is not getting worse. If asthma attacks are becoming more frequent and severe, that is a clear indication your asthma is getting worse.
Asthma can be triggered by many different things. In some cases, allergic reactions to pollen or ragweed can trigger an asthma attack. Exercise can also trigger asthma, especially when the air is cold and dry. Lastly, chemical fumes, smoke, or air pollutants can also make asthma worse.
Other triggers can include a cold or the flu, certain medications, stress, or sulfites and preservatives added to beer, wine, shrimp, or processes potatoes.
When to see a doctor
Always see a doctor when having a severe asthma attack. These can be life-threatening, and it’s important to get emergency care when you need it. Severe asthma attacks can include no relief after using an inhaler, shortness of breath for no reason, or worsening shortness of breath.
Additionally, be sure to see a doctor if you believe you are developing asthma. Long-term exposure to air pollutants can cause the development of asthma in some people. Frequent coughing that lasts more than a few days is a sign of developing asthma. Getting treatment early on can prevent lung damage later in life. Be sure to meet with your doctor to discuss asthma regularly, as asthma conditions can change over time.
There is no current understanding as to why some people have asthma and others don’t. The only thing those with asthma can do is learn to control their symptoms and prevent attacks. To prevent asthma from getting worse or future episodes, be sure to get vaccinated for illnesses such as the flu and pneumonia. Avoid triggers to asthma, such as pollen, mold, cold air, or air pollution. Wearing a mask outside can help to avoid these.
Recognize early signs of an asthma attack, and act quickly to prevent it from getting worse. Take your medication as prescribed, and have an inhaler on you for emergency use. Keep in mind how often you need to use your inhaler. If it is increasing, it is best to visit your doctor and determine a better plan.