If you suddenly struggle to breathe during a workout, after the weather changes, or while feeling stressed out, you might have asthma. At A Plus Medical in Takoma Park, Maryland, internists Eric Aigbedion, MD, and Bunmi Adewunmi, CRNP, diagnose asthma and help you avoid asthma attacks with medications and treatments. For more information about asthma, testing, and treatments, call A Plus Medical or book your appointment online today.
Asthma is a chronic (long-term) condition affecting your airways. Specifically, it causes constant inflammation in your airways, making them extra sensitive and prone to swelling when you encounter certain triggers.
For many asthmatic patients, exercise is a major trigger of asthma attacks. If you struggle to breathe during or after exercise, you might have exercise-induced asthma. Allergies, stress, emotions, and even the weather can also trigger asthma attacks.
Even if you don’t get asthma attacks, you might constantly experience your symptoms. You might also go through long periods of time with neither symptoms nor asthma attacks. In any case, you should be prepared for an asthma attack at all times if you have the condition.
When you come to A Plus Medical, the team first asks about your medical history and symptoms. Symptoms of asthma include:
Your symptoms alone may not be enough to form a diagnosis. Bronchitis — an acute upper respiratory condition — has almost the exact same symptoms. The main difference is that bronchitis results in clear, yellow, or green mucus expulsion when you cough. It can also cause body aches, fever, or chills.
In order to ensure that your asthma diagnosis is accurate, the team at A Plus Medical might give you a spirometry test. During this test, you must blow into a sensor. The sensor measures how much air you can hold in your lungs and how hard you can blow. They might also use X-ray imaging to view your lungs.
A cure for asthma doesn’t exist, but the condition is treatable. The team at A Plus Medical helps you identify and learn to avoid your triggers. If one of your triggers is an allergy, they can perform a skin scratch allergy test to find the allergen causing your attacks.
The team can also prescribe medications to help you control your asthma. Some medications, called controllers, must be taken every day to open your airways and prevent asthma attacks. The team might also give you quick-relief inhaled medications to use only in the event of an asthma attack or flare-up. Your provider teaches you exactly how and when to use your medications. Both quick-relief medications and controllers often come in gaseous form. To take them, you’ll need to use an inhaler.
If your asthma is particularly severe or hard to manage, the team might refer you to a specialist for further care.
If left untreated, an asthma attack can be severe or even life-threatening. For expert asthma diagnosis and management, call A Plus Medical or book an appointment online today.