What is the main cause of asthma?
Asthma is a condition that occurs when your airways begin to narrow and swell and can produce extra mucus causing difficulty to breathe, trigger coughing, a whistling or wheezing sound when you begin to breathe in and out and shortness of breath.
For some, asthma can be a minor condition to deal with; however, for others asthma can be a major issue and interfere with everything to their daily activities and life and may lead to a life-threatening asthma attack.
There is no cure for asthma, but the symptoms can be controlled. Asthma does change over time, so it’s important that individuals who have asthma are in constant contact with their doctor to track their signs and symptoms of their asthma and adjust the treatment accordingly.
Can asthma be cured?
As stated previously, unfortunately there is no cure for asthma. However, there are several treatment options available to the public that can control their symptoms of asthma.
With asthma being able to change over the course of an individual’s life, they will have to have regular checkups with their asthma specialist to review and track their signs and symptoms, so the treatment option may consistently change depending on the signs and symptoms the individual is showing. This is to make sure that they are in constant control over their asthma symptoms, and it does not lead to any asthma attacks.
Symptoms of asthma may include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness or even pain
- Whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling
- Trouble sleeping due to shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing
- Coughing or wheezing attacks that began to worsen by a respiratory virus like a cold or flu
- There are a few signs that your asthma may begin to worsen, which is when its critical you see an asthma specialist to help manage your asthma, they include:
- Asthma signs that begin to be more frequent and bothersome than previous
- Increasing difficulty in breathing
- Need to use a quick-relief inhaler for their asthma more frequently
When to see an asthma specialist?
Asthma specialists are specialized doctors who have trained in allergist or pulmonologist with the skills in asthma management gained through extra training and experience. They are different from your primary care doctor, as they have more specialized training in asthma management.
It is recommended you start seeing an asthma specialist for your asthma care if you meet any of the following:
- Life threatening asthma exacerbation
- Not meeting the goals set out for them for their asthma therapy after 3 to 6 months of treatment
- Signs and symptoms of their asthma are atypical or issues with differential diagnosis
- Other conditions which may complicate their asthma
- Additional diagnostic testing is needed
- Requires additional education and management with asthma therapy, problems with adherence, or allergen avoidance
- Considered for immunotherapy
- Requires step 4 care or higher in adults, step 3 or higher in children 4+ and step 2 or higher in children 0-4
- Requires more than two bursts of oral corticosteroids in 1 year or has exacerbated required hospitalization
- Is there are any complexities with the patient, treatment, or other issues, an asthma specialist will need to step in to help manage the patients asthma over a period of time or help co-manage
- Patients with significant psychiatric, psychosocial or family issues that may interfere with their asthma therapy
What does an asthma specialist do?
An asthma specialist is a doctor who specializes in the treatment and management of asthma in individual patients. They understand respiratory problems and as your healthcare provider can offer you additional treatment options, referrals to certain treatments or diagnostics to get a better idea of the severity of your asthma and help continually change your treatment plan over the course of your life to best fit you.
If you would like to learn more about asthma treatment, call us or schedule an appointment through our website. We serve patients from St. Charles IL, Geneva IL, Batavia IL, South Elgin IL, West Chicago IL, North Aurora IL, Winfield IL, Bartlett IL, and Elgin IL.