Asthma Q & A
What is asthma?
Asthma is a chronic condition that causes difficulty breathing due to inflammation, swelling, or excess mucus in the airways. For some people, asthma coincides with physical activity or allergies. Certain triggers, such as smoking, viruses, and environmental toxins, may worsen your symptoms.
Asthma is accompanied by several common symptoms including:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness
How do you diagnose asthma?
After performing a physical exam and asking questions about your medical history, Dr. Lentzou performs breathing tests to measure your lung functions. One of those tests is a pulmonary function test, or spirometry.
In a pulmonary function test, Dr. Lentzou has you take a deep breath and blow into an instrument as hard as you can. The sensor measures how much air your lungs can hold and how fast they can blow out air.
Spirometry confirms airway obstruction and the severity of your asthma. Dr. Lentzou also uses the test during treatment to see how well it’s working.
Dr. Lentzou also performs allergy testing at Healthonomic Primary Care to determine if you have allergies and which allergens might trigger your asthma.
What treatment options are available?
Because there’s no cure for asthma, the purpose of treatment is to control your symptoms and avoid your triggers. If you don’t know what your triggers are, Dr. Lentzou can help you identify them by food and activity tracking or allergy testing.
Inhaled corticosteroids are anti-inflammatory medications that open your airways. These medications help you live an active life, and they can be life-saving in some cases.
Long-acting bronchodilators are used in combination with corticosteroid medication to help you control symptoms when taken with inhaled corticosteroids. If you have severe flare-ups, you may need a rescue inhaler, or a short-acting bronchodilator. Bronchodilators are meant for quick relief, not for ongoing treatment.
Oral medication, such as leukotriene modifiers and corticosteroids, are sometimes used in conjunction with inhalers during flare-ups.
If you need a doctor to help you manage your diabetes, contact Healthonomic Primary Care by phone or with the convenient online scheduler.