Asthma

What is asthma?

Asthma is an inflammatory disease characterized by episodes of reversible narrowing of the airways.

What are symptoms of asthma?

Symptoms range in severity. Mild symptoms include mild chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing or wheezing to a life-threatening inability to breathe.

Who is at risk?

Anyone can have asthma, but it is most common in children under 10 years old. It is twice as common in males versus females in those under 30 years old.

Potential Asthma Triggers

  • Upper respiratory infections (flu, RSV)

  • Allergens (e.g., dust mites, animal dander, pollen, cockroach)

  • Thunderstorms (likely due to increased pollen)

  • Mold

  • Toxins and irritants (tobacco, air pollutants, gasoline, paint thinners)

  • Traffic jams (likely due to air pollutants and stress)

  • Physical exertion and exercise

  • Cold air

  • Certain food additives (e.g., sulfites, MSG, food preservatives, food colorings, flavoring agents)

  • Stress, intense emotions, hyperventilation

  • Acid reflux

  • Aspirin

  • Alcohol

  • Fragrances (e.g., perfumes, air fresheners, scented candles)

What to do?

  • Have your rescue inhaler with you at all times in case of a sudden onset asthma attack.

  • If that doesn’t help, come in to see us. You might need a more thorough evaluation and a nebulizer treatment.

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