You may think of asthma as a childhood disease, but it can occur at any time during your adult years. In fact, nearly 8% of all adults have asthma, and they all need to be prepared with quick-acting medication in case they have a severe asthma attack. Dr. Alkeshkumar Patel at Citrus Medical Clinic works with you to develop a treatment plan that can keep you active and prevent future flare-ups. Call one of his offices in Chandler or Safford, Arizona, or use the online booking feature to schedule an asthma assessment.
No one knows the exact cause of asthma, but it involves a genetic component, such as a predisposition to allergies, combined with exposure to something that triggers inflammation in your lungs.
Asthma is primarily an inflammatory disease in which airways in your lungs are chronically inflamed and swollen, even when you feel fine. As a result, the airways are sensitive and overreact to asthma triggers such as dust, exercise, and inhaled substances.
When you have an asthma attack, three things happen that restrict airflow:
While the frequency and severity of asthma attacks differ for each person, everyone experiences one or more of these symptoms:
Identifying the substances that trigger your asthma attack – then developing a way to avoid them – is one of the most important steps in asthma treatment. If you have allergies, your allergens are the first triggers to consider. Substances that cause allergies often lead to asthma attacks, especially if you’re allergic to pollen, dust mites, and pet dander.
Beyond allergens, other common triggers include:
Dr. Patel may recommend immunotherapy to help lower your risk of asthma flare-ups by reducing your allergies. The doctor also prescribes two types of medications for your asthma:
Several types of medications, inhaled and oral, can be taken daily to prevent future asthma attacks.
These inhalers contain medications that you take as needed for rapid, short-term symptom relief during an asthma attack.
Dr. Patel also screens for exercise-induced bronchoconstriction, which occurs when strenuous exercise triggers an asthma attack. Classic asthma symptoms typically begin during or shortly after you exercise and they may persist 30 minutes or longer. The doctor can develop a treatment plan that allows you to keep exercising.