Asthma is one of the most common lung diseases in the world. In America alone, 25 million people, or one in 13, are living with asthma, and that figure includes six million children. What once was a potentially life-threatening disease can now be successfully managed with the right medical care. Ashish Kapoor, MD, at North Houston Internal Medicine in Cypress, Texas, offers comprehensive health care plans so that you can continue to do all the activities you enjoy. If you’re worried about asthma, schedule an appointment today by calling or book online.
Asthma is a chronic disease of the airways that causes the tissues lining the airways to become irritated and inflamed. This inflammation leads to airway constriction or narrowing that can make it more difficult to breathe. People with asthma are prone to bouts of coughing and wheezing, and mucus production usually also increases, sometimes leading to additional breathing problems. Asthma can occur in children and adults, and the number of people who have asthma has been increasing in recent years.
Asthma symptoms can range from mild to severe and can include:
Asthma symptoms can be triggered by changes in temperature, physical activity, pollen, and fumes, and they’re usually more severe in the mornings and evenings.
Asthma diagnosis begins with a review of the patient’s medical history and symptoms. Since asthma is more common among people who have family members with the disease, Dr. Kapoor will ask for a family medical history as well as a personal health history. Dr. Kapoor will use a stethoscope to listen to the lungs and airways and ask about any recent colds or other respiratory illnesses or issues the patient may have experienced.
Patients may be asked to complete a simple breathing test called spirometry. In this test, the patient blows into a special device that measures how well the lungs are functioning and how much air they can hold. X-rays or other diagnostic imaging tests also may be ordered.
When asthma is mild and causes rare or occasional symptoms, avoiding triggers, quitting smoking, and increasing physical exercise may be the only treatments needed. But in most cases, patients will be prescribed an inhaler device that contains special medicines designed to open the airways to improve breathing and reduce coughing and other symptoms. Inhalers are portable and small, and they can be taken to school, work, or elsewhere.
Patients with severe asthma or asthma accompanied by other breathing-related disorders may need to use a nebulizer, an inhalation device that’s powered by electricity. Both devices can be fitted with special mouthpieces to ensure optimal delivery of medication in pediatric patients or other patients who have difficulty using the devices. In very severe cases, oral steroids may be prescribed to prevent asthma attacks.
Schedule an appointment with Dr. Kapoor today to get treatment for your asthma symptoms by calling the office or booking online.