Adults can have asthma, but it often appears in childhood. Asthma develops when the tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs become swollen. Irritation from the swelling makes the airways sensitive, then they have a reaction to normal things like little particles of dust in the air or increased lung activity when you exercise. Two things happen during this overreaction that make it hard to breathe during an asthma attack: Extra mucus clogs the airways and muscles in the airways tighten.
Severe or frequent asthma attacks are easy to identify, but it’s also important to notice milder symptoms. Typical asthma symptoms include:
You should definitely check in with the doctor if you have frequent coughing or wheezing that lasts more than a few days. But even if your symptoms are mild or only occurred a few times, it’s still a good idea to protect your health and see the doctor before the attacks get worse.
When anything interferes with breathing, the first step is to get an exam so the precise problem can be identified. Then if you do have asthma, the next step is to keep it under control. Dr. Willis will develop a treatment plan that meets your unique health needs.
If you’ve already been diagnosed with asthma, contact the office to schedule an appointment when asthma attacks become more frequent or more severe, or when you have to use the inhaler more often.
Asthma is a long-term condition, so treatment focuses on keeping it under control. Dr. Willis explores all treatment options and works with you to ensure you have the best chance to participate in daily activities without worrying about an asthma attack. Treatment for asthma includes:
Identifying triggers: Dust, pollen, smoke, and cold air are just a few of the things that trigger an asthma attack. The triggers are different for each person, so Dr. Willis will help you identify and avoid those that affect you.
Treating allergies: Treating allergies helps prevent asthma flare-ups because both conditions are often triggered by the same allergens.
Medications: An asthma attack is relieved by a rescue inhaler, while other inhalers contain medicine to prevent future symptoms. Long-acting inhalers are also available for those with severe asthma. Always contact Dr. Willis if you have medications that don’t seem to work anymore, because many patients need adjustments to medications to match changes in asthma.
We work with the majority of health insurance plans. Please call our office if you do not see yours listed or have any other questions.
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