When Should You Refer To An Asthma Specialist
Are you concerned that your breathing problems may be symptoms of asthma? Dr. Ludwig Khoury, M.D., your Watertown & Utica, NY allergist is here to share information about asthma symptoms and treatments.
What is asthma?
Asthma causes the small airways in your lungs to narrow, swell and produce excess mucus. When this occurs, your lungs must work much harder to move air in and out.
What are the symptoms of asthma?
Common asthma symptoms include:
- Shortness of Breath
- Tightness in your chest
- Pain in your chest
- Difficulty sleeping
These symptoms can occur if you've been around a substance that can trigger an asthma flare, such as smoke or perfume. Asthma symptoms can also be triggered by weather conditions, colds, the flu, and allergies to dust, mold, pollens or animal dander. If you have exercise-induced asthma, your symptoms may occur within five to 10 minutes after you begin to exercise or exert yourself.
How can I tell if I have asthma?
It's not always easy to tell if you have asthma since colds and the flu can also cause coughing or wheezing. If your symptoms continue longer than a few weeks, it's possible that you may have the disease. Your ear, nose, and throat doctor can provide a definite diagnosis and offer treatment options.
How is asthma treated?
If you are diagnosed with asthma, an asthma specialist may suggest that you use an inhaled corticosteroid daily to decrease flare-ups and keep your symptoms under control. He may also prescribe a quick-relief inhaler, which is used when you experience a flare-up. Other medications may also be recommended, such as oral medications and inhalers that combine corticosteroids with beta-agonists, medications that help keep your airways open.