If you have shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing that have lasted more than a couple of weeks, you may not have a cold or the flu. These symptoms could represent a chronic lung disease called asthma. At Allergy Care, in Utica and Watertown, NY, you'll find compassionate and accurate help from asthma specialist, Dr. Ludwig Khoury. He helps both adults and children with this common lung problem, allowing them to lead full and healthy lives.
The symptoms of asthma
Along with the shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing, people with asthma often experience chest pain and tightness. In plain terms, it's difficult for them to inhale and exhale because their airways constrict and produce copious amounts of mucus. When oxygen deprived, some asthmatics require special rescue medications, supplemental oxygen and even hospitalization.
Why does this happen? Well, asthmatics are hypersensitive to their environment, and certain triggers and stressors bring on attacks of varying degrees. Triggers may include:
- Allergens such as animal dander, certain foods, dust mites and insect bites
- Cold weather
- Strenuous exercise
- Anxiety and worry
- Tobacco and wood smoke
- Perfumes and other fragrances
- Air pollution
Diagnosing and treating asthma
At Allergy Care, in Utica and Watertown, NY, your asthma specialist will perform a complete history and physical, review your symptoms, do a lung function test and more. Dr. Khoury may wish to conduct allergy testing as well to pinpoint any allergens which trigger your asthma. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation says based on exam findings, your physician can categorize your asthma as intermittent, mild persistent, moderate persistent and severe persistent.
Then, Dr. Khoury will outline a treatment plan which will help you manage your symptoms. Management may include:
- Rescue medication (bronchodilator) for sudden symptoms
- Maintenance medication (an inhaled steroid and bronchodilator) to minimize daily symptoms
- Keeping a diary of symptoms and possible triggers
- Measuring peak flow, a simple indicator of how much air you can exhale at one time
Additionally, if allergies are an issue, Dr. Khoury will address those with a separate care plan.
Live well with asthma
You can when you carefully follow your care plan and stay in touch with Dr. Khoury and his dedicated staff at Allergy Care. For more information on allergies and asthma, or to arrange on consultation about your symptoms, please contact one of our convenient office locations. For the Utica office, call (315) 624-7911, or in Watertown, phone (315) 782-6200.