Whether you are young or old, living with asthma is a bothersome and challenging path to tread. Not only can the symptoms of asthma keep us from doing what we love and enjoying life, but they can also become life-threatening! If you require asthma treatment from trusted and professional doctors, we can help at Eastway Medical Clinic.
What causes asthma?
This question is quite common because there isn’t a clear cause that explains why some people get asthma and others don’t! However, there are some environmental triggers and genetic factors that consistently lead to the development of asthma in people, including:
- Allergies such as hay fever or atopic dermatitis
- Airborne substances (cockroach waste, dust mites, mold spores, pet dander, pollen, etc.)
- Exposure to exhaust fumes or other chemicals
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- History of asthma in blood relatives
- Respiratory illness
If you think you or your child might have asthma, come to Eastway Medical Clinic! We can test your symptoms to arrive at a positive or negative diagnosis.
How is asthma diagnosed?
Asthma is typically diagnosed by pulmonary function tests! There are three kinds of pulmonary tests. They are 1) spirometry, 2) exhaled nitric oxide, and 3) challenge tests. With spirometry, a small machine called a spirometer measures the airflow from your lungs by recording the amount of air that you inhale and exhale and the speed at which you breathe. The exhaled nitric oxide test uses a small machine that you blow into to measure the amount of nitric oxide in your lungs. Nitric oxide is a gas that produces inflammation in the lungs, which is a symptom of asthma. Challenge tests are conducted when the first two tests do not provide a conclusive result. They are meant to reproduce the symptoms of asthma using a controlled and contained amount of known triggers, namely, methacholine or mannitol, to see if the patient has asthma or not. If the result is positive, the physician will administer a bronchodilator to offset the asthmatic response.
Do I have asthma?
Asthma can affect children and adults alike in different ways. There are numerous types of asthma, including adult-onset asthma, allergic asthma, asthma-COPD overlap syndrome (ACOS), exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB), nonallergic asthma, and occupational asthma. While most of the same symptoms appear in each form of asthma, certain anomalies appear in EIB and ACOS, such as symptoms appearing exclusively through exercise and a feeling of general fatigue and malaise, respectively. Occupational asthma is when the symptoms of asthma only occur when you are working with certain substances. Allergic and nonallergic asthma are the two kinds of asthma that affect children. In contrast, adult-onset asthma is diagnosed when asthmatic symptoms appear post-childhood.
So, what are the symptoms of asthma? If you have any of the following symptoms, you might have asthma, and it would be wise to make an appointment for asthma testing:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness or pain
- Interruptions in sleep from coughing, wheezing, or shortness of breath
- Whistling or wheezing while exhaling
- Symptoms worsened by respiratory infections
- Coughing during exercise, laughing, or especially at night
- Adverse reactions to airborne irritants, certain drugs or food additives, stress, or weather conditions
What treatment options are there for asthma?
Treatment for asthma usually involves a combination of medicine and regular check-ups with a physician to monitor your symptoms and progress. There are numerous types of medication for asthma. After an asthma diagnosis, the patient will meet with a physician to discuss their medical history, the current condition of their health, and what medications they are currently on. This discussion will help the physician know what medications to prescribe. Medications for long-term relief of asthma include immunomodulators, corticosteroids, methylxanthines, and others. There are also medications that provide immediate and short-term relief from asthmatic symptoms, such as short-acting inhaled beta 2agonists and anticholinergics. When you come to Eastway Medical Clinic for asthma treatment, your assigned physician will go over the most appropriate treatment options with you.
If you think Eastway Medical Clinic is a good fit for your asthma treatment, we would love to alleviate your symptoms! Either book an appointment by calling us or by visiting our website. Eastway Medical Clinic is located at 1220 Eastway Drive in Charlotte, North Carolina. Our clinic is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM from Monday to Friday, and on Saturday from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM.