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What Is Asthma?

300 million people in the world suffer from asthma. It is a common chronic condition that can be managed effectively with the right treatments. Here’s what you should know:

  • What it means: When someone has asthma, it means their airways are always inflamed, or swollen. When certain triggers are introduced, such as physical activity or allergens, the airways tighten further. This can cause wheezing or coughing and may make breathing difficult.

  • How it is managed: Because asthma is a chronic condition, it needs long-term management. No treatment can cure asthma, but many treatments are available to help you manage the condition. People with asthma often carry an inhaler with them at all times, in case of a sudden asthma attack. A pulmonary specialist can guide you to the most effective treatments for you.

Asthma Signs and Symptoms

People can experience different signs and symptoms leading up to an asthma diagnosis. However, the most common signs of asthma are:

  • Wheezing, or whistling when you breathe

  • Shortness of breath

  • Chest tightness

  • Coughing fits that linger

If you have asthma, you might find that certain things trigger more severe breathing symptoms. Common asthma triggers include:

  • Allergens, such as pollen or dust mites

  • Extreme weather changes, such as moving from a warm to cold environment

  • Smoke

  • Physical activity

Asthma Treatments

A specially trained pulmonary specialist can help you decide on a treatment or combination of treatments that best manage your asthma symptoms. Learn more about Blessing’s pulmonology care.

Asthma treatments may include:

  • Controller medications, such as inhaled corticosteroids, which are inhaled daily to manage the condition

  • Combination inhalers that include long-acting beta-agonists are sometimes used with inhaled corticosteroids to increase symptom relief. Learn more about inhalers and nebulizers.

  • Nebulizer treatment, a machine that provides medication to your lungs as you inhale

  • Oral medications, such as Singulair®

  • Quick relief or emergency inhalers, which can provide fast relief for a severe asthma attack or sudden onset of symptoms

Contact Us

To schedule an appointment or refer a patient, please call (217) 214-6267.