A chronic inflammatory disease of the lungs, asthma causes shortness of breath, chest tightness, coughing and wheezing. It affects both children and adults, and can range in its severity.
For some Long Beach patients, asthma is a mild nuisance that flares up every once in a while. For others, it’s a life-threatening condition with daily symptoms. As our specialists are among the best asthma doctors Los Angeles has to offer, we’re able to provide relief and effective treatment options for both general asthma and the most complex and severe asthma cases.
Depending on the level of your condition, asthma symptoms can range from mild to severe. Some patients suffer from frequent asthma attacks, while others only experience symptoms after exposure to a trigger, such as exercise or smoke. The most common symptoms of asthma in both children and adults are:
- Shortness of breath.
- Chest pain, especially when lying flat.
- Chest tightness.
- Wheezing (very common in children).
- Coughing, especially at night, with exercise, when laughing or with exposure to cold air.
- Chest colds or bronchitis a few times a year.
- Ribs and neck muscles that show when breathing.
A trigger is something that causes your airways to become inflamed and swollen, thus obstructing airflow in and out of your lungs. Triggers vary from person to person, and the first step in finding relief from your condition is accurately identifying them. The most common asthma triggers are:
- Allergens such as pollen, dust mites, cockroaches, mold, animal dander and, rarely, food
- Irritants such as tobacco smoke and air pollution.
- Cold air or hot humid air.
- Changes in barometric pressure.
- Infections such as a cold, sinus infection or the flu.
- Medicines such as aspirin and NSAIDS
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
How is asthma treated?
For patients seeking among the best asthma treatment Long Beach has to offer, our specialists focus on preventing future attacks and achieving long-term control over your condition. This usually requires a multi-step process that involves both lifestyle changes and asthma medication.
Because asthma attacks are often brought on by triggers, much of asthma treatment involves lifestyle changes to avoid them. For example, if your asthma is triggered by:
Use an air conditioner to limit the amount of pollen that comes indoors.
Use dustproof covers on your pillows and mattress, wash your curtains regularly and consider removing carpeting and instead installing hardwood floors. Also, clean the house regularly.
Changes in the air
Make sure you cover your mouth when it’s cold out, and speak to one of our specialists about using a dehumidifier if you live in a damp climate.
If animals trigger your asthma, it’s best to avoid pets with fur or feathers. However, you can also lessen their impact by bathing your animals regularly.
In addition to avoiding your triggers, it’s important to get regular exercise, maintain a healthy weight and eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables. All of these measures will support your lungs and immune system – which may help reduce your asthma symptoms.
In addition to lifestyle changes, many patients require medications to successfully control their asthma. There are two primary types of asthma medications: long-term and quick-relief (rescue) inhalers. Within these two groups, there are a variety of medications available, and the most effective one for you will depend on your age, triggers and symptoms. As such, our specialists will work with you closely to select the appropriate medication and ensure you receive among the best asthma treatment Los Angeles has to offer.
Long-term control medications
These medications are taken on a daily basis, even when you don’t have symptoms. In this way, they provide long-term control and reduce the likelihood that you’ll suffer an attack.
These medications are used for short-term and immediate relief during an asthma attack. They will ease your symptoms right away. However, because long-term medications are so effective, you shouldn’t have to use your quick-relief inhaler very often if your asthma is well controlled. The only exception would be if your asthma is triggered by exercise, in which case we may recommend using your quick-relief inhaler before physical activity.
If you or your child suffers from asthma, please know that relief is possible with expert care from our team of among the best asthma doctors Long Beach has available. Please contact us today to schedule an appointment, and let us help you control your symptoms, prevent future attacks and get your asthma under control.Contact Us