Asthma is a chronic condition that affects your lungs and bronchial tubes. Inflammation causes swelling in the tubes that carry air to and from your lungs. The muscles surrounding your airways also tighten, making breathing difficult.
Asthma can make it hard for you to do your work or be physically active. The condition can also interrupt your sleep or cause additional health complications, and some long-term asthma medications may have side effects that include fungal infections, eye problems, and persistent sore throat.
When a trigger causes inflammation in your lungs, you may experience symptoms like:
For some people, asthma is not serious and doesn’t impact their quality of life; for others, asthma attacks can be life-threatening.
Dr. Thampoe classifies asthma based on its severity and its cause. Triggers of asthma can include allergies or environmental stimuli, such as cigarette smoke or dust. Physical activity can also trigger asthma problems or attacks.
You may be at a higher risk of developing asthma if you:
Dr. Thampoe performs a comprehensive physical exam to determine if asthma or an underlying lung infection or disease is the cause of your breathing difficulties. She also discusses your medical history and current symptoms.
To measure your lung function, Dr. Thampoe administers lung function tests to measure how much air you’re taking into your lungs and how much air is coming back out. During these tests, Dr. Thampoe can evaluate your asthma-related symptoms.
Dr. Thampoe creates a treatment plan to help you manage your asthma symptoms and prevent future attacks. She may recommend asthma medications for both short- and long-term control of symptoms, including oral and inhaled medications.
If you are taking oral medications, you may need to take them daily, and it can take several weeks for you to experience their maximum effect. Oral medications may include corticosteroids that reduce inflammation in your airways and lungs.
Dr. Thampoe may also prescribe inhaled medications that relieve symptoms of asthma for both the short term, such as during an allergy attack and the long term.
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