Asthma affects 8% of children and adults. The chronic lung condition is also one of the top reasons kids miss school and adults take sick days from work. The experienced family physicians and internists at Raritan Family Healthcare specialize in helping children, teens, and adults maintain control of their asthma and enjoy a healthy, active life. Whether you just had your first symptoms or you need ongoing asthma management, call the office in Raritan or Bedminster, New Jersey, or book an appointment online today.
Asthma is a chronic (long-lasting) inflammatory lung condition. The ongoing inflammation makes your airways hypersensitive to specific irritants. Inhaling an irritant triggers an asthma attack.
During an asthma attack, the irritant causes sudden inflammation and swelling. The airways simultaneously produce excessive mucus, and the muscles lining the airways naturally tighten.
Inflammation, mucus, and muscle contraction narrow the airways, which makes it hard to breathe.
If you or your child have allergies, chances are your allergens trigger your asthma flare-ups. However, many different irritants can cause an asthma attack.
Some of the most common triggers include:
Many people also have an asthma attack when they start an athletic activity.
Though asthma causes an ongoing state of mild airway inflammation, you only have symptoms when you have an asthma flare-up. You experience one or more of the following:
Symptom severity differs for each person and even from one asthma attack to the next. You may have a mild flare-up one time and more severe symptoms during the next attack.
Your Raritan Family Healthcare provider reviews your symptoms, does a physical exam, and performs lung function testing. The most common lung test, spirometry, shows how well your lungs work by measuring the air you exhale.
Your asthma treatment includes:
An action plan gives your child's teachers and caregivers instructions about how to help your child during an asthma attack. Adults may use an action plan to keep track of their symptoms and flare-ups. That helps you recognize when your symptoms get worse, which indicates you may need a change in medication.
Your provider helps you identify your unique asthma triggers and plan ways to avoid them.
Everyone should have quick-relief medication they can inhale at the start of an asthma attack. The medication quickly opens your airways so you can breathe. Some patients also take daily medications designed to prevent and diminish the severity of future asthma attacks.
If you or your child have asthma symptoms, don't wait to get help at Raritan Family Healthcare. Call the nearest office or book an appointment online today.