Asthmatic Conditions

Asthma is a persistent condition that causes inflammation and increased mucus production, resulting in narrowing and swelling of airways.

It can obstruct airflow into and out of the lungs, leading to distressing symptoms such as chest tightness, wheezing, coughing, difficulty breathing, and shortness of breath.

Although there is no known cure for asthma, it is manageable with the help of medication prescribed by a qualified physician. The severity of an individual’s asthma can vary from mild to severe, depending on the frequency and persistence of symptoms and their sudden onset. Symptoms may include

  • Tightness in the chest
  • Breathing problems
  • While exhaling, there is a whistling sound in the chest.
  • Having a cough
  • Exhaustion or fatigue

As asthma is a condition that can evolve with time, it is imperative to schedule regular appointments with your doctor to monitor any changes in your symptoms and adjust your treatment accordingly.

If you start encountering the following symptoms, it may be indicative of your asthma deteriorating:

  • Asthma symptoms become more frequent and severe.
  • Specific devices can measure and check if there is increased difficulty breathing.
  • Your asthma medication is less effective, and you must use a quick-relief inhaler (Albuterol or Levalbuterol) more frequently.

During a severe asthma exacerbation, a range of symptoms may require immediate medical attention. These can include any of the following indicators of an asthma attack:

  • Pain in the chest
  • Extreme breathing difficulty
  • A condition in which the skin appears pale and blue-ish
  • Pulse that is rapid and weak
  • Confusion or dizziness
  • Feeling feverish
  • Talking or walking with difficulty
  • Exhaustion or extreme fatigue.

Causes of Asthma

Having an open discussion with your doctor about the potential triggers for your asthma is crucial since they can differ from person to person. Identifying your specific triggers is critical to effectively managing your asthma symptoms.

Typically, allergic asthma triggers are airborne substances such as:

  • Pollen from any plant
  • Particles of dust mites in the air
  • Waste from cockroaches
  • Mold spores
  • Dander from pets

Non-allergic triggers, such as the ones listed below, have been known to worsen asthma symptoms:

  • Exercise can strain airways
  • Weather changes
  • Emotional stress
  • Gases, fumes, or pollution
  • Detergents and cleaners for the home or workplace
  • Respiratory illnesses such as colds and flu
  • Medications such as NSAIDs can also trigger asthma

Asthma Diagnosis and Treatment

At Juniper Allergy, we have an asthma specialist who can assist you if you display any signs or symptoms of asthma.

We offer comprehensive diagnostic tests, including thorough physical examination and spirometry testing. These tests can help identify whether your symptoms are due to asthma or another underlying condition, such as a chest infection or COPD.

Our Juniper Allergy physician will also ask questions to identify potential triggers causing your asthma symptoms. Many patients have asthma in association with allergies. However, if it seems your asthma is due to non-allergic triggers, we will work with you to identify what may be causing your symptoms. We aim to provide you with a long-term treatment plan tailored to your needs and help you live healthier.

Childhood Asthma

Parents should know that childhood asthma is identical to the disease’s adult version. Although the causes and triggers are similar, there are variations among individuals.

Detecting asthma in children can be challenging since breathing difficulties may manifest in other underlying conditions like frequent bronchitis or Eustachian tube dysfunction.

Like adults, there is no cure for childhood asthma, but your child’s allergist can regulate and supervise it.

Symptoms of Childhood Asthma

Childhood asthma may present with similar symptoms as its adult counterpart; however, it is essential to note that each child may experience varying symptoms. Specific indications to be mindful of are:

  • Chest wheezing or whistling
  • Insomnia due to shortness of breath, coughing, or wheezing during or after crying, yelling, or laughing. Difficulty sleeping as a result of shortness of breath, coughing, or wheezing
  • Sleep deprivation causes fatigue
  • Having difficulty breathing or catching your breath frequently during play or exercise
  • Coughing and wheezing that worsens with a cold or flu
  • Infections of the respiratory system that persist for a long time, such as bronchitis
  • Difficulty breathing upon exposure to cold air

Every child’s experience with asthma is distinct and requires vigilant observation. Your child’s symptoms may fluctuate, so it’s crucial to be aware of any changes.

While the causes of childhood asthma are comparable to those of adults, they remain elusive. Physicians keep an eye out for potential risk factors, such as:

  • Asthmatic or allergic parents
  • Allergies to food, pet dander, or pollen
  • Tobacco exposure, for example, is a frequent source of environmental pollutants
  • During infancy or toddlerhood, certain viral infections can occur
  • Obesity or gastrointestinal problems as a comorbidity

Childhood Asthma Diagnosis and Treatment

If you suspect your child may display asthma symptoms, you must seek appropriate treatment and take preventative measures at home and school. Your child’s allergist will collaborate with you to gather a comprehensive family and medical history and conduct a thorough physical examination.

Your child may also undergo a pulmonary function test to determine the extent of her/his condition. For expert guidance and support in managing your child’s asthma, look no further than Juniper Allergy.

Our dedicated pediatric asthma specialist can offer tailored treatment recommendations and even devise a personalized asthma action plan to help your child thrive.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Patients diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease often display comparable symptoms to those observed in asthma patients.

It’s also possible for someone to have both asthma and COPD simultaneously. However, unlike asthma, COPD is a degenerative condition that progresses gradually over time.

Therefore, it’s crucial for individuals suffering from COPD to maintain close communication with their allergist to keep the disease’s progression in check and manage their symptoms effectively.

Symptoms of COPD

The symptoms of COPD typically develop gradually over an extended period. Initially, they may resemble asthma, including coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness.

As time passes, however, these symptoms gradually worsen, especially as the individual ages. Unfortunately, most people with COPD only recognize the condition once they are in their late forties or fifties. Typical indicators of COPD include:

  • Chest tightness, shortness of breath, wheezing
  • Over time, breathlessness increases
  • Cough that persists and does not entirely resolve
  • Chest infections that occur frequently or recur

Causes of COPD

COPD symptoms manifest due to a decline in the flexibility of the lung components responsible for air expulsion.

It leads to the over-inflation of your bronchial tubes and air sacs, which obstructs a complete exhale and traps air in your lungs. COPD can result from various causes and risk factors.

  • Smoking cigarettes, cigars, or marijuana for an extended period.
  • Suppose there is a lot of exposure to dust and chemicals at work. Long-term Exposure to fumes, vapors, and dust can irritate and inflame your lungs.
  • Insufficient ventilation can expose you to fumes produced by burning fuel.
  • The disease of the lungs that destroys the alveoli is called emphysema.
  • Inflammatory bronchitis can narrow the bronchial tubes and increase mucous production, adding to airway obstruction
  • About 1% of individuals with COPD suffer from alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency (a genetic disorder that damages the liver and lungs)

Diagnosis and Treatment of COPD.

It’s imperative to talk to your doctor if you suspect or fear that you might have COPD. A timely diagnosis is crucial, and your physician will thoroughly assess your symptoms, medical history, and any exposure to lung irritants.

Depending on the outcome of the examination, your doctor may order a series of diagnostic tests.

One of the widely conducted assessments in the medical field is the spirometry test, which involves gauging your lung capacity by measuring the volume of air you breathe in and out.

Besides this, another prevalent evaluation method is the utilization of a pulse oximeter, a tiny gadget positioned over your finger that tracks your blood oxygen level and heart rate.

An X-ray or CT scan of the chest is an imaging test.

Medical imaging techniques can provide a clear picture of your lungs and the organs around them, aiding your physician in identifying potential health concerns, including emphysema and various respiratory conditions.

COPD can be challenging to manage; unfortunately, there is no cure. However, various therapies are effective in helping individuals control their symptoms, slow the disease’s progression, and reduce the risk of complications.

Discussing these options with your doctor to determine the best course of action for you is essential. One of the most critical steps you can take in managing COPD is to quit smoking. It can help slow the disease’s progression and decrease the likelihood of future flare-ups.

However, we understand that quitting smoking can be an incredibly challenging undertaking. We encourage you to talk to your doctor about potential strategies and resources to support your smoking cessation journey.

Individuals who want to quit smoking have various options available to them. There are replacement products and medications that can assist with the process. In conjunction with this, numerous support groups offer a safe space for individuals to connect with others in similar situations.

These groups can help prevent relapses and reduce tobacco consumption. Aside from smoking cessation, medications are available to treat COPD symptoms. Some of these medications require daily use, while others provide relief during exacerbations.

Your doctor will work with you to determine the best course of treatment to manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life. Taking an active role in your health care and working closely with your doctor to address any possible flare-ups is essential.

Next Steps

We cordially invite you to consult with our esteemed doctor regarding your requirements. Our doctor is pleased to offer you the expertise and address any questions. Kindly contact us via telephone or email to schedule an appointment without delay.

Let Juniper Allergy help

If you suffer from Angioedema our team is happy to answer any questions you may have and discuss your specific treatment needs. You can call (210) 888-1297 or email to discuss the next steps.

Author: Dr. Amanda Trott, MD
NPI number: 1568653756
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