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Asthma Info | Allergy Info

Asthma has often been described as a wheezing sound when you breathe, but asthma is so much more! Asthma has also been falsely described as an emotional disease, but the disease is real and can be deadly if not treated properly. This page describes some of the common symptoms, triggers, and medications used in the treatment of asthma. These guidelines and the treatment of asthma and allergies should be discussed with your health-care professional.

Asthma Symptoms
If you or someone you know has any of these symptoms, the diagnosis could be asthma:

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing or whistling when you breathe
  • Chest tightness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Excess mucus

In addition, these symptoms or conditions are sometimes associated with asthma:

  • Stuffy or runny nose (rhinitis or hay fever)
  • Sinusitis
  • Nasal polyps
  • Eczema (atrophic dermatitis)
  • Gastro esophageal reflux

These symptoms could follow any pattern:

  • Seasonal or year-round
  • Sudden attacks or gradual worsening
  • Any duration and frequency
  • Nighttime vs. Daytime symptoms
  • Only at certain places, such as work, home, or school

Asthma can happen any time in your life. Symptoms may be triggered by:

  • Viral respiratory infections
  • Exposure to pollen, mold, house-dust mite, cockroach, and animal dander, urine, and saliva
  • Exposure to workplace chemicals or allergens
  • Environmental change resulting from moving or vacation
  • Exposure to tobacco smoke, perfumes, hairsprays, air pollutants, vapors, gasses, and aerosols
  • Emotional expressions such as fear, anger, frustration, crying, and laughing
  • Medications such as aspirin, beta-blockers, food additives, and preservatives
  • Changes in weather, air pressure, humidity, and cold air
  • Exercise
  • Menstrual period, pregnancy, or thyroid disease
  • Cold drinks

Asthma can be controlled!

With a customized Asthma Management Plan (AMP) developed by you and your physician, you and your family can lead an active, healthy life. Your AMP is your action plan giving you power over your symptoms. Every Asthma Management Plan will include the four steps that you take during:

  • Recovery
  • Prevention
  • Early Intervention
  • Crisis

If asthma symptoms keep you on a roller coaster of good times and bad, then you need an asthma specialist such as an allergist or pulmonologist to give you a plan for recovery. Recovery can take weeks or months depending on how diligent you are in working with your physician.

Once you have achieved good control of symptoms, you will need a plan for preventing a relapse. You will need another plan for stopping an attack as it approaches - at the earliest possible moment. This is the early intervention plan.