Asthma

Austin Primary Care Physicians -  - Internist

Austin Primary Care Physicians

Internists located in Austin, TX & Cedar Park, TX

Asthma Specialist
If you have environmental allergies, a history of respiratory infections, eczema, or a family history of asthma, you have an increased risk of developing asthma, a serious respiratory condition causing difficulty breathing. The experienced and compassionate doctors at Austin Primary Care Physicians in Austin, Texas, understand the seriousness of this disease and want to help you manage your asthma and prevent future asthma attacks. Their doors are open to new patients with asthma and other health conditions.

Asthma Q & A

What is asthma?

Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease characterized by inflammation and narrowing of the airways in the lungs. While symptoms of asthma may be present at all times, patients experience periods of exacerbation or flare-ups, in which their breathing is directly impacted.

Are people with asthma limited in what they can do?

People who have asthma can lead normal, fulfilling lives as long as their asthma is well-managed. The management of asthma requires help from the right healthcare provider and complete patient compliance with the established treatment plan. Ongoing evaluation and adaptation of the treatment plan are also required for successful long-term management.

What are the signs and symptoms of asthma?

The most common signs and symptoms of asthma include:

  • Wheezing: A whistling in the bronchial tubes accompanying breathing
  • Coughing: Often more frequently at night than during the day
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tightness: Pressure, or pain in the chest

Some patients who have asthma may only experience one symptom, while other patients may experience all of the symptoms at the same time. Each patient’s experience with asthma is different, and each asthma attack can be different from the last one.

Can patients detect an asthma attack before it occurs?

For most people, asthma attacks are difficult to detect before initial onset. At initial onset, symptoms may start gradually appearing. This is the time that it is crucial to seek treatment before symptoms become severe enough to cause a life-threatening emergency. Early warning signs of an attack include:

  • Coughing more frequently than usual
  • Losing breath easily
  • Coughing after exercise
  • Changes in mood
  • Weakness or exhaustion after physical exertion
  • Cold or allergy symptoms

Patients who notice these symptoms should reference their asthma action plan to determine next steps, which usually include an increase in medication.

When should patients visit the emergency room?

Patients who are suffering from an asthma attack that has not improved after the use of an inhaler or bronchodilator should seek emergency treatment right away. Attacks can escalate quickly.

Patients can decrease the chances of an emergency room visit by establishing a primary care doctor and following their asthma action plan. However, some asthma attacks are resistant to medications used at home and require an ER visit for adequate intervention and treatment.

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