Asthma is a chronic condition of the lungs where the airways are chronically inflamed, and the bronchi can spasm, causing additional inflammation, difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest, shortness of breath, and wheezing. Asthma flare-ups are usually triggered by an allergic reaction to something in the air like dust, pollen, or pet dander.
An asthma attack is when the symptoms of asthma flare up, and the patient struggles to breathe. The airways in the lungs that carry air in and out, already swollen and sensitive from asthma, are stimulated into further inflammation and thick mucus production, typically in response to exposure to an airborne allergen. When this reaction occurs, the muscles around the bronchi tighten, narrowing the airways and further reducing airflow. Thicker than normal mucus may be created to soothe and protect the inflamed tissue, which causes even more blockages impeding the passage of air. An asthma attack is characterized by wheezing, coughing, tightness, or pressure in the chest, rapid breathing, feelings of anxiety, and tightened neck and chest muscles.
Asthma has no known cure. The doctors at the Gilroy Family Medical Group focus treatment on controlling the symptoms to manage the condition. Treatment should reduce chronic symptoms, alleviating the patient’s need for quick-relief medicines like inhalers and help maintain sufficient lung function. The patient should be able to maintain normal activities and sleep patterns by reducing attacks. Asthma treatment typically involves medicine that provides either long- or short-term relief. Long-term medicines help to reduce inflammation and prevent symptoms. Quick, short-term relief medicines relieve asthma symptoms when they flare up and are usually delivered via an inhaler. If you or your child experience symptoms that may be asthma, you should make an appointment with the doctors at the Gilroy Family Medical Group for diagnosis and treatment.
Gilroy Family Medical Group works with most major insurances. If you have any questions, please call our office and one of our knowledgeable staff members would be happy to help.
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