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Just breathe.

What is asthma?

Asthma is a chronic condition in which exacerbations, like allergens or strong emotions, can create a physical response (an asthma attack). Three major things happen during these events, all of which cause the windpipe to narrow:

  • Swelling: While people with asthma tend to have a chronically inflamed windpipe, this airway begins to swell even more during an asthma attack.
  • Muscle contractions: The muscles around the windpipe contract, pressing on this organ and narrowing the pathway for air.
  • Mucus: The mucus layer that normally coats the airway increases in volume, making it more difficult for air to travel through the windpipe.

People with this condition may have mild or severe asthma attacks, and they may happen rarely or rather frequently. If you think you may be having an asthma attack, call 911.

Asthma diagnosis and management in the Brazos Valley

Whether you think you may have asthma or you already have a diagnosis, our board-certified pulmonologists are here to help. Schedule an appointment today.

What are the symptoms of asthma?

Common symptoms of asthma include:

  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty sleeping

What are the risk factors of asthma?

Currently, there is no known cause of asthma. However, doctors have noted that the following risk factors may make someone more likely to develop the condition:

  • Family history of asthma

  • History of viral infections throughout childhood

  • Allergies

  • Working around irritants that can be inhaled (dusts, gasses, etc.)

  • Smoking

  • Obesity

What treatments are available for asthma?

When most people think of asthma treatment, they often think of a primary care physician prescribing an inhaler. While this is the case in many situations, there can be the need for advanced asthma management, especially if you are experiencing persistent asthma attacks. That’s when it’s time to visit a pulmonologist.

Our board-certified pulmonologists at St. Joseph Health are here to provide an advanced level of care for patients experiencing severe asthma symptoms. They work to develop a customized treatment plan for each unique person, which may include:

  • Quick-relief treatments, including bronchodilators
  • Long-term control medications
    • Anti-inflammatories
    • Anticholinergics
    • Long-acting bronchodilators
  • Biologics
  • Bronchial thermoplasty
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation

If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of asthma, schedule a visit with a St. Joseph Health pulmonologist today.

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