Asthma is a well-known condition that can begin in childhood and affect a person throughout their lifetime. The chronic condition is characterized by inflammation in the body’s breathing passages. This inflammation and swelling in the bronchial tubes that deliver air to the lungs can make it difficult to breathe. Understandably, an asthma attack can induce a significant amount of panic. The caring team at MXBowen PPC, Health & Breathing Center in NYC understands the sudden impact that asthma attacks can have, as well as the importance of having an action plan in place to deal with asthma attacks when they do occur. Because there is no cure for this condition, patients must discern how to manage symptoms and triggers.
Asthma Symptoms and Triggers
Frightening asthma attacks are not the only symptom of asthma. Other common signs of asthma include frequent wheezing and coughing that worsen if the person has a cold. People with asthma may also feel a tightness in their chest or experience shortness of breath that disrupts their sleep. These symptoms may be triggered by several factors, but they tend to fall into three common categories. One is allergies. Exposure to allergens in the environment can bring on an asthma attack or worsen symptoms like coughing and wheezing. Food allergies, as well, can trigger an asthma attack. This happens because a food allergy may cause swelling in the throat and of the tongue, closing off the airway. Finally, exercise is a common trigger for asthma symptoms. While this can occur at any time, exercise is more often a trigger during the cold months when the person is taking in larger amounts of cold air.
Who gets Asthma?
According to The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, approximately 25 million Americans have asthma. Anyone can develop this condition, but it frequently runs in the family. Studies indicate that more women than men develop adult-onset asthma, but that more boys than girls develop the condition. Black Americans also have higher rates of asthma than other ethnicities. Because asthma is one of the most common respiratory conditions of our time, it is important to know the signs and develop a solid plan to manage lifelong health and wellness.
What is an Asthma Plan?
If the symptoms of asthma occur, the first step to take is to consult with a doctor. Dr. Marc Bowen is a New York City pulmonologist who personalizes care to each of his patients. His approach to treating asthma involves helping patients identify their triggers, discussion about trigger avoidance, and tracking breathing to ensure prescribed medications are keeping symptoms in check. Medications are often used to manage asthma symptoms. These include fast-acting medications and medications for long-term asthma control. Fast-acting medications are those that are used at the time of an asthma attack, and long-term medications are taken daily as a preventative measure. Over time and depending on the results of periodic nitric oxide monitoring, a person’s asthma plan may change.
With spring allergies on the horizon, now is a great time to consult with an experienced physician about asthma and allergy symptoms. Contact us today at 212.480.4062 to schedule a visit to one of our two convenient NYC locations.