Asthma is a chronic, long-term condition that causes the lungs to become inflamed and airways to become constricted. It interferes with normal breathing and causes symptoms that can make breathing difficult. There are several forms of asthma and each has their own cause and triggers. Asthma can be classified by its levels of severity and can range from mild to severe. Asthma symptoms affect approximately 1 in 12 people in America and is the most common chronic childhood illness. While asthma can be life-threatening, it can be controlled with medication.

Causes of Asthma

The specific causes of asthma are not known but family genetics and environmental factors, such as exposure to secondhand smoke and air pollution, are believed to play a factor. An asthma attack can be caused by the following:

  • An allergy to pollen or animal dander
  • A respiratory infection
  • Exposure to cold air
  • Physical activity
  • An allergy to food
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Air pollution

Symptoms of Asthma

Asthma symptoms vary with each person. Sometimes an attack may occur infrequently, other times it occurs when exercising, or it may occur on a regular basis. Some of the symptoms of asthma include:
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing or a whistling sound when exhaling
  • Trouble sleeping due to shortness of breath
There is no cure for asthma but the symptoms can be controlled. Because asthma changes over the course of time, it’s important to work with Dr. Ogden to track symptoms and adjust treatment protocols as needed.

Types of Asthma

Asthma symptoms can occur in certain situations and is classified as follows:

Exercise-induced asthma.

An asthma attack typically occurs when the air is cold and dry

Occupational asthma

An asthma attack that is triggered by workplace irritants such as fumes, gases, or dust

Allergy-induced asthma

An asthma attack that can be triggered by the environment such as pollen, mold spores, and pet dander as well as other substance

Treatment of Asthma

Asthma can be managed with long-term medications that help prevent attacks and treat symptoms. Medications can include inhalers as well as oral medications. When triggers are recognized patients can usually avoid them or be prepared to treat their symptoms when they occur. Dr. Ogden can create an asthma treatment plan which can include steps to prevent and manage an asthma attack. Seek immediate medical treatment if coughing or shortness of breath persists or gets worse.