Medical Alliance of Southern New Jersey
Internal Medicine Physicians located in Vineland, NJ
About 8% of adults have asthma, and if you’re one of them, you need to have medications on hand in case of an acute attack. The experienced doctors at Medical Alliance of Southern New Jersey in Vineland encourage you to meet with them to develop a treatment plan to effectively manage your asthma. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Vineland, New Jersey.
Asthma Q & A
What causes asthma?
Asthma starts when airways in your lungs become inflamed. The inflammation causes hypersensitivity to substances in the air or environment, which then trigger an asthma attack.
When you have an asthma attack, three things happen:
- Muscles in the airway walls tighten
- Extra mucus accumulates in the airways
- Airway walls become swollen
All three actions narrow your airways, block airflow, and restrict your breathing. Once asthma develops, the airways tend to stay chronically inflamed, which makes you vulnerable to ongoing asthma attacks.
What are the symptoms of asthma?
Asthma causes such symptoms as:
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty breathing
- A feeling of chest tightness
- A chronic cough
If your symptoms become more frequent or worsen, call Medical Alliance of Southern New Jersey for an evaluation. It’s important to have the appropriate medication and dosage on hand to immediately relieve an acute asthma attack.
What triggers an asthma attack?
If you have allergies to airborne substances such as pollen (trees, grasses, ragweed), mold, or dust, these allergens can trigger an asthma attack. A few common triggers include:
- Cold air
- Tobacco smoke
- Air pollution
- Strong odors
- Upper respiratory infections
- Stress and strong emotions
- Physical activity
Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB), or an asthma flare-up caused by physical activity, usually happens within a few minutes after you start exercising.
How do you treat asthma?
The doctors at Medical Alliance of Southern New Jersey perform pulmonary function tests on site to evaluate airflow and to obtain many other measures of lung functioning. Treatment for asthma takes a two-pronged approach: immediate relief when you have an attack and medication to prevent future flare-ups.
Your doctor may prescribe two different types of medications:
Using a nebulizer to convert medication into a fine mist, you can quickly inhale medicine into your lungs for relief during an asthma attack.
Long-term asthma control medications
These medications are usually taken daily to prevent future asthma attacks. A variety of medications, both oral and inhaled, are available for long-term control. Your doctor picks the best one for your symptoms.
If your doctor suspects allergies of triggering your asthma symptoms, they may recommend allergy testing and immunotherapy (allergy shots). As you reduce allergies, you also improve asthma symptoms.
When you experience wheezing or difficulty breathing, call Medical Alliance of Southern New Jersey, or book an appointment online.