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Compassionate And Professional Medical Services

Asthma & Lungs

What Is Asthma?

A Common Long-Term Disease

Asthma is a disease that affects your lungs. It is one of the most common long-term diseases in children, but adults can have asthma too. Asthma causes wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and coughing at night or early in the morning. If you have asthma, you have it all the time, but you will have asthma attacks only when something bothers your lungs.

In most cases, we don’t know what causes asthma nor how to cure it. However, Bay Clinic knows that if someone in your family has asthma, you are more likely to have it. Contact us for an appointment or with questions.

How Can You Tell If You Have Asthma?

It can be hard to tell if someone has asthma. Having Dr. Ramirez check how well your lungs work and check for allergies can help you find out if you have asthma. During a checkup, Dr. Ramirez will ask several questions about your breathing and when it is most difficult. 

We will also do a breathing test called spirometry to find out how well your lungs are working. The doctor will use a computer with a mouthpiece to test how much air you can breathe out after taking a very deep breath. The spirometer can measure airflow before and after you use asthma medicine.

What Is An Asthma Attack?

An asthma attack may include coughing, chest tightness, wheezing, and trouble breathing. The attack happens in your body’s airways, which are the paths that carry air to your lungs. As the air moves through your lungs, the airways become smaller, like the branches of a tree are smaller than the tree trunk.

During an asthma attack, the sides of the airways in your lungs swell and the airways shrink. Less air gets in and out of your lungs, and mucus, which your body makes, clogs up the airways even more.

You can control your asthma by knowing the warning signs of an asthma attack, staying away from things that can cause an attack, and following your doctor’s advice. 

When you control your asthma:
  • You won’t have symptoms such as wheezing or coughing
  • You’ll sleep better
  • You won’t miss work or school
  • You can take part in all physical activities
  • You won’t have to go to the hospital

What causes an asthma attack?

An asthma attack can happen when you are exposed to asthma triggers. Your triggers can be very different from those of someone else with asthma. It's important to know your triggers and learn how to avoid them. Watch out for an attack when you can’t avoid the triggers.

Some of the most common triggers are tobacco smoke, dust mites, outdoor air pollution, cockroach allergens, pets, mold, and smoke from burning wood or grass.

How Is Asthma Treated?

Take your medicine exactly as your doctor tells you and stay away from things that can trigger an attack to control your asthma. Not everyone with asthma takes the same medicine. You can inhale some medicine but others require a pill.

Asthma medicine comes in two types: quick relief and long-term control. Quick-relief medicine controls the symptoms of an asthma attack. If you need to use your quick-relief medicine more and more, visit your doctor to see if you need a different kind of medicine.

Long-term control medicine helps you have fewer and milder attacks, but they don’t help you during an asthma attack. Asthma medicine can have side effects, but most side effects are mild and soon go away. Ask your doctor about the side effects of your medicine.

Remember – you can control your asthma. With Dr. Ramirez’s help, you can make your own asthma action plan. Decide who should have a copy of your plan and where you should keep it. Take your long-term control medicine even when you don’t have symptoms.
Call 850-785-3212
Or Visit Us At
621 Martin Luther King Blvd.
Panama City, FL 32401
Professional Affiliations:
American Medical Association
Florida Medical Association
Sleep Foundation
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