Breathing difficulties as a result of asthma can come out of nowhere and are not only alarming but downright frightening. There are few things that provoke a sense of desperation more than feeling like you can’t get enough oxygen.
With asthma, your airways become swollen and filled with mucus, making an attack likely. In response, your airways tighten and you wheeze and struggle for air.
The anticipatory worry about when an asthma attack may strike can make you fear going on a hike or even having a family dance party in the living room. In other words, asthma-related stress can sideline you pretty quickly and keep you away from activities you enjoy.
Fortunately, Dr. Ulrike Ziegner, and the entire team at Riviera Allergy Medical Center in Redondo Beach, California, are well-versed in the treatment of asthma in both children and adults, whether they’re making a diagnosis or counseling you on preventive strategies.
Fast facts about asthma
Although it’s a common condition, many people don’t know much about asthma unless they or a family member is affected by it. Some common and lesser-known facts about asthma include:
- 25 million people in the United States live with asthma; 7 million are children
- Those diagnosed as children can outgrow it in adulthood
- Another large segment of asthma diagnoses are made in people age 50 and older
- An array of triggers or allergens can bring on an attack
And you shouldn’t underestimate asthma’s effects. Severe attacks can be life-threatening.
What brings on an asthma attack?
If you’re asthmatic, there’s no doubt that you must be mindful of what your triggers are and careful about the strenuousness of the activities in which you engage. Triggers differ for each person with asthma, but these are common:
- Animal hair/dander
- Very frigid or hot outdoor temperatures
- High humidity
- Airborne allergens, such as dust
- Smoke from tobacco or burning organic material
- Physical exercise
- Household cleaning supplies with strong fumes, like ammonia
In addition to environmental and activity-linked triggers, even stress and strong emotions that lead to hyperventilation can provoke an asthma episode.
Treating asthma so you can stay active
When you and your physician properly manage your asthma, there’s no reason why you can’t continue to enjoy most of the things you love to do. You just need to be aware of possible triggers and be vigilant about avoiding them.
Fortunately, there are many ways you can combat your asthma, and the Riviera Allergy Medical Center team specializes in creating a customized plan for you. After learning your asthma history, testing your breathing, and performing other assessments, you may get:
- Advice on how to check your breathing levels, and how often
- Prescription medications
- A device, such as an inhaler with albuterol
- Education on monitoring your peak expiratory flow (PEF) with a peak flow meter, which measures your ability to breathe air out
- Stress reduction advice
Our team can advise you about what to do if an emergency arises, too. Recognizing the signs of an asthma attack and knowing how to address it arms you to get out there and live an active life without constant worry.
Even though asthma is a chronic condition, with proper monitoring and treatment, you should be able to live your life to the fullest. You can be physically active, own pets, and be comfortable in many different environments with the proper medications and asthma management tools.
Please call our office to schedule an asthma consultation. We look forward to meeting you and helping you turn around your asthma limitations.