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Allergy, Immunology & Rheumatology

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Asthma

To schedule an appointment or for more information, please call (585) 922-8350.

Asthma

What is Asthma?

Asthma, a disease of the lungs that causes airways to become blocked or narrowed, makes it difficult for nearly 22 million Americans to breathe. Some asthma attacks cause the airways to be so severely blocked that oxygen is unable to enter the lungs. These asthma attacks also prevent oxygen from entering the bloodstream and traveling to the body's vital organs.

Researchers believe that both genetic and environmental factors contribute to asthma. If asthma runs in your family, you may find that exposure to irritants such as tobacco smoke can aggravate your airways.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

A common condition of asthma is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), a chronic condition that makes it difficult to breathe. There are two main forms of COPD: chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Chronic bronchitis characteristically includes a long-term cough with mucus, while emphysema involves the destruction of the lungs over time.

Although smoking is the leading cause of COPD, it is not the only way to develop the disease. Other risk factors include exposure to certain gases or fumes, exposure to large volumes of smoke and pollution, and frequent use of cooking fire without proper ventilation.

Asthma Signs & Symptoms

Common asthma symptoms include:

  • Frequent cough, especially at night
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Breathlessness
  • Chest tightness, pain or pressure
  • Difficulty speaking

Treatments

If you suffer from asthma, consider consulting one of our physicians who can assess your condition and prescribe medications to help manage your asthma symptoms. Our physicians commonly use two major groups of medications for asthma treatment:

  • Anti-inflammatories - reduce inflammations and the risk of acute asthma attacks. These medications can be administered via inhaler or orally via a pill or liquid form.
  • Bronchodilators - increase the diameter of the air passages and ease the flow to and from the lungs. Some bronchodilators are inhaled and some must be taken orally.

Although asthma is a long-term condition, a physician can help you significantly minimize the frequency and severity of your asthma attacks or asthma symptoms.

To schedule your asthma appointment, please call (585) 922-8350.

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