Allergy Associates of Dearborn
Roula H. Daher, M.D.
Allergist located in Dearborn, MI
Asthma Q & A
What causes asthma?
Asthma is a common lung disorder that occurs when the airways become inflamed. This inflammation leads to three changes that narrow the airways:
- Airways become swollen
- Muscles that line the airways tighten
- Excess mucus is produced
As your airways narrow, it’s hard to breathe and asthma symptoms flare-up. After asthma develops, your airways stay chronically inflamed, making them susceptible to a quick flare-up when you’re exposed to a trigger.
What triggers asthma?
A trigger is anything that irritates your lungs and causes an asthma flare-up. If you have allergies, there’s a good chance your allergens, such as pollen, dust mites, and mold, are also your asthma triggers.
Some examples of other common triggers include:
- Cold air
- Acid reflux
- Tobacco smoke
- Chemical fumes
- Strong odors (perfume)
- Common cold and flu
About 90% of all patients with asthma experience a flare-up when they exercise or become active. Dr. Daher helps you with a treatment plan so you can continue to enjoy your activities.
What symptoms will I experience during an asthma attack?
You’ll have one or more of the following symptoms during an asthma attack:
- Chest pain or tightness
- Shortness of breath
- Dry cough
For many patients, coughing is worse at night or when they exercise.
How is asthma diagnosed and treated?
Dr. Daher performs several types of pulmonary function tests, but spirometry is one of the key diagnostic tests for asthma. Spirometry is done in the office to measure the amount of air you inhale and exhale.
An asthma treatment plan is always customized and based on each patient’s overall health. However, the essential components for treating asthma include:
Plan to avoid triggers
One of the best ways to prevent a future asthma attack is to identify your triggers and create a plan to avoid them. If Dr. Daher suspects allergies, she’ll recommend allergy testing and possibly allergy shots (immunotherapy). Treating your allergy also reduces asthma attacks caused by allergens.
Quick-relief medications are often called rescue inhalers because they’re designed to help you during an asthma attack. The medication is contained inside a nebulizer that turns the drug into a mist. When you inhale the mist, the medication quickly gets into your lungs and opens your airways so you can breathe.
Dr. Daher may prescribe a medication that you take daily for an extended time. These medications treat chronic inflammation and prevent future asthma attacks.
If you develop asthma symptoms, call Allergy Associates Dearborn or book an appointment online.