During an asthma attack, physiological changes make it hard to breathe. The airways swell, which narrows the passages that air flows through, and they produce extra mucus, which further blocks the passages. As breathing becomes harder and harder, the chest tightens, and people often wheeze and cough. The restriction of airflow can often be severe.
The exact cause of asthma isn’t known, although researchers think allergies may make people more susceptible to the condition. Individual asthma attacks are often triggered by physical exertion or contaminants in the air.
While any medical doctor may diagnose patients with asthma, allergists are often the ones first to discover the condition because their allergy patients are at an increased risk of developing the condition. When considering whether a patient has asthma, allergists often look for reoccurring symptoms that are indicative of the condition. They may also take into account family history and other factors.
Asthma is usually treated with prescription medication. Sometimes inhalers are used to reduce the frequency of attacks and severity of symptoms during attacks, and sometimes injections are administered. Some treatments contain steroids, while others are steroid-free. An allergist will discuss a patient’s particular condition with them first, before determining which treatment is best for the patient.
An asthma appointment with an allergist takes about as long as a typical doctor’s appointment. The appointment includes a conversation with the allergist about possible asthma attacks and the symptoms experienced. Using this and other information, the allergist then prescribes any appropriate medication. After any medication either administered or called into a pharmacy, patients are usually welcome to return to their office or home. The entire appointment typically takes up only part of a day.
Please contact the office with any insurance related questions.