Asthma is a very complicated chronic respiratory condition that spares no age group. The disease produces distressing symptoms that warrant a close partnership with an asthma doctor.
While you may think that you can just self-medicate and do without medical intervention, not having it will make you susceptible to asthma flare-ups and other undesirable outcomes of the condition.
Let’s explore the different ways that a doctor’s treatment can help you better manage your asthma.
Your doctor can help you identify and avoid the things that trigger an asthma episode by getting you tested for allergies as well as educating you about medications and other asthma management strategies.
Identifying the substances—such as food additives, fragrances, and pet dander—that you may be allergic to is crucial for avoiding them and preventing asthma attacks.
Helping You Monitor How Your Lungs Are Working
Your doctor may recommend the use of a peak flow meter, which is a handheld device to help you gauge your ability to force air out of your lungs. The device can alert you for changes in your breathing and the onset of any symptoms. Your doctor may have you periodically note down the results.
Your doctor may also regularly perform spirometry tests, which measure how much air you inhale and exhale and how quickly you exhale. During a spirometry test, your doctor will give you medication to open your airways to allow you to breathe easily.
If your doctor suspects that you have exercise-induced asthma, you will be required to do a similar type of test but using a stationary bike or a treadmill to assess how exercise affects your breathing.
Preventing Exacerbations Through Medications and an Asthma Action Plan
Your doctor will also likely prescribe medications to help you both prevent and mitigate the symptoms in the event of an asthma exacerbation.
Your doctor will give you these medications to provide instant relief of sudden asthma symptoms, thus their name. They work by relaxing the muscles that constrict your airways, helping open them up for you to be able to breathe easily. Quick-relief inhalers ease your symptoms within minutes and last up to four hours.
These medications are essentially aimed at achieving and maintaining long-term control of persistent asthma symptoms and attacks. They reduce swelling and mucus buildup in your airways, making them less sensitive and less likely to react to asthma triggers.
You can work with your doctor in creating an asthma action plan, in which you can record your symptoms and the best courses of action to prevent or keep the symptoms under control. An asthma action plan can also help you decide when it’s time to make adjustments to your medications.
Listed below are some of the things you may include in your asthma action plan:
- Asthma triggers (substances, humidity, stress, exercise, etc.)
- Exercise-induced asthma symptoms
- Changes in the color of your phlegm when you cough up
- Chest tightness, coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing
- Hay fever symptoms (runny nose and sneezing)
- Quick-relief inhaler use (note down when you need to use your quick-relief inhaler and indicate how many puffs you’re supposed to take)
Asthma Treatment in Rochester, New York
If you’re living with asthma and looking for a reliable, board-certified physician to help you better control your condition, visit us at Cornerstone Urgent Care Center. While we are an urgent care facility, we do provide first-rate chronic disease management for asthma, diabetes, hypertension, and other conditions that need consistent, high-quality care.
If you feel like a flare-up is about to happen and you think your medications should be adjusted, come and see us at Cornerstone Urgent Care Center. Our walk-in clinic is open daily: Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
For more information about our practice or if you would like to make an appointment with any of our providers, call us at (585) 207-0088 or use our online request form.