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Asthma Evaluation and Treatment

In a normal respiratory system, air is received into the bloodstream and the body expels carbon dioxide, keeping the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels perfectly balanced. Asthma causes the bronchial tubes to become inflamed and swollen, thus reducing the available flow of oxygen into the blood. This swelling also creates the wheezing, shortness of breath and coughing those with asthma.

The actual cause of asthma is generally unknown. But, we are aware of the contributing factors and how best to control them. Without proper diagnosis and effective management, asthma can significantly limit work and recreational activity; it can be fatal in the most severe cases. Over 24 million American children and adults experience some form of asthma affliction resulting in over 25 million lost work and school days annually.

The overall incidence of asthma is increasing in the United States. Although it is not completely clear why, we do know there is a strong genetic component. Your risk of acquiring asthma increases significantly if you have a parent, sibling, or child with the disease. Of course, anyone can still acquire asthma irrespective of family history.

While the actual causes of the inflammation are uncertain, various "triggers" ignite the onset of asthma. Those include:

  • Upper respiratory infections - ear, sinus and bronchial
  • Exercise
  • Environmental allergens such as animal dander, dust, mold, pollen, feather beds, etc.
  • Tobacco smoke exposure
  • Acid reflux disease
  • Certain medications
  • Anxiety

Once perceived as a childhood disease that would simply pass with time, we now know that asthma can develop at any stage of life. Adult onset asthma can appear at age 50, 60 and occasionally even later. Although smoking does not cause asthma initially, it can provoke its symptoms. Serious loss of lung function can result if asthma is left untreated

Managing Your Asthma

Some steps you can take to reduce the incidence of asthma include:

  • Conduct a home environmental assessment to eliminate or minimize typical household allergens
  • Take medications as prescribed after consultation with a specialist
  • Reduce outdoor activities when the ozone levels or pollen counts are high
  • Determine which non-allergic causes are contributing to symptoms

Westmoreland Allergy and Asthma Associates provides evaluation and treatment services for anyone currently displaying symptoms or at high risk of developing asthma. A visit to our office will help determine the triggers, both allergic and non-allergic, enabling us to recommend the best treatment plan.

Schedule an Appointment

To schedule an appointment, click here or call today at 724-832-1200.

ASTHMA

Asthma doesn't have to disrupt your life. We offer effective treatments to help you manage this chronic lung disease.

ENVIRONMENTAL ALLERGIES

Are dust mites, pet dander, mold spores, pollen, or other environmental irritants standing in your way? We can determine the cause of your allergies and create a plan for managing your symptoms.

CONTACT ALLERGIES

Coming into contact with certain items, such as nickel, hair dyes, and poison ivy, can cause allergic reactions in some people. We offer a range of treatment options for all types of contact allergies.

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