Asthma is a common condition affecting the lives of millions of Americans. Asthma symptoms usually come on in what are known as “asthma attacks.” During these, symptoms involve difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, coughing, and other complications. Come to AFC Urgent Care to find relief from these symptoms.
Where do I go if I have asthma?
The first step in treating an allergic asthma attack is to use an inhaler or other medication. You should also distance yourself from any source of allergens that might be triggering the attack.
If symptoms don’t improve after using medications, or if you have severe symptoms, call for emergency medical help.
Severe asthma attacks share several symptoms with mild to moderate asthma attacks, however, severe attacks take place when the symptoms don’t improve after taking rescue medication.
If your rescue medication doesn’t seem to be working, always seek emergency medical attention. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should go to the hospital:
- intense shortness of breath and difficulty speaking
- very rapid breathing, coughing, or wheezing
- straining chest muscles and difficulty breathing
- a bluish color in the face, lips, or nails
- difficulty inhaling or exhaling completely
- confusion or exhaustion
- fainting or collapsing
If you use a device that measures your peak airflow, you should go to the hospital if your readings are low and aren’t improving.
A coughing or wheezing symptom may disappear as the attack worsens in a life-threatening asthma attack. Seek medical attention if you can’t speak a full sentence or you experience other breathing difficulties.
You may not need to go to the hospital if your symptoms respond quickly to your rescue medication, and you can walk and talk comfortably.
What kind of doctor do you see for breathing problems?
While your family doctor can treat common breathing issues, you might need to see a specialist when your breathing problems are complex or when it’s not clear what’s causing them.
Consider asking your family doctor if you should see a specialist if you have any of these symptoms:
- A cough that’s severe or has lasted more than three weeks
- Chest pain or tightness
- Dizziness,lightheadedness, or fainting
- Difficulty breathing, especially while you’re exercising
- Repeated colds or bronchitisthat impacts your breathing
- Problems identifying what triggers your asthma or controlling it
A physician who specializes in breathing problems is called a pulmonologist. They can treat many breathing-related conditions, including:
- Cystic fibrosis (an inherited disease in which mucus builds up in the lungs and other organs)
- COPD, which is also called emphysema or chronic bronchitis
- Lung cancer
- Pulmonary fibrosis (in which the lung’s tissues become damaged and scarred)
- Work-related lung diseases (risk of exposure to asbestosor coal dust)
What does an asthma clinic do?
Asthma clinics specialize in treating complications due to asthma.
You may require a referral from your physician or nurse practitioner to go to an asthma clinic.
These clinics offer individualized assessments, treatments, education and follow-up care for people with asthma. Care and treatment is based on best practices. Its goals are:
- To educate clients and their families about asthma.
- To identify asthma triggers and trigger avoidance strategies.
- To teach correct use of inhaler devices, peak flow meters and spacers.
- To explain asthma medications.
- To establish an action treatment plan with a physician/Nurse Practitioner.
- To provide follow-up for continued asthma control.
If you or someone you know is experiencing difficulty breathing due to asthma, come to AFC Urgent Care today! We have expertly trained physicians who can help you breathe easy again! Contact our office today to get in touch with a specialist. To book an appointment, call us or visit us online!