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Symptoms, causes, and treatments for Asthma

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Asthma


Symptoms of Asthma

Asthma obstructs airflow to the lungs by narrowing and inflaming airways. Asthma is commonly diagnosed in children, and it’s rare for an adult to receive a new diagnosis of asthma.


Common asthma symptoms include:


  • Chest tightness
  • Consistent, chronic coughs
  • Mucus buildup in airways
  • Sensitivity in your airways when inhaling
  • Trouble breathing
  • Wheezing

Causes of Asthma

Asthma has no singular, defined cause. It’s not fully understood why some individuals develop it and others don’t. A few commonly accepted possible causes are:


  • Air pollution
  • Exposure to allergens
  • Genetics


After initial diagnosis, asthmatics usually work on a management plan with a doctor to identify and control their triggers. Because there’s no asthma cure, it’s important, and often life-saving, to know about and plan for your unique triggers.


Common asthma triggers include:


  • Allergens
  • Cold air
  • Dust
  • Exercise
  • Medications
  • Mold
  • Pet dander
  • Sinus infections
  • Smoke
  • Specific foods or drinks

Should I Be Worried?

If you’ve been diagnosed with asthma, you probably know about your triggers and have a prescribed inhaler on-hand for attacks.


Severe asthma episodes can be life-threatening. Breathing becomes severely inhibited or completely blocked.


The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends asthmatics create a plan with a doctor to control and manage their asthma and prevent serious attacks.


There are several asthma management plans published by medical organizations freely available online. One example, created by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, uses a green, yellow, and red zone format for asthmatics to quickly identify the severity of an episode.


Note that this is just one example of an asthma action plan, and you should schedule a visit with a doctor before committing to one plan over another, especially if you or your child’s asthma is newly diagnosed.


Schedule an asthma visit online or from our iOS app today.


Find a neighborhood ZOOM+Care clinic near you in Portland, Seattle, Salem, or Vancouver.

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