Internal Medicine, Physical Therapy, Pediatrics & Pulmonology located in San Antonio, TX

Currently, approximately 25 million Americans have asthma. Unmanaged asthma can cause major health problems, but SA Premier Internal Medicine can help you to take control of your symptoms and improve your quality of life at three offices in San Antonio, Texas. If you’re having breathing difficulties, call the office nearest to you or click on the online appointment maker to arrange your visit with an asthma expert now.

What is asthma?

Asthma is a disease in which airway inflammation and swelling lead to breathing problems. While a person with asthma always has the disease, it’s most evident during asthma attacks — periods of intense breathing difficulties, wheezing, chest pain, coughing, and other issues in response to a trigger. 

What triggers asthma attacks?

Asthma triggers can vary by person, and you may have multiple triggers. Some of the most common are:

  • Cigarette smoke
  • Mold spores, pet dander, dust mites, pollen, or other airborne allergens
  • Outdoor air pollution from car exhaust, wildfire smoke, or other sources
  • Strenuous exercise
  • Cold air
  • Stress 
  • Intense emotions
  • Viral or bacterial infections related to colds, flu, or other respiratory illnesses
  • Acid reflux
  • Certain food additives like sulfites and preservatives in beer and dried fruit

An asthma attack can start shortly after your exposure to a trigger, or it may take a while for the reaction to happen. 

What happens during an asthma attack?

During an asthma attack, your airways swell and may make extra mucus that further clogs the tubes to prevent breathing. You may feel as if you’re trying to breathe through a tiny straw, or like you’re a fish out of water. 

Gasping for air, wheezing, and coughing are all very common during asthma attacks. Your chest may feel very tight and painful. In fact, many people confuse asthma symptoms with a heart attack. 

All of these symptoms need immediate attention, so if you have possible asthma symptoms reach out to SA Premier Internal Medicine to schedule an exam.

How is asthma treated?

Asthma treatment generally involves avoiding known triggers as much as possible, alongside medication to control symptoms when they happen. Most people need two types of medication: preventive and quick action. 

Preventive medications

Preventive medications are for daily use, whether you’re having symptoms or not. These medications help to prevent the problems, like inflammation, that lead to asthma attacks. Preventive medications may be either inhalers that you breathe in or pills. 

Quick-action medications

Quick-action medications are used at the start of asthma attacks. The most common type of quick-action medications are bronchodilators that you breathe in through an inhaler, but they exist in other forms as well. Quick-action medications immediately force your tightened airway muscles to relax and they widen your airways so you can breathe again. 

With the combination of preventive and quick-action medications, you’ll be able to control your asthma symptoms quite effectively and live the life you want. 

Book your appointment online or call SA Premier Internal Medicine to talk to an asthma management expert now.