What is asthma?
Asthma is a condition where the small airways in the lungs become narrow and inflamed, with increased mucous production. This leads to symptoms of coughing, wheezing and difficulty breathing.
How do you diagnose asthma?
For older children, asthma is diagnosed using special breathing tests. These may include spirometry (which we perform in our office), Pulmonary Function Testing (PFTs), and methacholine challenge.
Although younger children cannot reliably perform these tests, they can still have asthma. The diagnosis of asthma in younger children rely on a thorough review of symptoms and their response to typical asthma medications.
How do you manage asthma?
Avoid any known triggers, such as allergens
Avoid cigarette smoke
Take your asthma medications as prescribed
Make sure your inhaler technique is correct (see below), and use an aerochamber if it has been prescribed
If your asthma is not well controlled, make an appointment with your physician
If you are having an asthma emergency, call 911 or go to the hospital immediately