Updated: 04/28/2016 3:42 PM | Print Story |  Email

What You Need to Know About Asthma

Twenty-six-million Americans and more than 7-million kids work to control Asthma every single day. Dr. Lori Bethke from Entira Family Clinics stopped by to tell us how it’s diagnosed, how to treat and manage it.

  1. What is asthma?
    + a disease that affects your lungs
    + it is one of the most common long-term diseases of children
    + often caused by allergies and exposure to allergens such as pet dander, dust mites, pollen or mold. Non-allergic triggers include smoke, pollution or cold air or changes in weather
  1. Symptoms
    + most common is wheezing - a scratchy or whistling sound when you breathe
    + shortness of breath
    + chest tightness or pain
    + chronic coughing
    + trouble sleeping due to coughing or wheezing

During an asthma attack, the sides of the airways in your lungs swell and the airways shrink. Less air gets in and out of your lungs, and mucous that your body makes clogs up the airways even more.

  1. When and how is it diagnosed?
    + pay attention to symptom patterns
                - at night or early morning
                - during or after exercise
                - during certain seasons
                - after laughing or crying         
                - when exposed to common asthma triggers

    + the doctor will also do a breathing test, called Spirometry, to find out how well your lungs are working

In most cases, there’s no known cause of asthma, and there’s no cure. But if someone in your family has asthma you are more likely to have it.

Click here to look at the Asthma Action Plan & take the Asthma Control Test.

Learn more about asthma here.