"One in 13 people have asthma, more than 25 million Americans," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Deana Al-Khateeb of Ridgeview Internal Medicine in Woodbridge, VA, offers her patients information and asthma treatment options.
What is asthma?
Asthma is a chronic disease that affects lungs. People suffer from wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and coughing at night or early in the morning. The cause of asthma is unknown but it's believed to be genetic, environmental, and/or because of occupational factors.
How do you know if you have asthma?
Your physician can confirm if you suffer from asthma. Dr. Al-Khateeb will ask if you cough a lot, or if breathing worsens after physical activity. She will ask about chest tightness, wheezing, and colds lasting more than 10 days. Your physician will ask about family history with asthma, allergies, or other breathing problems.
There's also a breathing test, spirometry, to test how well your lungs are working. It tests how much air you can breathe out after taking a deep breath before and after using asthma medicine.
What is an asthma attack?
An attack is when the body’s airways constrict while air tries to move into your lungs. Less air reaches your lungs and mucous clogs up the airways, which is why people experience:
- chest tightness
- trouble breathing.
An asthma attack can happen when exposed to asthma triggers, like tobacco smoke, dust mites, outdoor air pollution, cockroach allergen, pets, mold, smoke from burning wood and/or grass.
How is asthma treated?
- Control asthma by avoiding triggers and keeping an eye out for warning signs of an asthma attack.
- Take your medicine exactly as your Woodbridge physician tells you.
- There are different medications, like those through inhalers or pills, so find out which is best for you.
Need more information about asthma?
Asthma can make life difficult but your Woodbridge, VA, physician can help. Dr. Deana Al-Khateeb of Ridgeview Internal Medicine can be reached at (703) 494-4116 if you'd like to make an appointment or have questions about asthma.