Asthma symptoms range from mild to severe. It can be persistent yet minor, or it can result in a sudden, life-threatening asthma attack. Symptoms may include:
- Shortness of breath
- Wheezing (a whistling sound in the chest when exhaling)
- Chest tightness
A severe asthma attack can turn into a medical emergency if any of the following symptoms appear:
- Chest pain
- Extreme difficulty breathing
- Mental confusion
- Blue skin color
- Rapid pulse
- Difficulty walking or talking
Determining a person’s specific asthma triggers may feel like solving a puzzle; however, once your trigger(s) are identified, asthma can be much more readily managed. Genetics do seem to play a part. People with asthma or allergies in their family are more likely to develop asthma themselves.
Allergic asthma is triggered by airborne substances such as:
- All types of pollen
- Dust mites
- Cockroach waste
- Pet dander
Nonallergic asthma triggers include:
- Pollution, fumes, gases, and smoke
- Exercise (can be further exacerbated by cold, dry air)
- Some medications, including aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)
- Respiratory illnesses
- Weather (cold, dry, wet, or windy)
Diagnosis & Treatment Options
Southern California Allergy’s first step will be a physical examination and testing to rule out any other conditions that may mimic asthma symptoms, including respiratory infections and vocal cord dysfunction. We also offer pulmonary function tests to determine how effectively your lungs are working.
Once you receive an asthma diagnosis, the next phase is identifying your trigger(s). If allergic asthma is suspected, skin testing can provide information on allergens to which you have a sensitivity. If you do have any allergic reactions, Dr. Schulte will work with you to see if that particular allergen could be related to your asthma symptoms.
While the majority of asthma patients have allergic asthma, Dr. Schulte will consult with nonallergic asthma sufferers to determine what lifestyle factors may be the behind their asthma.
Regardless of triggers, we will get a personalized treatment strategy in place for you. Avoiding/removing environmental factors that aggravate your asthma can make a big impact on your respiratory health. When this alone does not put a stop to your asthma, a variety of medications have proven successful at managing symptoms.
Allergen desensitization through immunotherapy (allergy shots) can greatly reduce the symptoms of allergic asthma.
Dr. Schulte is an asthma expert, let her put a treatment plan in place so you can get your asthma symptoms under control and get back to normal life!
Studies show that when an allergist treats asthma, it results in a 77% reduction in time lost from work or school.
Coughing can be the only symptom of asthma.
Nearly 4 out of 5 people who have asthma also have hay fever. If you have both, you may have more asthma attacks and need more medication.
According to the CDC, approximately 27 million Americans have asthma. It is the most common chronic condition among American children, with one out of every 12 diagnosed with asthma.