Asthma Specialists in Texas
What Is Asthma?
Asthma is a chronic disease involving the airways in the lungs. These airways, or bronchial tubes, allow air to come in and out of the lungs.
If you have asthma your airways are always inflamed. They become even more swollen and the muscles around the airways can tighten when something triggers your symptoms. This makes it difficult for air to move in and out of the lungs, causing symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and/or chest tightness.
People with a family history of allergies or asthma are more prone to developing asthma. Many people with asthma also have allergies. This is called allergic asthma.
What are the common asthma symptoms?
According to the leading experts in asthma, the symptoms of asthma and the best treatment for you or your child may be quite different than for someone else with asthma. The most common symptom is wheezing. This is a scratchy or whistling sound when you breathe. Other symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness or pain
- Chronic coughing
- Trouble sleeping due to coughing or wheezing
Video of wheezing/shortness of breath
Asthma symptoms, also called asthma flare-ups or asthma attacks, are 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. Asthma symptoms may be worse during exercise, when you have a cold or during times of high stress.
Children with asthma may show the same symptoms as adults with asthma: coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. In some children chronic cough may be the only symptom. If your child has one or more of these common symptoms, make an appointment with an allergist / immunologist:
- Coughing that is constant or that is made worse by viral infections, happens while your child is asleep, or is triggered by exercise and cold air
- Wheezing or whistling sound when your child exhales
- Shortness of breath or rapid breathing, which may be associated with exercise
- Chest tightness (a young child may say that his chest “hurts” or “feels funny”)
- Fatigue (your child may slow down or stop playing)
- Problems feeding or grunting during feeding (infants)
- Avoiding sports or social activities
- Problems sleeping due to coughing or difficulty breathing
Why should you see an Allergist for asthma treatment?
There is significant overlap with allergies and asthma. Those with early onset asthma (before age 12) and allergic sensitivity to indoor allergens are three times more likely to have persistent asthma. This stresses the importance of management of risk factors that can lead to asthma and asthma exacerbations. Seeing an allergy specialist helps evaluate and treat a significant underlying component of persistent asthma. Seeing an asthma specialist (whether it be in Allergist or a Pulmonologist) can help tailor treatments to improve health outcomes.
Are there different types of Asthma?
There are several different types of asthma and should be diagnosed by a specialist.
- Seasonal Asthma can be triggered by allergic reactions to allergens such as trees, grasses, or weeds
- Allergic Asthma is triggered by allergic reactions to allergens such as pet dander, dust or dust mites, molds or pollens
- Non-Allergic Asthma is triggered by irritants in the air that you breathe such as tobacco smoke, wood smoke, room deodorizers, fresh paint, and perfume
- Exercise-Induced Asthma is triggered during physical activities
- Nocturnal Asthma is triggered by exercise or physical activity