As a leading allergist in the Downtown, Los Angeles, CA, area, Dr. Johnson helps her patients manage their asthma symptoms so they can avoid flareups and improve their overall quality of life.
Why does asthma occur?
Asthma is an airway disease that causes the tubes in your lungs, called bronchi, to constrict, making it difficult to breathe and usually causing wheezing. The disease is especially common among children, but in recent years, the number of adults with asthma has been on the rise.
What symptoms does asthma cause?
The most common symptoms include:
- excessive production of mucus in the lungs and airways
- wheezing when breathing in and out
- tight feeling in the lungs and chest
- difficulty breathing, especially after physical exertion or in extreme temperatures
- shortness of breath
Mild asthma symptoms can occur at any time, with symptoms becoming much worse during flareups, usually in response to a trigger like pollen or exercise.
How will Dr. Johnson determine if I have asthma?
First, Dr. Johnson will discuss any symptoms you've been experiencing and ask you about factors you believe might have triggered them. In addition to a personal health history, she'll ask about members of your family who may have asthma or allergies. She'll also listen to your chest to determine if wheezing is present and he may ask you to perform a very simple breathing test that measures your lung function or capacity. In some cases, she may order x-rays or other diagnostic tests to rule out diseases that can cause similar symptoms.
How is asthma treated?
The first step in treating asthma is understanding your triggers. Once you know what causes flareups to occur, you can take steps to avoid those triggers and minimize the likelihood of developing severe symptoms. Most people with asthma also use an inhaler or nebulizer to deliver special medications to relax the bronchi so breathing is easier. It's also important to maintain a healthy weight and get plenty of moderate physical activity to ensure your lungs stay as healthy as possible.