Asthma symptoms can be nuisance for many people; but for others, asthma is a major medical problem that interferes with living a normal, active life. Severe asthma symptoms can be fatal. Consequently, it is important to treat symptoms as soon as you notice them, so they don’t become severe.

What is Asthma?

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that causes the airways of the lungs to swell and narrow, leading to wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness and coughing. During an asthma attack, the muscles surrounding the airways tighten and the lining of the air passages become inflamed, reducing the amount of air that can flow in and out of the lungs.

There are two types of asthma, allergic asthma and non-allergic asthma. Both types share the same symptoms; however the differences lie in their triggers. For people who have allergic asthma the most common triggers are: dust mite allergen, pollen, mold, and animal dander. A reaction may also be triggered by a food allergy. Some of the more common triggers for non-allergic asthma are: physical exercise, cold air, dry air, smoke, anxiety and the presence of a viral infection.

Image courtesy of National Heart Lung & Blood Institute.

Who is most at risk of developing asthma?

In the US asthma is the leading chronic disease in people under the age of 18. Among children, boys suffer with asthma more often than girls; however, adult men and women are affected equally. People who are obese are at higher risk of developing asthma and generally experience more severe symptoms.

At the Kaplan Center our physicians have years of experience treating patients with chronic conditions such as asthma, and we completely reject the notion that “you just have to live with it.”

At your first visit, your Kaplan physician will take time exploring the onset of your condition, the specific nature of your symptoms and the overall status of your health. You’ll also be asked about the medications and therapies you’ve tried in the past, and what has and hasn’t worked for you. To gather additional information about your condition, specialized diagnostic laboratory testing may be necessary.

After reviewing all of the factors contributing to your condition, your physician will spend time talking with you about your diagnosis and working with you to create a customized and multi-dimensional treatment plan that addresses not only your immediate pain, but also any possible underlying or co-existing conditions that may be causing or aggravating your symptoms.

We offer a multitude of effective treatment options, including:

There is no cure for asthma, although symptoms can improve over time. With proper self-management and treatment, most people with asthma can lead active, healthy lives.

We’re here for you, and we want to help. Our goal is to return you to optimal health as soon as possible.

Please call (703) 532-4892 to schedule an appointment, or for more information please click here.