Asthma Specialist

Alpha Internal Medicine

Internal Medicine & Internists located in Fayetteville, GA

As many as 25 million people in the United States live with asthma, and 25% of these cases occur in children. While asthma may be common, it can be overwhelming to live with the condition if you don’t know how to manage it. When you become a patient of Dr. Betsy Horton at Alpha Internal Medicine in Fayetteville, Georgia, you can get the custom asthma treatment you need. Don’t go another day struggling to breathe: Call the office or book your asthma screening online.

Asthma Q & A

Alpha Internal Medicine

What is asthma?

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that often starts during childhood. You have airways that transport air in and out of your lungs. But when you have asthma, those airways become:

  • Inflamed
  • Swollen
  • Sensitive

Because the cells in your airways overreact to environmental substances, like dust, your body starts producing excess mucus inside your airways, which narrows them even more, making breathing increasingly difficult.

Who is at risk for getting asthma?

Asthma usually starts during childhood, although you can develop the condition at any point in your life. You have a higher risk of becoming asthmatic if you:

  • Have a family history of asthma
  • Are overweight or obese
  • Smoke or are exposed to secondhand smoke
  • Have severe allergies
  • Are regularly exposed to environmental pollution

Does asthma have symptoms?

Yes. Usually, the most common complaint among asthmatics is chest tightness and difficulty breathing. You may also experience:

  • Chronic coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing or whistling while breathing

Which asthma treatments are best?

To treat asthma, Dr. Horton first determines your triggers. Many asthma sufferers experience attacks happen when they’re exposed to an allergen. Because of this, Dr. Horton may order allergy testing to see if any allergens are triggering your attacks. This way you’ll know what you need to avoid.

Most asthma prescriptions are broken down into one of two categories:

Long-term asthma control medications

You need to take these medications daily. They help prevent asthma attacks from occurring and lessen the severity of an attack.

Quick-relief medications

These medications give you instant relief if you’re having an asthma attack. Usually, you take these medications through an inhaler or nebulizer, which delivers the medication directly to your airways and lungs.

How is asthma treated?

Asthma treatment depends on the condition's severity and triggers. If you have severe allergies, Dr. Horton might treat your allergies allergy shots or medications in an attempt to reduce your symptoms and risk of attacks. In most cases, asthma attack treatments include vasodilators and inhalers that work to reduce inflammation in the bronchial tubes.

You may also find that reducing your stress levels will also help lessen the severity of your asthma attacks. Anti-anxiety medications used in conjunction with your inhalers work together to bring your asthma under control, allowing you to breathe more efficiently and reduce other symptoms associated with your asthma. Dr. Horton can also teach you breathing exercises and meditation techniques that can help calm you when you’re in the middle of an attack.