I’ve been told that I have asthma. What does that mean?
Asthma is a lung disease that makes breathing difficult as a result of a narrowing in the air passages. There is no cure for asthma, but it can be controlled. In most cases, a person with asthma can live a full, active life.
What “triggers” an asthma attack?
Asthma-attack triggers vary from one person to another, and many people with asthma have more than one. Common triggers include: allergens, such as pollen, dust mites, mold and animal dander; respiratory infections; exercise; medications; and irritants, such as smoke, strong odors and chemicals. The best way to manage your triggers is to avoid them if at all possible.
How can I control my asthma?
The most effective way of controlling asthma is to first understand the disease. Once you have a basic understanding of the disease you will be able to recognize the early warning signs, understand the importance of monitoring your breathing with a peak flow meter, manage your medications, and know when to call for help.
My doctor tells me that I have bronchitis. What is bronchitis?
Bronchitis is the result of inflammation or swelling of the airways in your lungs. These airways frequently become infected, and mucus or phlegm is produced. As a result, the air passages become narrowed. Many people suffer a brief attack with a cough and mucus production when they have a severe cold.
How is bronchitis treated?
The primary treatment for bronchitis is aimed at reducing the irritation in the bronchial tubes. Antibiotic drugs are helpful in treating acute situations. Bronchodilator drugs may also be prescribed to help relax and open up the air passages in the lungs.
I have just been diagnosed with emphysema. What is emphysema?
Emphysema is a condition characterized by an overinflation of the air sacs in the lungs. This overinflation results in a decrease in the way the lungs work. Early symptoms of emphysema include shortness of breath and a cough.
What is the treatment for emphysema?
Although there is no cure for emphysema, doctors can help you live more comfortably by relieving the symptoms and preventing the progression of the disease. Treatment frequently includes quitting smoking, bronchodilator drug therapy, antibiotics and exercise.
What is the flu, and how is it caused?
Influenza, or flu, is a contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. This germ may infect many parts of the body, including the lungs. Flu symptoms often include coughing, sneezing, fever, chills, weakness, loss of appetite and general aching.
How can I prevent myself from getting the flu?
You can significantly reduce your chance of getting the flu by receiving one of the current influenza vaccines. These vaccines are made each year so that the vaccine can contain influenza viruses that are expected to cause illness that year. Most people have little or no reaction to the vaccine.
My doctor has told me that I need to have a bronchoscopy. What is a bronchoscopy?
A bronchoscopy is a painless, direct examination of your air passages. It is a procedure used to obtain specimens, diagnose a condition, and find or remove objects from the lungs. A bronchoscope is a flexible tube with a powerful light which is placed directly into the air passages for the examination.
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Paoli Pulmonary Diagnostic and Wellness Center
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