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Asthma Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Asthma Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Asthma is much more prevalent in Florida than you might realize. In fact, it’s estimated that one in eight adults and one in nine children who live in the Sunshine State have the condition. While there isn’t a cure, you can start a treatment plan to control your symptoms and possibly reverse some of the damage. Additionally, it’s important to recognize serious, life-threatening symptoms that require immediate attention. Learn more about the symptoms and treatment options to get the help you need.

Asthma Symptoms – When to Go to the ER

You might experience the same symptoms with each flare-up or have different symptoms from one attack to the next. Regardless, it’s common to experience a combination of shortness of breath, wheezing, chest tightness, and nighttime coughing. The coughs can be with or without sputum.

If you have these symptoms, go to urgent care or make an appointment with your primary care provider. However, call 911 or go to the ER if:

  • It’s extremely difficult to breathe
  • Your face, lips, and/or fingernails have turned blue
  • Your gums or lips have a whitish or gray color
  • Your face is pale
  • It’s hard to talk
  • You’re having trouble staying awake
  • Your chest muscles strain when you breath
  • You are breathing rapidly
  • You have a fast pulse
  • You are sweating profusely

Head bobbing is also a symptom of severe asthma in children. Take your infant to a pediatric ER or call 911 immediately if you notice this symptom.

Asthma Triggers

You might notice that your asthma symptoms worsen when exposed to triggers. Common triggers include dust mites, animal dander, pollen, and indoor mold. Unfortunately, cockroaches are also a trigger, which is problematic because they are prevalent in Florida. Thus, consider taking steps to keep your home pest-free, such as removing dead plant matter, keeping mulch away from your house, and sealing entry points.

Diagnosing and Treating Asthma

Your healthcare provider or ER doctor will evaluate you to see if you have asthma. After conducting a history and physical, you’ll undergo lung function tests and might need a chest or sinus X-ray. If the doctor confirms your diagnosis, he or she will then determine how severe it is.

The severity is broken down into mild persistent, moderate persistent, and severe persistent asthma. If you have intermittent, mild, or moderate asthma, you’ll likely need an inhaler to manage your symptoms at the onset. Additionally, the doctor will use controller medications depending on the severity of symptoms and the occurrence of attacks. You’ll need to take these medicines every day so they can control airway issues that lead to asthma attacks.

However, you might need biologics if you have severe asthma. Your doctor will infuse or inject them so they can keep your airways from swelling.

Receive Diagnosis and Treatment at SharePoint Health Emergency and Urgent Care

ShorePoint Health Emergency and Urgent Care in Cape Coral, FL, is staffed with ER-trained, board-certified physicians to treat asthma and other serious conditions. Additionally, we have on-site labs and diagnostic tools, so you can receive an accurate diagnosis before leaving the facility. Because we have an emergency room and urgent care facility under one roof, you’ll also receive the level of care you need at our facility. Our unique setup means you won’t pay emergency room prices if you only require urgent care.