Dry coughing, sleep disturbances, frequent yawning and sighing, heartburn, and fatigue are some of the symptoms of asthma. Dr. Raul Valor, Pulmonologist with Baptist Health South Florida, says people with asthma have a cough that sounds bronchial in nature. He explains patients who have asthma have a certain degree of anxiety and they may have acid reflux as well that may contribute to the heartburn symptom.
Dr. Raul Valor, Pulmonologist with Baptist Health South Florida, says the most important treatment for asthma is inhaled steroids, because they keep asthma under control and they are probably the mainstay of treatment. He also explains there are long-acting bronchodilators, which are similar to the rescue inhaler, but have a longer duration (between 12 and 24 hours).
Dr. Raul Valor, Pulmonologist with Baptist Health South Florida, says when people have asthma, there is a constant inflammation in the airways. He explains it is always there and requires active treatment in order to keep the disease under control. He points out that part of the disease is excessive mucus production. Asthma affects the entire airway and can be classified according to its severity and persistence as mild, moderate, severe, intermittent or persistent.
Dr. Raul Valor, Pulmonologist with Baptist Health South Florida, explains an asthmatic airway during an asthma attack has an extreme narrowing of the lumen, and the amount of air that can get through is less than one third of what it is in a normal airway. He also points out asthma can be life-threatening. He recommends calling 911 and asking patients if they have an inhaler with them to help alleviate the symptoms until professional help is available.
Dr. Raul Valor, Pulmonologist with Baptist Health South Florida, says the majority of the diagnosis of asthma is done on clinical grounds, and the history of the patient is probably the single most important factor. He points out patients will report wheezing at night and they are awakened in the middle of the night by wheezing or a cough. He explains there are also physical findings, such as prolonged expiration, poor air movement in the chest, and abnormal sounds in the lungs.