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).
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 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.
Young boys, adult women, people with allergies, certain ethnicities, and people with certain jobs are at risk for asthma. Dr. Raul Valor, Pulmonologist with Baptist Health South Florida, says statistically young boys and adult women are the most commonly affected. He also explains not all asthma is allergic, but there is an association of allergies and asthma, and people exposed to any irritant, such as woodworkers and chemical workers, are more prone to develop asthma, which does not have a definitive cure because it is not a completely curable disease, but it can be controlled.
Exposure to tobacco smoke, people with asthma who smoke, occupational exposure (dust and chemicals), exposure to fumes, age, and genetics are some of the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) risk factors. Dr. Raul Valor, Pulmonologist with Baptist Health South Florida, says patients that come from Central and South America, where they used firewood for cooking or heating their homes are at high risk, because firewood is considered a biomass fuel and the exposure to that smoke will cause COPD.