While most cases of asthma are detected in childhood, the condition can also be diagnosed in adulthood.
Asthma is often associated with allergies, with more than 70 percent of asthmatics also suffering from allergies such as hay fever and seasonal allergies. Therefore, asthma attacks are most often triggered by certain allergen and environmental exposures such as pollens, molds, smoke, pet dander and dust.
Asthma is characterized by episodic symptoms that make it hard for an individual to breathe, with common symptoms including wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath.
Like many other diseases and health conditions, if detected early, the progression of asthma can be modified. The most effective way to treat and manage asthma is to quickly identify and modify triggers and properly use medications for the condition.
Asthma medications are usually inhalers, liquids or pills and can work in one of two ways:
- Quick-relief medicines – Also known as rescue medications – Most often prescribed to those with mild asthma symptoms, these stop symptoms quickly and are used on an as-needed basis when exposed to a trigger.
- Long-term controller medicines – If an individual is experiencing frequent or severe episodes, these medications are often prescribed to control the asthma and prevent future symptoms. Usually these medicines are taken on a daily basis.
Cone Health has an exceptional network of primary care physicians, pulmonologists, allergy/immunology specialists and related healthcare providers dedicated to treating asthma and its triggers, and improving the quality of life of those who suffer from the condition.
Dr. Brent McQuaid is an adult pulmonary and critical care specialist at LeBauer Pulmonology and a member of Cone Health Medical Staff. Dr. McQuaid is a 2005 graduate of University of Virginia School of Medicine. He completed his residency at University of Alabama, and a fellowship in pulmonary, allergy and critical care at Duke University Medical Center.