Asthma sufferers can feel miserable from the chest tightness, shortness of breath, and wheezing brought on by an asthma attack. In fact, frequent asthma flare-ups can cause patients to reduce activities, miss school or work, and increase trips to the doctor or emergency department. Learning how to effectively manage asthma can reduce these occurrences and improve quality of life. If asthma is interfering with your usual activities, try these four tips to better manage the disease.Read More
Posts in Pulmonary/Critical Care
Imagine feeling breathless and tired after walking up one flight of stairs or getting dressed for the day. For patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), simple daily activities can lead to shortness of breath, wheezing, or exhaustion. These symptoms are why many COPD patients think they should avoid exercise and activity. However, avoiding exercise may be making things. worse.Read More
Is coughing disturbing your sleep night after night? Or perhaps you have a dry cough throughout the day that just won’t go away. Coughing is usually associated with a respiratory illness or allergies; however, constant coughing can indicate other medical issues.
“Some patients develop a chronic cough during a cold or other respiratory illness and weeks later assume the lingering cough is normal, when in fact, they have developed asthma in response to the respiratory virus,” says Brent McQuaid, MD, a pulmonologist with LeBauer Pulmonary Care in Greensboro and LeBauer HealthCare at Burlington Station. “A constant cough, even if it doesn’t follow an illness, should be evaluated by a physician.”
For some patients, a cough may be the only sign of asthma according to McQuaid. Other asthma sufferers will experience more classic symptoms, such as shortness of breath, a tight chest, or wheezing.
“If your cough increases with exercise or exposure to cold air, dust, pet dander, or strong fragrances, there is a good chance you have asthma,” says McQuaid.
To diagnose asthma, a physician will administer a spirometry test that measures how much air your lungs can hold and how much air you can exhale after taking a deep breath. Other tests may also be ordered, or your doctor may see if your symptoms respond to medications designed for asthma.
Your physician can help you develop a plan to manage asthma. You may periodically need adjust this plan. Three important tools for controlling asthma include:
- Tracking Your Symptoms – Keep a diary to record when you have a flare-up with shortness of breath, coughing, or wheezing; asthma symptoms during exercise; use of your quick-relief (rescue) inhaler; hay fever symptoms, such as sneezing or a runny nose; and any other conditions that seem to trigger an asthma flare-up.
- Measuring Breathing Function – A peak flow meter is a hand-held device you can use at home to measure how well your lungs are working. Your physician or nurse will teach you how to use the meter.
- Proper Use of Medications – Medications designed to provide long-term control of asthma, such as inhaled corticosteroids, treat the airway inflammation that leads to asthma symptoms. These medications are taken daily and help reduce or eliminate asthma flare-ups. Quick-relief inhalers are used as needed to quickly open airways and make breathing easier.
When to See a Doctor
If you have had a cough for six to eight weeks or regularly experience shortness of breath, wheezing, or a tight chest, make an appointment to see your primary care doctor or a pulmonologist. Pulmonologists specializes in diseases and disorders of the lungs. The LeBauer pulmonary team sees patients at three locations in the Triad area, including Greensboro, High Point, and Burlington. To schedule an appointment, find the LeBauer Pulmonary Care location nearest you.
We’ve all heard about the aches and pains of aging such as stiff joints or a sore back. Many people also believe getting out of breath more easily is a natural part of advancing age. However, if you’ve found yourself struggling to catch your breath after walking a short distance, it may be a sign of a pulmonary disease such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
Shortness of breath, wheezing, or coughing is not a normal part of aging, but rather an indication of an underlying condition. These symptoms should be evaluated by a primary care physician or a pulmonologist. Pulmonologists are doctors who have received special training in diseases and disorders of the lungs and respiratory system.Read More
The long days of summer make it the perfect time of year to fit in extra activities and exercise. Many people enjoy jogging, biking, or gardening during summer. Vacations also create time for hiking, kayaking, and other sports.Read More
Sending a BIG “Thank You” during Pulmonary Rehabilitation Week to the LeBauer Pulmonary Physicians and Staff who help patients breathe easier! Clearing the air for a number of breathing issues ranging from sleep problems and allergies to other acute and chronic problems.
Respiratory illnesses are treated by professional staff and doctors, including Specialists, dedicated to exceptional care at LeBauer Pulmonary. Schedule your appointment today and start breathing easier now!