Asthma can take a toll on how you move and sleep, and even what medications you can take. However, with early treatment, education, and self-care, people with asthma can live active and normal lives. At Reading Hospital - Tower Health, we have a high-quality asthma program which has received The Joint Commission Certification of Distinction in Pediatric Asthma.
What is Asthma?
Asthma is an ongoing condition in the lungs of adults and children. As airways become inflamed, muscles in the bronchial walls tighten, cells in the lung make more mucus, and airways narrow—all blocking the flow of air. This can cause minor wheezing, coughing, or even a severe asthma attack.
People with asthma can have flare-ups or asthma attacks. This can occur when something is irritating their airways such as a viral infection, allergy triggers, or exercise. Some patients have no symptoms between attacks, while those with poor control of their asthma have symptoms all the time. Symptoms may include coughing, wheezing, tightness of breath and difficulty sleeping due to coughing, wheezing, or shortness of breath.
How does Tower Health Treat Asthma?
There is no cure for asthma, but you can live a normal life with the proper asthma treatment and medication. At Tower Health, treatment length varies for each individual. Some patients may have to stay on treatment for the rest of their lives.
A Tower Health doctor or medical provider will diagnosis asthma based on physical asthma and medical and family history. Additional tests may include pulmonary function testing such as spirometry or a methacholine challenge test.
Asthma is treated with different kinds of medicines that patients breathe into their lungs. These medicines are called inhalers. The two types of inhalers are:
- Controller: medicine used everyday to control airway swelling and help to prevent symptoms
- Quick-relief: medicine you need to keep with you but only use when you are wheezing or short of breath
People with asthma should avoid triggers such as exposure to tobacco smoke and vaping.
People with asthma may keep an asthma diary to track their symptoms and asthma control.
Asthma Action Plan
An asthma action plan is a self-management plan created with your doctor to help control your asthma. It lists what medicines to take when your asthma symptoms are getting worse and when you are feeling good.
Schedule a visit with your Tower Health doctor or healthcare provider to review or update your asthma plan at least every year.
Asthma Action Plan: