A terrible flu season can be bad news for asthma sufferers. As flu cases are on the rise, Centra Care physicians have seen a significant increase in asthma patients.
Asthma is often triggered by a viral infection like a cold or the flu, two illnesses that are both showing high numbers these days. For those with asthma, what starts as a minor illness can quickly irritate your airway tubes and cause more serious symptoms.
The centers that reported the largest increase in patients treated for asthma were:
Dr. Phillips, Winter Park & Sanford – up 200% (kids)
Oviedo – up 500%
South Orange – up 500% (kids)
Asthma can be dangerous and should not be ignored. It is a disease of the airways, (your breathing tubes). Asthma creates inflammation and spasm of these tubes, which makes breathing more difficult and causes wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath.
A Centra Care doctor will diagnose asthma based on three things: medical history, a physical exam and test results. They will also figure out how severe your asthma is in order to determine proper treatment. Tests may include a lung function test, a chest X-Ray and even an EKG. These tests will help find whether an infection or allergy or a foreign object may be causing your symptoms.
The goals of asthma treatment are to establish normal lung function, relieve symptoms, and prevent asthma flare-ups. There is no cure for asthma, although symptoms may decrease over time. It is important to identify and avoid your asthma triggers. Your doctor may prescribe medications based on your condition.
The type of medication that you receive depends on the severity of your asthma, the cause of your symptoms, and your lung functioning. Nebulizer therapy, more commonly known as a breathing treatment, is available at all Centra Care locations. A nebulizer changes liquid medication to a mist, which is particularly effective in administering asthma medication to infants and young children.