Asthma is a chronic disease that affects the lungs, and the most common long-term disease that children are diagnosed with in the United States. The disease affects both children and adults, and once a diagnosis is made, a person with asthma has the disease all of the time, but symptoms, or asthma attacks, only flair up when something irritates the lungs.
In children under the age of five, diagnosing asthma can be difficult. For all ages, a visit with a doctor to check how the lungs are functioning and if allergies could be the culprit of symptoms is the first step. Your doctor will ask a lot of questions, often including:
- Do you cough frequently, even when not sick with a cold?
- Do you cough at night?
- Are your breathing problems worse after physical activities, or do they worsen at certain times of the year?
- Do you have chest tightness or wheezing?
- Do you get colds that last more than 10 days?
- Have your symptoms caused you to miss work or school?
Your provider at Atlanta ENT will also do a breathing test that is known as a spirometry test. This simple test requires you to take a deep breath, and blow out as much air as you possibly can. This helps measure airflow and the functioning of your lungs.
If you, or your child, are experiencing breathing related symptoms, it is very important to schedule a consultation with Atlanta ENT as soon as possible. While there is no known cure for asthma, with proper diagnosis and a treatment plan, it can be easily managed.
Ramie Tritt, MD, President, Atlanta ENT