Understanding Asthma, Its Causes, and Treatment Methods

Getting quality sleep at night is one of the ways to rest. The body renews its cells each time you sleep, promoting rejuvenation which is necessary for each day. While sleep may seem like a norm, not everyone enjoys the said benefit, especially those with health problems, including asthma, making breathing difficult, resulting in shortness of breath. Asthma may be a minor condition to some people or may be life-threatening. While asthma has no cure, our physician assistant Gaithersburg, MD offers treatment to keep the symptoms under control.

What is asthma?

Asthma is a health problem that occurs upon the swelling and contraction of the airways. This medical problem can also result in the production of excess mucus inside the lining of the airways. All these factors combined cause breathing difficulties, triggering coughing and wheezing or whistling sounds when inhaling. The severity of asthma symptoms is different for each person, with some experiencing symptoms more often and others at certain times like when exercising. The following signs indicate your condition is worsening and the need for immediate medical attention.

  •         More frequent asthma signs that interrupt your productivity.
  •         Increased breathing difficulties.
  •         A frequent need to use an inhaler.
  •         Shortness of breath when engaging in light activities.

What causes asthma?

There is no apparent reason why some people get asthma, and others don’t. However, environmental and genetic factors may result in asthma. Various irritants and substances can trigger asthma symptoms, and they vary from person to person. Examples include:

  •         Cold air
  •         Physical activity
  •         Respiratory infections, including the common cold
  •         Pet dander, pollen, mold spores, dust mites, and dust particles.
  •         Smoke
  •         Emotions like stress and anxiety
  •         Medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen
  •         Preservatives present in foods and beverages

Treatment for asthma

The treatment your doctor recommends depends on different factors, including your age, severity of the symptoms, and asthma triggers. Asthma medication falls under two major categories – long-term asthma control medications and quick-relief medication. Long-term asthma control medication addresses the swelling in your airways, reducing symptoms such as breathing difficulties. Quick-relief drugs improve breathing and are used for short-term relief.

Long term asthma control medications

This is the typical asthma treatment, and the medications are taken daily. They keep asthma under control and reduce the chances of attacks. If you have asthma, your doctor may recommend the following medications.

Inhaled corticosteroids

  •         Patients may need to use these medications for several days or weeks before noticing any improvement. They have a reduced risk for side effects compared to oral corticosteroids. Examples include budesonide, beclomethasone, and fluticasone furoate.


  •         Theophylline. This pill relaxes the muscles along the airways, keeping the path open and preventing breathing difficulties. Your doctor may recommend that you take this pill every day.

Obtaining quality sleep at night can be challenging for people with asthma due to breathing difficulties and frequent coughing. If your asthma symptoms such as shortness of breath have become prevalent, book a session with your specialist at Doctors First for treatment to enjoy disrupted sleep.

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