Houston Internal Medicine Associates PA
Board Certified Internal Medicine & Primary Care located in Houston, Katy, & Cypress, TX
Asthma and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) put a strain on your life, literally and figuratively. To address your illness, or to get better care, reach out to Houston Internal Medicine Associates PA, with locations in Cypress, Houston, and Katy, Texas. There, Lakshmi Reddy, MD, can diagnose your illness, or simply get you back on track, if your health has recently worsened. To get started, take a deep breath and book your appointment online or over the phone today.
Asthma / COPD Q & A
What is asthma?
Asthma is a chronic condition characterized by the narrowing and swelling of the airways. Asthma causes you to produce extra mucus and leads to symptoms that range in degree of severity. These symptoms include:
- Tightness or pain in the chest
- Shortness of breath
- Wheezing or whistling sound when exhaling
- Coughing or wheezing fits that worsen with respiratory viruses
Asthma may have an allergic or non-allergic origin. Allergic asthma can be triggered by pollen, mold, animal dander, or by thunderstorms.
The lattermost asthma reaction is called thunderclap asthma. Thunderstorms can trigger an asthma attack because of the pollen particles, fungal spores, and other allergens they can release into the air.
In addition to environmental factors, genetics play a role in whether or not you develop asthma. Asthma frequently runs in families. Exercise can also bring on an asthma attack.
What is COPD?
COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease describes any progressive respiratory disease that restricts your airflow and inflames your airway tissues. Diseases that fall into this category include bronchitis and emphysema.
COPD produces symptoms similar to asthma, including wheezing, shortness of breath, and chronic coughing.
In developed countries like the United States, COPD is typically the result of smoking or infections like pneumonia or the flu. In fact, between 20% and 30% of all smokers develop COPD in their lifetime.
How can you find out if you have asthma and/or COPD?
To find out if you have asthma, COPD, or a combination of both, Dr. Reddy at Houston Internal Medicine Associates PA begins by discussing your lifestyle, health history, and family history with you.
She also discusses at length the nature of your symptoms and when they occur. Your symptom triggers help determine whether you’re suffering from asthma or COPD, or something else.
Then, Dr. Reddy runs breathing tests, such as:
This test measures the amount of air your lungs can hold, along with the speed at which you inhale and exhale. To calculate this, Dr. Reddy has you breathe forcefully into a sensor.
This test also helps determine the severity of your asthma.
Exhaled nitric oxide test (FeNO test)
Using this test, Dr. Reddy can determine how inflamed your lungs are. This helps detect not only asthma, particularly allergic asthma, but also COPD.
Depending on the results of testing, Dr. Reddy constructs a treatment plan for asthma or COPD, which may include medication delivered with an inhaler to keep your airways open.
Don’t let asthma or COPD hold you hostage. To start living life to the fullest, make an appointment at Houston Internal Medicine Associates PA today. To contact the practice, call or fill out the online booking tool.