An asthma doctor can be either a pulmonologist or an allergist/immunologist. Each specializes in diagnosing and treating respiratory conditions. They have extensive knowledge and experience in managing asthma and considering other diagnoses which may mimic asthma.
If you or your child is living with asthma, certain triggers can cause their lungs and airways to swell, making it difficult to breathe. The good news is that an asthma doctor can diagnose and treat you, so you can continue to exercise, miss fewer school or work days, and get enough rest to power through daily activities. Learn more about the symptoms and causes of asthma and the considerate care available at the Mississippi Center for Advanced Medicine.
Symptoms and Causes of Asthma
How do you know you have asthma? Asthma can sometimes be misdiagnosed or confused with other respiratory conditions. An asthma doctor can conduct a thorough evaluation, including medical history, physical examination, and potentially lung function tests, to provide an accurate diagnosis.
If you notice any of the following symptoms, make an appointment with one of our asthma doctors:
- Wheezing sound when exhaling
- Shortness of breath, gasping for air
- Chest congestion
- Frequent coughing
- Trouble sleeping due to poor breathing
- Delayed recovery from viral infections
- Difficulty playing or exercising due to lack of breath
- Fatigue and lack of energy
Sometimes, asthma can be complicated by other medical conditions. An asthma doctor can coordinate care with other specialists to address any underlying factors that may be contributing to the child’s asthma.
Researchers and asthma doctors are still learning about the root causes and triggers of this debilitating condition. It tends to run in families, so if you have asthma, your children may be more likely to get it. Additionally, young children who get certain airway infections have a higher risk of suffering from asthma.
Triggers include environmental factors like cigarette smoke and air pollution. In addition, a compromised immune system could also leave you vulnerable to asthma.
What Does an Asthma Doctor Do?
Your primary care provider may refer you to a pulmonologist or an allergist-immunologist for asthma treatment. At Mississippi Center for Advanced Medicine, we have allergists-immunologists who see all ages and also a pediatric pulmonologist who sees up to age 26 years.
Tests that can help with asthma diagnosis include:
- Lung function tests (spirometry): Spirometry measures air volume and speed when you exhale. Ideally, we can perform the test after rest and exercise, and after taking a bronchodilator medication. At Mississippi Center for Advanced Medicine, we have the capability of doing full pulmonary function testing, in addition to spirometry. We also have the capability of doing exercise-treadmill lung function tests.
- Exhaled nitric oxide test: By measuring how much nitric oxide you breathe out, our asthma doctors can gather information and evaluate whether steroid medicines can reduce the affects of asthma.
In severe cases of asthma, you may experience life-threatening asthma attacks. Asthma doctors can prepare families for such emergencies, ensuring they know when to seek urgent medical attention and how to administer rescue medications when necessary.
What Treatments Can Alleviate Asthma Symptoms?
If you have asthma, there are three main types of treatment available:
- Avoidance: You can avoid substances that trigger asthma.
- Fast-relief medicines: An inhaler is a fast-working treatment that can help your airways remain open. Your asthma doctor may also recommend other short-term or controlled medication.
- Control medication: Not all people require prescription medication to keep their airways clear and free of inflammation. It depends on how disruptive and threatening their symptoms are.
Asthma doctors at Mississippi Center for Advanced Medicine include a pulmonary specialist for children and allergy-immunology specialists for all ages. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan to help you stay active and breathe a little easier.