Asthma Treatment in Peabody, MA
It is common for individuals to be diagnosed with asthma early on in life. For those who are not diagnosed until age 20 or later, this condition is known as adult-onset asthma. The board-certified primary care physicians at Internal Medicine Physicians of the North Shore are highly trained in diagnosing and treating patients for asthma. Call (978) 531-7677 to request an appointment at our primary care office in Peabody, MA today!
Generally, there is little difference between these two types of asthma, though adult-onset asthma can usually be linked to other conditions such as:
- Heartburn or GERD
- The flu
- A respiratory illness
- Environmental irritants
What Are the Symptoms of Adult-Onset Asthma?
Asthma symptoms can vary widely from one person to another, but they all affect the individual’s ability to breathe. This may present itself as a slight wheeze for some, while others may experience severe complications that make it difficult to make it through the day without an asthma attack.
Some of the most common signs of asthma include:
- Tightness in the chest
- Shortness of breath
- A whistling or wheezing noise that is present when exhaling
- Difficulty sleeping due to breathing troubles
The severity of an individual’s asthma symptoms will help to determine exactly what category they fall into. These categories consist of:
- Mild intermittent
- Mild persistent
- Moderate persistent
- Severe persistent
Diagnosing Adult-Onset Asthma
There are a variety of tests and assessments that may be performed to determine whether or not a mature individual has asthma. This process typically begins by discussing your family health history with your primary care provider, as having a relative with this condition increases the likelihood that you also have it.
At this point, you will likely complete one or more tests to determine your current lung function. Such tests include:
- A chest X-ray
- Methacholine challenge
- A sputum eosinophils test
- Allergy testing
- A nitric oxide test
- A CT scan
What Treatment Options Are Available?
Many patients find relief from troublesome asthma symptoms by using a rescue inhaler when necessary. This inhaler works to pump a controlled dose of medication into the lungs to help open up the airways during an asthma attack.
Others may find it best to utilize a daily treatment to help prevent an asthma attack before it even starts. Such types of medications may also be administered through an inhaler, or via an oral pill.
It may also be possible for some individuals to manage their asthma symptoms by making changes to their lifestyle that help them to avoid known allergic triggers. For example, those who are allergic to dust that influences their asthma could try to wash their bedding at least once a week to reduce the collection of dust mites within its fibers.