Florida Lung & Sleep Associates
Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine located in Lehigh Acres & Fort Myers, FL
More than 25 million Americans have asthma. At Florida Lung & Sleep Associates in Lehigh Acres and Fort Myers, Florida, our pulmonary care specialists understand the challenges of living with asthma. You can count on the caring team for expert diagnosis as well as innovative treatments like bronchial thermoplasty with the Alair™ System. Book your asthma evaluation online or call the office in your area now.
Asthma Q & A
What is asthma?
Asthma is a pulmonary disorder that causes significant breathing difficulties, often with coughing and wheezing. Asthma occurs in bouts, or attacks, that range from mild to severe. Attacks may last as briefly as a couple of minutes or as long as several days.
What causes asthma?
Airway inflammation and constriction cause asthma. During an asthma attack, the muscles around your airways tighten, and the delicate air passage linings swell. Air can't get through these greatly narrowed passages effectively, so it’s difficult to breathe.
Asthma may also cause extra mucus production when the airways are irritated by triggers such as dust mites, pet dander, pollen, or exercise. In some cases, anti-inflammatory medications, including aspirin and ibuprofen, may provoke asthma.
What are the symptoms of an asthma attack?
A typical asthma attack includes shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing. Some people say it feels like being a fish out of water.
Severe asthma symptoms qualify as a medical emergency. Seek help immediately if your symptoms are worse than usual or you experience any of these issues: chest pain, drowsiness, confusion, heightened anxiety, or blue lips or face.
How is asthma treated?
When you come into Florida Lung & Sleep Associates, our team may assess your asthma by pulmonary functions testing, such as spirometry. If you have known triggers, avoiding them is one key to lessening the number of asthma flare-ups you experience.
For asthma attacks, rescue medications are used. For prevention and long-term management of asthma, other medications and treatments are used, such as inhaled steroids and bronchial thermoplasty.
When you’re having an asthma attack, medications called bronchodilators can be delivered via a handheld inhaler or a nebulizer machine that turns the medication into a mist that you breathe in. These devices deliver the medication you need directly to your lung airways, immediately and efficiently.
These are steroids that you typically breathe in through an inhaler every day. These medications suppress inflammation to help prevent asthma flare-ups. Like with rescue medications, if you struggle to operate a handheld inhaler, your pulmonary specialist can prescribe a nebulizer machine.
Bronchial thermoplasty is an FDA-approved treatment in which low-level radiofrequency impulses heat the muscles in your airway walls. It works together with your asthma medicine to reduce the number and frequency of your asthma attacks.
At Florida Lung & Sleep Associates, our providers use the Alair System for bronchial thermoplasty. This outpatient treatment diminishes the muscles that constrict your airways during asthma attacks, leaving the air passages more open at all times.
Bronchial thermoplasty is for patients who take asthma medication regularly but still experience attacks. During clinical studies, nearly 80% of users enjoyed dramatic quality-of-life improvement.
Learn more about the asthma solutions offered at Florida Lung & Sleep Associates by calling the office nearest you or clicking the online scheduler now.