According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 25 million Americans are living with asthma. If you’re among them, you understand how quickly an attack can occur, and how important it is to have access to prompt and exemplary care. Dr. Ruchir Thakkar at Cermak Immediate Care, in Cicero, Illinois and Berwyn, IL, provides such care to help you breathe easier -- literally and figuratively. He does this with a calm manner and compassion in your time of need. To schedule an appointment, visit the website or contact the office by phone.
Asthma is a chronic disease characterized by inflamed airways and difficulty breathing. In people who have asthma, the air pathways that lead to their lungs (the bronchi and bronchioles) become swollen and produce mucus. This prevents these people from breathing easily.
The condition is as serious as it is common, bringing more than 2 million Americans to the emergency room each year. There’s no cure for asthma, but treatment can make it easier to live with the condition and prevent life-threatening attacks from occurring.
Asthma is common across all age groups. Some men and women develop asthma as adults, and those over the age of 40 are at an elevated risk. Children can also develop asthma, and researchers believe that the rate of childhood asthma is more than twice where it was in 1980.
Asthma has several primary features:
Asthma tightens the bands of muscle that wrap around your airways, reducing the space for air to move freely to and from your lungs.
Asthma creates inflammation in your bronchial tubes. Swollen airways make it difficult to breathe properly, and place undue strain on your lungs.
Asthma is marked by highly sensitive airways that overreact to a wide variety of triggers. Irritability can lead to an asthma attack within a very brief period of time.
When these three elements converge quickly, breathing becomes incredibly difficult and an asthma attack occurs. These attacks can be life-threatening for some.
Asthma triggers are substances or actions that bring on symptoms of asthma. Some common triggers include:
Identifying your asthma triggers is key to managing the disease and remaining healthy.
If you suffer an asthma attack, it’s important to remain calm. Once you arrive at Cermak Immediate Care, the team will ask you questions about your current treatment plan, as well as what caused the attack.
Treatment efforts focus on increasing your ability to breathe more freely. Steroid injections work to swiftly reduce inflammation. These injections act in a similar manner as inhaled corticosteroids but deliver a higher concentration of medication into your bloodstream.
Nebulizer treatments can also help. A nebulizer is a piece of medical equipment that converts medication into a mist or vapor. This allows you to breathe the medications deep within your lungs, where they work to reduce inflammation.
Left untreated, an asthma attack can be life-threatening. If you or a loved one is experiencing an attack, visit Cermak Immediate Care immediately.