Asthma patients in Barrington get short-term relief; prevent long-term damage caused by airway obstruction with effective treatments
Illinois is among 23 states with the highest percentage of adult asthma sufferers. More than 9 percent of those residents aged 18 and over have this chronic condition, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Along with inflammation and irritation, airway obstruction is one of three key features of the disease.
How it happens
In a non-asthmatic or during normal breathing, the muscles around the airways are relaxed. This allows air to move through these passageways with ease.
If you have asthma, the usually relaxed muscles around your airways tense up. The air traveling through these breathing passages is constricted and it can’t flow freely. You may feel like you can’t breathe. A high-pitched whistling sound may be heard when you exhale. This wheezing is actually the air trying to move through narrowed airways.
Also known as “bronchospasm,” this narrowing can worsen already inflamed airways. Yet another key feature, irritation, can set off a chain of events that ultimately leads to obstruction. Asthmatics’ easily irritated and overly sensitive airways can spasm or contract at the slightest exposure to stimuli such as cold air, allergens, exercise, and smoke.
As an asthmatic, you may complain of stubborn mucus that just can’t be coughed up. The glands producing this sticky substance work in hyper-drive. This mucus causes coughing and further obstructs already inflamed and irritated airways.
The good news is underlying narrowing and inflammation is reversible. In addition to avoiding irritants, allergens and other environmental triggers, Drs. Noga Askenazi, Eugenia Hahn, and Dipika Patel can prescribe inhaled, quick-relief medications to immediately relax the muscles and open up your airways. Long-term control medications work over days or weeks to treat the root cause: inflammation.
It’s important not to depend on quick-relief inhalers. These changes in the airways can evolve from episodic to permanent should your asthma be undertreated between attacks and over the long term. When asthma is only treated acutely, airways can become scarred, and an irreversible process called “airway remodeling” occurs. The narrowing may appear similar to a fixed airway obstruction like COPD, though the causes of the two conditions are very different.
To not only get you feeling better over the short term, but to prevent long-term lung damage, contact Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates and Food Allergy Center of Illinois to learn more about your options for airway obstruction with asthma near Barrington. Our Lake Barrington office is conveniently located between Route 22 and Route 12/Rand Road. Call 847 888 8802.