Asthma Specialist

Family Care

Family Medicine located in Paterson, NJ & Totowa, NJ

When you or your child suffer from asthma, it is important you have strong, ongoing support to diminish your symptoms and prevent breathing emergencies. Samir Khalil, MD, of Family Care, located in Paterson, New Jersey, appreciates that asthma patients and their families need understanding and personalized treatment plans throughout their lifetime. For a consultation about you or your child’s asthma symptoms, call or book an appointment online.

Asthma Q & A

What is asthma?

Asthma is a chronic condition of the lungs and airways that can prevent effective air movement and make breathing difficult. Asthma affects about 25 million people in the United States, and about seven million are children.

Asthma can begin in childhood and can resolve in adulthood or remain an ongoing health concern. Adult-onset asthma is also common, especially for those over the age of 50.  

Asthma causes the airways to swell and fill with mucus, usually in response to exposure to some kind of trigger. This can cause the airways to constrict, causing a decrease in airflow and a sensation like you can’t catch your breath.

In many cases, exposure to specific triggers or allergens can cause a flare-up or a crisis, which may be an emergency, depending on the severity of the reaction.  

What are the symptoms of asthma?

Symptoms of an asthma attack, or a flare-up, may range from mild to severe or life-threatening. They may include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest tightness or chest pain
  • Coughing or congestion
  • Increased mucus in airways
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Wheezing, or a high pitched noise with breath

Symptoms may come on suddenly or gradually. They may start out mild and get worse over a period of time. The frequency of attacks can be a significant indicator of how well controlled your asthma is, and whether your treatment plan may need adjusting.

What are common triggers for asthma?

Identifying you or your child’s asthma triggers is important to creating an effective treatment plan. Knowing what triggers to avoid can help you gain control over your asthma symptoms.

Common triggers include:

  • Pollen or mold
  • Airborne irritants
  • Pet hair or pet dander
  • Extremes in temperature or humidity
  • Exercise or increased physical activity

Health conditions like allergies, the common cold, or the flu can increase your risk of having asthma or asthmatic reactions.

How is asthma treated?

Asthma does not have a cure, but with ongoing support and a personalized care plan, a lot can be done to prevent flare-ups.

At Family Care, Dr. Khalil helps you identify triggers by taking a thorough health history and performing a physical exam. He may also take X-rays and perform lung function studies or allergy testing.

Treatment plans may include:

  • Prevention of triggers
  • Daily oral medications
  • Daily and emergent inhaler medications
  • Home nebulizer treatments

An important part of your treatment plan is education about how to handle asthma emergencies, including how to take emergency medications and when to seek medical attention.

For a personalized asthma treatment plan, for you or your child, call or book an appointment online with Family Care.

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