Asthma treatment

Difficulty breathing caused by asthma symptoms can be uncomfortable and sometimes even life-threatening. At GoHealth Urgent Care, our providers can help identify your asthma triggers and work with you to create an effective treatment plan. Walk in or save your spot online and we’ll help you get the care you need to breathe easier.

Asthma symptoms and triggers

Asthma symptoms are usually related to having trouble breathing. You might wheeze, cough or feel chest tightness. Symptoms can be mild or severe. When symptoms become severe and breathing is difficult, this is called an asthma attack or asthma exacerbation. 

There are many known asthma triggers. Common triggers include:

  • Anxiety and chronic stress
  • Changes in weather and cold air
  • Chemical or environmental irritants
  • Environmental allergens such as pollen, mold, dust mites and pet dander
  • Exercise
  • Food allergens
  • Heartburn / Reflux
  • Medications
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Respiratory infections such as the common cold, flu and COVID
  • Smoke & Smoking

Individual triggers can vary from person to person. Your healthcare provider can help you identify triggers and find ways to avoid or manage them with an asthma treatment plan.

Types of asthma

Asthma is a long-term condition that impacts the lungs’ ability to carry air in and out. Specifically, this condition causes the airways or tubes that lead to the lungs to become inflamed and narrow. This means not enough air can pass through. 

Asthma often develops during childhood but can impact people of all ages. It is usually worsened by certain triggers, such as allergens, cold air, respiratory infections, exercise or lung irritants.

There are several types of asthma, classified by the underlying cause. A healthcare provider can help you identify your asthma triggers and underlying causes so you can develop a stepwise plan to help avoid them or treat your symptoms when they occur. These underlying causes include:

Allergic asthma

This asthma diagnosis is a result of offending allergens in the environment, like pet dander, pollen, and dust.

Non-allergic asthma

A type of asthma triggered by things like stress, viruses, or weather.

Occupational asthma

Asthma symptoms are caused by workplace exposure to chemicals or irritants.

Exercise-induced asthma

This type of asthma is caused by physical exertion.

Asthma-COPD Overlap Syndrome

The asthma diagnosis is given when COPD and asthma symptoms overlap.

Middle-age woman speaking to a physician

Asthma diagnosis and treatment

If you have asthma, it is important that you work closely with a healthcare provider to help manage your symptoms and prevent asthma attacks. 

When you visit GoHealth Urgent Care for asthma symptoms, our providers begin by collecting a patient history. This includes questions about exposures to allergens and other asthma triggers, and about any family members’ asthma diagnoses.

Part of your visit will include a physical exam. Your provider will listen carefully to your breathing with a stethoscope, and check your skin for related problems like eczema. 

Your provider will also want to see how well your lungs are working by offering non-invasive breathing tests that can help determine if you have asthma. 

If asthma exacerbation is confirmed, the provider can provide on-site nebulizer treatment for asthma or prescribe an inhaler or oral steroid. They can also discuss preventative measures, such as a stepwise approach, that can help you manage your asthma treatment at home based on your current symptoms to prevent future asthma attacks. 

The eventual goal of stepwise treatment is to reduce asthma medications as much as possible, while keeping you symptom-free. This requires a “step up” or “step down” approach with medications and other treatments to figure out what works best to keep you breathing-free. 

If you are having a severe asthma attack, you should go directly to the emergency room for immediate care.

Asthma in Children

Parents may wonder how to tell if their child has asthma or another problem. Only a medical provider can diagnose your child, but certain clues can help educate concerned parents. 

Children’s asthma symptoms 

Because children have tiny respiratory airways, their asthma symptoms can be somewhat different than adult symptoms. A child with asthma may:

  • Have trouble breathing with faster and labored breaths.
  • Strain to get air in or out of lungs. 
  • Make a whistling sound while breathing.
  • Cough constantly.
  • Seem exhausted, showing little interest in activities.
  • Have cyanosis, a discoloring around fingertips, tongue, mouth or around eyes. 
  • Infants may struggle with breathing while nursing or sucking on a bottle.

Breathing difficulty is an emergency. A child with these symptoms should get immediate medical treatment. 

Children’s asthma treatment

Once a child is diagnosed with asthma, the doctor will put an individualized treatment plan into action. Treatment may include:

  • Daily medication to control airway swelling.
  • Medication to treat asthma attacks quickly.
  • A plan to avoid exposure to asthma triggers.

Controlling asthma symptoms is the key to children enjoying their normal activities. 

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Other conditions GoHealth Urgent Care treats

At GoHealth Urgent Care, we also treat a range of health conditions related to asthma or difficulty breathing. Other services we offer include:

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Frequently asked questions about asthma

Frequently asked questions about asthma

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