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.

Provider assessing patient vitals

Urgent Care for asthma and COPD

Trouble breathing? We can help! If your asthma or COPD is making day-to-day activities difficult, we can help you breathe easier at GoHealth Urgent Care. Just walk into any of our convenient locations, save your spot online or schedule a Virtual Visit with a provider for immediate asthma care.

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

Caused by allergens in the environment, like pet dander, pollen and dust.

Non-allergic asthma

Caused by things like stress, viruses or weather.

Occupational asthma

Caused by workplace exposure to chemicals or irritants.

Exercise-induced asthma

Caused by physical exertion.

Asthma-COPD Overlap Syndrome

When COPD and asthma overlap.

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:

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

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

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 and conducting a physical exam. 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.

What is COPD?

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a term for a group of diseases that cause blockage of air and breathing problems. These diseases include emphysema and chronic bronchitis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COPD impacts over 16 million Americans. 

Symptoms of COPD include coughing, wheezing, excess phlegm, shortness of breath and trouble taking a deep breath. The main cause of COPD is a history or current use of tobacco, and exposure to air pollution or certain respiratory infections can also increase your risk of developing COPD in people who smoke. 

Treatments of COPD can include:

  • Avoiding exposure to triggers
  • Avoiding respiratory infections
  • Medications
  • Positive pressure breathing devices during sleep
  • Quitting smoking
  • Supplemental oxygen

Pneumonia, influenza, and pertussis vaccines are strongly recommended to reduce the risk of these respiratory infections which will exacerbate COPD. In certain circumstances, pulmonary rehabilitation may be appropriate, which is a structured exercise and healthy behaviors program proven to improve breathing and quality of life.

Woman using the GoHealth UC app on her phone

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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