When your chest is tight, you can’t catch your breath, and you are wheezing and coughing, it could be an asthma condition flaring up. Asthma is a long-term disease that is not curable but can be managed or controlled. It affects 25 million people in the United States.1 Asthma can restrict your airways and increase mucus production, causing breathing difficulties. When asthma gets out of control, it’s good to know the physicians at Medco ER in Plano, TX, are standing by to help.
Risk Factors for Asthma
You may be at risk for asthma if someone in your immediate family has been diagnosed with it. Allergies can contribute to asthma. Common triggers can cause an asthma attack. Environmental exposure to smoke, mold, dampness, dust mites, wood dust, chemicals, and air pollution can also increase your risk of developing asthma.2 If you have a history of viral respiratory infections, your chances of developing asthma increase. Also, obesity increases the risk of asthma.3
Asthma can be detected by examining your family history and by running breathing tests such as spirometry, peak flow test, pulse oximetry and nitric oxide measurement.4 A chest or sinus X-ray may be ordered, and a blood test and allergy tests may be used to diagnose asthma.1
Types of Asthma
Asthma is a condition that can be categorized into different types. Knowing your particular type of asthma can determine the kind of treatment and management plan needed. The different types include:5
- Allergy asthma
- Aspirin-induced asthma
- Cough asthma
- Exercise-induced asthma
- Nighttime asthma
- Steroid-resistant asthma
- Occupational asthma
Emergency Room Visits
If you experience any of the following symptoms, seek immediate medical help at the nearest Medco ER or emergency room.
- Persistent shortness of breath
- Blue tinged lips or fingernails
- Straining to breathe
- Tightness of chest
- Coughing a lot
- Changing posture to try to breathe
- Difficulty speaking
- Feeling confused or agitated
- Loss of consciousness
“If you are having trouble breathing and your medication isn’t helping, come to see us right away,” said Medco ER’s Medical Director, Dr. Nasir Khan. “We’re here 24/7 to help with your asthma attack.”
Treatment may include medications such as short-acting beta agonists, oral corticosteroids, bronchodilator, intubation, and oxygen. You may be kept for observation for a few hours to ensure your asthma is under control.6
Prevention Tips for Asthma Management
“See your doctor regularly for a plan of action that includes medications and management skills to help prevent flare-ups,” said Dr. Khan.
Controlling or managing your asthma requires a consistent plan of action. Take your medication consistently, even when you don’t have asthma symptoms.2 You can consider your asthma well controlled if you need your inhaler less than 3 times per week, do not wake up in the night with an asthma attack, and can go about your daily activities and exercise with few to no symptoms.7
Get Help Fast at Medco ER
When asthma attacks happen, you can find fast help at Medco ER. Our board-certified physicians are experienced in treating asthma and are ready to respond immediately to your condition.
Plano: 3960 Legacy Drive, Plano, TX 75023 (on the corner of Legacy and Coit Road)
Call us @ 469-747-0370
Struggling to breathe or becoming short of breath is often a cause for alarm. But even while trying hard to breathe, many people wonder if their condition warrants a trip to the ER. At Medco ER & Urgent Care, we’re here 24/7 when you’re having trouble breathing, and we can examine you right away.
“Breathing problems, whether brought on by asthma, allergies or even an unknown problem, should not be ignored,” said Medco ER & Urgent Care’s Regional Medical Director, Dr. Tariq Vora. “It’s best to be seen immediately by an experienced medical provider with expertise in Emergency Medicine. Shortness of breath may be a life threatening issue that should be addressed immediately.”
Symptoms Associated with Breathing Difficulties
When you or your loved one is experiencing difficulty breathing, it is important to seek immediate medical attention. If you have any doubt, go to the nearest Medco ER & Urgent Care or the nearest emergency room. Some of the symptoms that indicate it is time to go to the ER include:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Sweating and weakness
- Excessive Coughing
- Fever & chills
- Muscle aches
- Sore throat
- Blue tinge
- Faster breathing rate
- Heart palpitations
Causes of Shortness of Breath
Some of the common causes include:
- Allergic reaction
- Stress and anxiety
- Heart attack
- COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
- Pulmonary hypertension
- Pulmonary embolism caused by a blood clot
“By far the most common cause of breathing difficulties that we treat is Asthma,” said Dr. Vora. “However, you must be examined by a healthcare provider to rule out even more serious causes of shortness of breath.”
What to Do On the Way to Medco ER
When you are struggling to breath and you’re on the way to the ER, you’ll want to know what you can do to increase your oxygen intake. The most important thing to do is to slow your heart rate by remaining calm and relaxed. Take slow, deep breaths and focus on staying calm. If you have a prescribed inhaler-type medication, use it according to the directions.
Diagnostics and Treatment
The physician will need to review your medical history and perform a physical examination of your lungs, heart and airways. He/she may also perform a chest X-ray, CT scan, blood tests, electrocardiogram (EKG), or pulmonary function test to determine the exact cause of your breathing problems.
Once the cause is identified, your physician will determine the best course of treatment, which may vary from a simple breathing treatment to advanced medications administered through an IV line.
Get Fast Treatment at Medco ER & Urgent Care
When your breathing becomes labored and you’re not getting enough oxygen, come to Medco ER right away. Our board-certified physicians are always ready for any emergency and have the oxygen therapy and diagnostic equipment standing by to provide fast help right when you need it the most.
- Plano: 3960 Legacy Drive on the corner of Legacy and Coit Road.
Call us @ 469-392-4000.