The following describes asthma and methods for treating asthma. For specific information regarding your health and treatment options, please contact your Hurley physician or medical professional.
What is asthma?
Asthma is a serious disease of the lungs that is caused by swelling (inflammation) in the airways. Certain triggers like smoke, mold, or dust can cause an asthma flare up. There is no cure for asthma but it can be prevented and controlled with proper care.
What are the symptoms of asthma?
- coughing, sneezing
- wheezing (whistling sound)
- shortness of breath when exercising
- chest pain or tightness
- feeling tired
- nighttime cough
- noisy breathing
- stomach ache
- poor appetite
What things can trigger an asthma attack?
Common asthma triggers include:
- smoking and secondhand smoke
- dogs, cats, birds
- dust mites
- cold, dry air
- some kinds of strenuous exercise
- colds and viruses
- strong odors or fumes: paint, perfume, cleaning supplies
How is asthma diagnosed?
Doctors rely on your medical history, a physical examination, and laboratory tests to diagnose asthma. Tests may include:
- spirometer - measures lung function
- peak flow monitoring (PFM) - measures the amount of air you can blow out of your lungs
- chest x-rays
- blood tests
- allergy tests
How does smoking effect asthma?
If you have asthma, smoking is not only very bad for you, it will make your asthma worse. Smoking (and breathing in second-hand smoke) irritates your airways and makes asthma attacks happen more often. Smoking also lines your lungs with tar, which damages them for the rest of your life. At Hurley Medical Center, we can help you stop smoking. For more information about our smoking cessation classes, contact the Hurley Respiratory Therapy Department at (810) 262-9218 or click here.
How is asthma treated?
There are two kinds of medicines that treat asthma:
- Quick-relief or ‘rescue’ medications that give temporary relief of asthma symptoms
- Long-term controller medications that need to be taken all the time
The best asthma care in the region, especially for children
One of the leaders in Michigan for asthma care, Hurley Medical Center has the best physicians, nurses and staff in the diagnosis, care and treatment of asthma. Hurley has the only home-based Asthma Disease Management Program in the mid-Michigan region to help chidlren learn how to control your child's asthma. We also have a special website just for kids at hurleyasthmakids.com with videos of kids showing kids how to use inhalers properly, and how to clean your home to help reduce the triggers that can cause an asthma attack.
To learn about the many asthma programs Hurley offers, click here.
For a list of helpful asthma websites and resources, click here.
To learn about the many awards won by Hurley's asthma programs, click here.
To visit Hurley's website with videos just for kids with asthma, click here.