Combating Asthma: Tips From Fresno’s Top Respiratory Physician

Combating Asthma: Tips From Fresno’s Top Respiratory Physician

Posted By:SSG Admin Posted On:29-May-2024

According to the California Department of Public Health, 15.1% of California’s total population was diagnosed with asthma in 2019/2020. The highest percentage (16.6%) of these people are between the ages of 18 and 62. Young children are less likely to have asthma than adults.

Adults aged 65 or older (14.6%) and children between the ages of 5 to 17 (14.5%) are the next highest age groups. About 0.5% of people with asthma end up in the ER. Managing asthma is crucial if you want to avoid costly hospital bills.

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that occurs when the airways become inflamed and become narrower. It makes it hard to breathe. Coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath are common symptoms. They can range from mild to severe and come and go.

There is no cure for asthma, but there are treatments that can help people with asthma live normal lives without limiting activities. Here are tips from Fresno’s top respiratory physician.

Take Note of Your Triggers and Let Others Know

The top tip from our Fresno doctor is to know your triggers. When you have an asthma attack what happened before it? Were you exercising or feeling extreme amounts of stress? Did you step outside into smoke or was it particularly dry and dusty? Were you inside your home with windows closed? Is it spring allergy season?

As you learn your triggers, you can eliminate your exposure to them. If you find you have an asthma attack after your friend visits with a dog, pet dander could be the problem. Ask friends to leave their dogs at home in the future and see if that resolves the issue. 

If you find your asthma attacks worsen in the spring and fall, it could be that tree and ragweed pollen are your triggers. Before you go outside, check sites like AirNow to see what the air quality is. If there’s smoke or smog, you’ll know before you leave.

Sites like The Weather Channel give pollen reports. If you have to go outside in high pollen counts, consider wearing a mask, take a shower to rinse pollen out of your hair, and wash your clothes immediately to limit the pollen you bring inside.

Inside the home, it could be mold/ mildew spores or dust mites. When you’re at home, run an air purifier to remove allergens from the air. If you have carpet, consider upgrading to hardwood floors to make it easier to clean dust and pollen that get into your home.

Once you know your triggers, let others know. If something happens, they’ll have the information needed to take care of you. They can provide important information to doctors who are trying to form a treatment plan.

The Best Management Strategies for Fresno Residents

Have you created an Asthma Action Plan? has a printable form to fill out. Put this action plan in writing, laminate it, and keep it on your fridge or another highly visible location. Share copies with close friends and family, too. The form includes:

  • Your name
  • Your respiratory doctor’s contact information
  • Your emergency contact
  • Your list of prescribed asthma medications for prevention, quick relief, and medical emergencies

When you are going through your daily routines each month, keep a journal of any issues you’ve faced. If you find the chest tightness is worse at times, note it in the journal and jot down what you were doing or where you were. It helps your doctor find patterns and address when medication changes are needed.

Make sure you see your Fresno respiratory doctor regularly. Even if you’re feeling fine, it’s good to check-in. Bring the journal with you. While you’re there, ask about a home peak flow monitor. The medical tool measures lung function and can help you pinpoint when an attack is more likely to occur.

Tips for Living Well With Asthma

Don’t let asthma keep you from doing the things you enjoy. Your asthma specialist can help you better understand how hard you can push yourself, what you should avoid, and what to do to prepare for different hobbies, sports, or outdoor activities.

When you have asthma, any respiratory illnesses can be deadly. Get vaccinations that help protect you from COVID, the flu, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Talk to your doctor about getting them at the same time or a certain number of weeks apart. You should also ask about the pneumococcal vaccine.

It’s also important to limit stress. Stress worsens asthma. If you’re in a stressful job or environment, learn techniques to manage stress. Yoga and Tai Chi are two exercises where breathing is part of the focus. Deep breathing and relaxation techniques help you manage stress. 

Know your limits, too. If you feel that you’re overdoing it. Stop and take a break. You don’t need to do it all at once. It’s better to do things at a slower pace than push yourself too hard and end up dealing with a serious asthma attack.

Don’t Be Afraid to Take Medications or Use an Inhaler

Not everyone can manage their asthma without needing medications. Don’t try to tough it out. Your life is more important than a desire to manage the disease on your own. Fresno’s medical professionals are there to help you find the right treatment plan that prevents an asthma attack and help you keep breathing if you’re struggling to get enough air. 

Because there are different medications and inhalers, you need to work with a doctor to learn when and how to use them. Pay close attention to any contraindications your doctor mentions. 

Beta-blockers, which can be used for anxiety, and NSAIDs (aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.) both can trigger symptoms. You need to know what to avoid and what to use instead. If you have a headache and can’t use aspirin or ibuprofen, what can you use instead?

Why Work With a Respiratory Specialist?

Working with a respiratory and asthma specialist is a smart way to learn other strategies for managing the disease. You’ll have an expert there to help you find effective medications and when and how to take them. You also have an expert available to train you on how to use your inhaler properly. With regular check-ins, you’ll soon have an effective strategy for managing your triggers and knowing what to do if an attack happens.

There may be no cure for asthma, but it can be managed. Work with Fresno’s top respiratory doctor to better manage your asthma and enjoy a full, active life. Asthma doesn’t have to slow you down when you have professional medical advice and expert care guiding you to an effective treatment plan.