Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that causes inflammation of the airways and trouble breathing. Asthma care is offered to those who need it at Hope & Esperanza Community Health Center in Newark, New Jersey. Virginia Atieh, FNP, and Selande Charles, FNP, help you manage your condition and maintain a healthy quality of life. If you suspect asthma, call today for an appointment or use the online tool to schedule.

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What should I know about asthma?

Asthma is a chronic disease that affects your ability to breathe freely. You aren’t always wheezing and gasping for air, but if you have an asthma attack, the bronchial tubes in your lungs swell and narrow, limiting airflow and making it hard to breathe. 

Asthma attacks can be triggered by several factors, including allergies, pollution, pet dander, stress, and exercise.

What are the signs of an asthma attack? 

When you experience an asthma attack, you’ll notice shortness of breath. You might also notice:

  • Wheezing 
  • Coughing
  • Chest tightness or pressure
  • Increased anxiety

Learning your triggers can help you avoid asthma attacks. 

What are common asthma triggers?

Asthma usually results from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Not everyone has the same asthma triggers but common ones include: 

  • Dust and pollution
  • Seasonal allergies
  • Smoke
  • Cardiovascular exercise
  • Cold outdoor temperatures
  • Medications like ibuprofen and aspirin
  • Stress
  • Heightened emotions

The practitioners at Hope & Esperanza Community Health Center can help you identify these triggers and develop a plan if you should experience an asthma attack.  

How is asthma diagnosed?

If you come to Hope & Esperanza Community Health Center with symptoms of asthma, the practitioners check your breathing and perform a comprehensive physical exam. 

You may undergo spirometry — a test that assesses your lungs’ function by measuring how much air you breathe in and out and how quickly you exhale. 

The providers may also have you perform a peak flow measurement that shows the amount and rate of air that can be forcefully exhaled from the lungs. 

These in-office tests give the providers a clear picture of your lung function and the severity of your asthma. 

What is the treatment for asthma?

Asthma cannot be cured, but the symptoms can be managed. Medications, like inhaled steroids, help open up your airways when you’re experiencing an asthma attack. Long-term medications are taken daily help prevent asthma attacks. 

The providers at Hope & Esperanza Community Health Center also help you identify your asthma triggers and adjust your lifestyle to prevent asthma attacks. These interventions help you live a normal life. 

If you have asthma or are concerned that you or a loved one might, call Hope & Esperanza Community Health Center for an appointment today or use the online tool to schedule.