Our General Medicine Unit
As the winter approaches, Turó Park Medical Center are preparing for the increased incidence of asthma, and we believe that it is important to educate you on this common medical condition. It is a condition related to the cold, prevalent in the population and often not well managed.
We offer our own professional knowledge to help patients with asthma to improve their condition, relieve their current symptoms and prevent exacerbations. Note that the flu jab is highly recommended for those who have cardiovascular and respiratory risk factors, such as asthma, prior to the arrival of the cold weather.
At Turó Park Dental & Medical Center clinic, our specialized GPs offer personalized attention for all respiratory problems in our patients in terms of diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.
What is asthma?
Asthma is a chronic lung condition, multifactorial with a genetic component that causes acute flare-ups of difficulty in breathing. It is characterized by a choking sensation due to the inflammation of the breathing tubes, resulting in difficulty of air passing into the lungs.
These flare-ups occur randomly or after exposure to a trigger. Identifying and avoiding these factors can help to keep your symptoms under control to a large extent:
- Allergies (dust, animal fur, pollen)
- Tobacco (smoke)
- Pollution, hazardous substances and chemical agents
There are some factors that are preventable, but important to be aware of, such as consanguinity, family history of asthma and/or allergies, medical history, occupational history.
How can Turó Park Medical Center help?
If you are experiencing symptoms for the first time, already have an asthma diagnosis or are having increasingly frequent asthma attacks, contact one of our GPs that will offer you well-informed advice and, when needed, refer you to our specialists.
It is important to treat asthma in a consistent, structured way to restrict further development in the severity of the condition, and to allow you to have unhindered daily life.
Asthma: frequently asked questions
If you have been diagnosed with asthma, it is important to know which type you have to manage it in a well-informed way. The classifications of asthma are based on severity and determined by a patient’s symptoms or results from lung function tests, such as a spirometry.
The classification of a patient’s asthma is determined by their symptoms before treatment which can also change over time, making it possible for a patient to change asthma category. However, each and every category can experience severe asthma attacks.
It affects people of all ages and often starts in childhood, although asthma in children younger than 4 years old can be difficult to diagnose, as their symptoms are often different from those of asthma in older children or adults.
The different severities of asthma range from intermittent, mild persistence, moderate persistence, to serious persistence.We can also highlight different types of asthma:
- Allergic asthma
- Non-allergic asthma
- Seasonal asthma
- Occupational asthma
- Exercise induced asthma
- Difficult asthma
- Severe asthma
The doctor will do a physical examination to rule out other possible conditions, such as a respiratory infection or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). They will ask questions about your symptoms and any other health problems.
Tests to measure your lung function:You may also undergo lung function tests to determine how much air you inhale and exhale. Here are some of the tests:
- Spirometry, test estimating how narrow your bronchial tubes are.
- Peak expiratory flow, an expiratory flow meter is a simple device that measures how hard you can exhale.
- Lung function studies.
- Additional tests: lung X-ray or ultrasound, allergy tests, sputum eosinophils and provocative tests for cold and exercise-induced asthma.
There are simple treatments that can help to keep the patient’s symptoms under control. Treatment requires knowledge of the patient, disease and forms of management in different situations as well as the use of inhaled medications.Depending on your category, severity and personal needs, the doctor may prescribe you medication such as;
- Long-term control medicines are the most important medicines used to keep asthma under control. Used daily, they can reduce or eliminate asthma flare-ups.
- Quick-relief inhalers are medicines sometimes called rescue inhalers. They quickly open the airways and make breathing easier. Knowing when to use these medicines can help prevent an impending asthma attack.
Your asthma could become more severe for many reasons, principally poor compliance or adherence to treatment, and increased exposure to the risk factors and triggers previously mentioned.
There are two main types of flare-ups:
- Slow onset (generally across days or weeks): they represent more than 80% of those who come to the emergency department and are mainly caused by upper respiratory tract infections or poor control of the disease due to non-compliance with treatment. The treatment to reduce the inflammation is slow.
- Rapid onset (less than 3 hours): these are due to the exposure to triggering external agents. The cause is obstruction of the bronchi and the attacks are more severe but have a better and faster response to treatment.
Turó Park Dental & Medical Center clinic has all the necessary material to perform a complete examination of your respiratory system. Feel free to contact us for more information.