Devang Shah, MD, and Nimisha Shah, MD, specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of both asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). At Morgan Hill Internal Medicine, the doctors and staff offer the highest quality of care possible to the residents of Morgan Hill, California. Call the office or book an appointment online today.

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Are asthma attacks triggered by allergies?

Asthma attacks react to specific triggers just like allergies are triggered by allergens. When a person suffers from an allergic reaction, it can result in a mild-to-moderate asthma attack. An asthma attack, however, should not be confused with anaphylactic shock. Anaphylaxis occurs when an allergen causes a reaction in the lungs that basically closes off the person’s airway.

With an asthma attack, the airways become inflamed and large amounts of mucus are produced that prevent the person from breathing normally, but the airway does not completely close off. Asthma attacks that occur due to an allergic reaction should be reported to the person’s primary care doctor.

What are the symptoms of COPD?

The symptoms of COPD appear gradually. Shortness of breath may be the beginning of the problem. Over time, it will take less and less activity for a person to lose their breath. Eventually, they will develop a cough and not be able to take deep breaths without experiencing some type of irritation. Wheezing and tightness throughout the chest will also be common.

A person who suffers from COPD may also have frequent and recurring upper respiratory infections. A lack of noticeable energy and unintentional weight loss are also common signs. As time passes, the symptoms may become so severe, the person may not be able to perform any type of rigorous activity without having an oxygen tank with them. It is extremely important to avoid cigarette smoke and other airborne irritants to avoid aggravating the condition.

How is COPD treated?

If a person is diagnosed with COPD, it is extremely important that they quit smoking and avoid areas where airborne contaminants are present. Bronchodilators are often prescribed to help keep airways open and breathing manageable. The team at Morgan Hill Internal Medicine often suggests Inhaled and oral steroids to help reduce the inflammation that can appear in the lungs.

Inhalers and breathing treatments can be utilized to help deliver the medication directly to the lungs where it is needed the most. In advanced stages of the disease, the patient may require constant oxygen intake through the use of a cannula and portable oxygen tank.

Call the office or schedule an appointment online today at Morgan Hill Internal Medicine to find out how to get your asthma under control.