Asthma is a common respiratory condition that affects a person’s breathing. Millions of people around the world are affected by asthma, and there are many treatments that are available. Come to AFC Urgent Care to help alleviate the symptoms of asthma, or to diagnose you or your children if you suspect they could have asthma.
Where do I go if I have asthma?
One of the main goals of parents whose kids have asthma is avoiding trips to the emergency room or urgent care for breathing problems. But it’s also important to know when going to the ER or urgent care is the right choice.
It would be best to discuss it with your doctor before your child has a severe flare-up so you’ll be better prepared to make that decision. The doctor’s instructions should be included in your asthma action plan. The plan will list specific symptoms that are your cue to get additional help. Once your child is of age, they should also know what the signs are.
Everyone’s asthma is different. Some kids have flare-ups whenever they get a cold or exercise outside and some only cough at night.
Pay attention to what happens before a flare-up as you manage your child’s asthma, so that you know the early warning signs. These signs can help you plan ahead but don’t necessarily mean that a flare-up will happen.
Early warning signs of a flare-up can include:
- coughing that’s not due to a cold or a persistent cough
- tightness in the chest
- throat clearing
- rapid or irregular breathing
- shortness of breath with activities
- inability to stand or sit still
- unusual fatigue
- restless sleep
Communicate with your doctor. Be sure to call the doctor if you have any other concerns or at the earliest sign of a flare-up. Being prepared means you might prevent your child’s symptoms from getting worse and can make a trip to the doctor’s office instead of going to the ER.
What kind of doctor do you see for breathing problems?
A physician that specializes in the respiratory system is called a pulmonologist. Pulmonologists are the go-to doctor if your complaint involves the lungs or any part of the respiratory system.
Pulmonologists go through the same rigorous training as an internist. During their training, they complete an internal medicine residency and then must complete several years as a fellowship focused primarily on pulmonology. After that, they have to take and pass specialty exams, and only then are they able to take patients as a Board-Certified pulmonologist.
Pulmonologists can choose to specialize even further even though the respiratory system is a specialty in itself. Some of these doctors focus on certain diseases, like pulmonary fibrosis, asthma, and COPD while others treat unique demographics, like geriatric and pediatric patients.
Because many heart and lung conditions present similar symptoms, cardiologists often work with pulmonologists while diagnosing patients. You’ll also see them frequently in hospital settings. Patients that need manual ventilation or life support in order to breathe will have a pulmonologist overseeing that element of their care.
What does an asthma clinic do?
An asthma specialists’ main focus is on the diagnosis and treatment of asthma. These physicians have a total of at least nine years of training which includes a two-year fellowship program with a focus on lung disease and allergic diseases. An asthma specialist works with patients to help diagnose, prevent, and treat allergies, asthma, and related diseases.
The choice of which type of doctor you see should always be up to you, but it’s important to understand the differences between a primary care physician and an asthma specialist, and the benefits and limitations of each.
If you or someone you know is living with asthma, or believe they might have asthma, come to AFC Urgent Care today! We have trained specialists who can help you treat your asthma and start breathing easy again. Contact our office today to get in touch with a specialist. To book an appointment, call us or visit us online!