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Few situations are more unthinkable than not being able to breathe. If you or your loved one suffers from asthma, you already know how upsetting and even frightening the symptoms can be. This chronic constriction of the airway can make breathing difficult and in severe cases constitutes a medical emergency. When standard home care fails to alleviate an asthma attack, you need to know you can get the help you need right away. Here at Twin Oaks Urgent Care in Friendswood, Texas, our experienced medical team can provide that help as quickly, efficiently and compassionately as possible.
Asthma occurs when inflammation narrows the airways that serve the lungs. Swelling of the tissue’s lining the insides of the airways restrict the volume of air that can pass through these tubes. It is perhaps the most well-known and prevalent chronic disease afflicting children, who make up some 7 million of the 25 million Americans who have this incurable but treatable disorder. A variety of triggers can set off an asthma attack, including:
Foods that contain sulfites, such as shrimp and fruit
Pollen, cigarette smoke, dust and other airborne irritants
Exposure to pets
Mild asthma attacks may only cause shortness of breath during exertion. Moderate asthma is characterized by a wheezing or whistling sound that accompanies the sufferer's attempts to breathe. Severe asthma attacks will not respond to use of an inhaler. Sufferers of a severe attack may display profound shortness of breath, blue-tinged lips or fingernails, mental confusion or even loss of consciousness.
If an asthma attack appears to be entering the sever stage or refuses to abate (either on its own or with the aid of medication), get the sufferer to Twin Oaks Urgent Care immediately. In addition to the short-acting albuterol that so many asthma patients carry in inhalers, we can administer oral or intravenous corticosteroids to dilate the airways and restore normal breathing. We may also prescribe a bronchodilator drugs called ipatropium. If the patient can't wait for the medication to take effect, we can even insert a tube into the airway so a machine can pump oxygen directly into the lungs. Once the medication is clearly working, we can remove the tube.
Our Friendswood, Texas urgent care team can also counsel you on certain steps you can take do prevent asthma attacks or at least reduce their severity. These practices may include cleaning your home (and your AC ducts) frequently, keeping a nebulizer handy, wearing a mouth-covering scarf in cold weather, avoiding tobacco smoke and wearing a protective mask when the pollen is high. You should also get a peak flow meter to measure your airflow during an attack -- if the reading is under 50 percent, you need immediate care.
Call Twin Oaks Urgent Care at (832) 569-4390 to learn more about asthma symptoms and treatment. Then keep our Friendswood address (1111 S Friendswood Dr #105) handy for those frightening moments when you need expert professional treatment from our urgent care team.