Our Approach to Care
Tower Health offers a high-quality pediatric asthma program at Reading Hospital which has received The Joint Commission Certification of Distinction in Pediatric Asthma. With early treatment, education, and self-care people with asthma can live active and normal lives. It is important to see a physician or health care provider who can partner with you to treat and manage your asthma.
What is Asthma?
Asthma is a persistent and ongoing condition of the airways in the lung. The airways become inflamed, go into spasm, and block the flow of air. The muscles in the bronchial walls tighten causing the airways to narrow and cells in the lung make more mucus, which further blocks the flow of air.
This can cause flare-ups that result in minor wheezing or coughing to a severe asthma attack. Asthma attacks can occur when something is irritating the airways such as a viral infection, allergy triggers or exercise. Some patients have no symptoms in between attacks, and some have symptoms all the time if they have poor control of their asthma. Adults and children can have asthma. There is no cure for asthma, but people can learn to control their symptoms.
Your doctor or medical provider will diagnosis asthma based on physical asthma and medical and family history.
Pulmonary function testing such as spirometry or a methacholine challenge test may be ordered to help your doctor diagnosis asthma.
Your doctor may refer you to an asthma specialist or an allergist.
Although asthma is a chronic condition, you can live a normal life with the proper asthma treatment and proper medication. Treatment length varies for each individual and some may have to stay on treatment for the rest of their lives.
Asthma is treated with different kinds of medicines that patients breathe into their lungs. These medicines are called inhalers and there are two types: controller and quick-relief.
- Controller: medicine used everyday to control airway swelling and help to prevent symptoms
- Quick-relief: medicine you need to keep with you but only use when you are wheezing or short of breath
People with asthma should avoid triggers such as exposure to tobacco smoke and vaping. People with asthma may keep an asthma diary to track their symptoms and asthma control..