Asthma affects more than 26 million people in the U.S. In Texas, approximately 1.5 million adults, or 7.3 percent of the population, have asthma. There is no cure for asthma, but symptoms and frequency of attacks can be controlled by lifestyle and medication. If you live in the Houston area and experience a severe asthma attack, seek immediate medical help. St. Michael’s Emergency Rooms, a Sugar Land emergency clinic, offers 24-hour emergency medical treatment for conditions ranging from asthma to heart attacks.
Asthma is a chronic disease that causes airways to swell and makes breathing difficult. When an attack occurs, you may experience tightening of the chest, wheezing, coughing and difficulty in breathing. Asthma often flares up after exposure to irritants or situations that trigger reactions, including cigarette smoke, dust, polluted air or vigorous exercise.
Allergy is the body’s reaction to a substance it considers to be harmful. Your immune system makes an antibody that attacks the threatening substances. The release of histamines and other chemicals stimulates production of white blood cells. This causes inflammation as the body fights off the threat. Although many people suffer from allergies, not all allergy sufferers have asthma.
Common allergens include dust mites, pollen, mold, insect feces and animal dander. Some people react to medications, insect bites or foods. Allergy sufferers may experience runny noses, sneezing or a rash. However, some allergic reactions, such as constriction of the airways, can be life-threatening. If you have a severe reaction, go to a Sugar Land emergency clinic immediately.
If you have allergic asthma, exposure to an allergen can trigger an asthma attack. The symptoms of allergic asthma are the same as for asthma, including chest pain, difficulty breathing and wheezing. Allergic asthma can be life-threatening if not properly treated. If you have asthma and have trouble breathing or experience a severe allergic reaction, seek Sugar Land emergency care quickly.
Treatment for asthma and allergic asthma are similar. You should avoid triggers that cause reactions. Use air conditioning when pollen counts are high and keep filters clean. Wash bedding in hot water weekly to kill dust mites. If you have pets, keep them out of the bedroom. Pet hair and dander are common triggers. Use exhaust fans in kitchens, baths and laundry rooms to reduce mold growth. Wear a mask when you work in the garden to avoid exposure to mold and pollen. Your doctor may also prescribe medications that reduce the severity of attacks.
If you experience a severe allergic asthma attack, you may need Sugar Land emergency treatment. In contrast to many Sugar Land emergency clinics, the waiting time at St. Michael’s Emergency Rooms is usually less than five minutes. Call 281.980.4357 to find out about preregistration, our diagnostic services or to speak to a medical practitioner.