Catherine Fuller, MD
Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology Specialist located in West Los Angeles, CA
If you find you experience difficulty breathing or chest tightness when you exercise or after exposure to allergens, you could be among the 25 million Americans with asthma. Asthma symptoms range from mild to severe, but all require an asthma treatment plan from a doctor to effectively manage the condition. Catherine Fuller, MD, treats patients of all ages with exercise-induced asthma and other forms of asthma in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles. Give the office a call or use the convenient online booking tool to schedule your appointment today.
Asthma Q & A
What is asthma?
Asthma is a chronic condition that periodically makes it hard to breathe due to inflammation and narrowing of the airways in the lungs. It often starts during childhood, but asthma affects people of all ages. Asthma symptoms are often triggered by an upper respiratory infection, exposure to allergens, changes in the weather, laughter, and stress.
What are the symptoms of asthma?
People with asthma experience varying levels of symptoms. Some may have periods of wheezing, shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, and occasionally coughing, while others can experience symptoms on a daily basis. Severe asthma symptoms, called an asthma attack, may be life-threatening. Asthma symptoms are often worse at night or in the morning and maybe triggered by allergies, cold air, exercise, laughing, crying, or viral infections.
What is exercise-induced asthma?
Some people experience asthma symptoms as a result of exercise or strenuous activity. About 90% of asthmatics have exercise-induced coughing, wheezing, or shortness of breath. Most people with asthma can participate in exercise and can pre-medicate prior to vigorous exercise and use the inhaler again if needed. Dr. Fuller urges her patients to exercise to their fullest capacity. Swimming is an excellent exercise for asthmatics. Stretching and warm-ups can help.
How is asthma treated?
There is no cure for asthma, but there are a variety of treatment options. Dr. Fuller will review your asthma triggers and symptoms to create a customized asthma treatment plan. The most common medical treatment for asthma includes inhalers and nebulizers. Asthma medication can be taken for long-term control to prevent asthma symptoms or quick-relief medicines taken only when you have asthma symptoms.
Quick-relief or rescue medications
Quick-relief medications, such as albuterol inhalers, are used when you experience asthma symptoms or an asthma attack. They quickly open the airways to make it easier to breathe. They should be used as a rescue or pre-exercise medication.
Long-term control medications
Long-term control medications are prescribed for moderate asthma symptoms that occur on a frequent basis. These include inhaled corticosteroids and montelukast, to prevent airway inflammation that causes asthma symptoms. There are several advanced biologic therapies available for difficult to control asthma. Dr. Fuller has experience prescribing these new and effective medications.
If you’re experiencing asthma symptoms, give Dr. Catherine Fuller a call or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment to learn about your treatment options.