Asthma

Asthma Specialist
Around 25 million, or one in 12, people in the United States have some form of asthma, with symptoms ranging from mildly annoying to severely debilitating, hampering even the simplest of activities. If asthma is having a negative impact on your life, Dr. Mingliarti Tjahjana of One Health Medical Care in Reston, Virginia, can help you manage the disease, allowing you the freedom to breathe easier.

Asthma Q & A

What is asthma?

Asthma is a chronic condition that affects your airways, causing them to swell, tighten, and produce more mucus, making your breathing labored and difficult.

There are several different types of asthma, including:

  • Allergic asthma: If you have allergies, you may also suffer from asthma. With allergic asthma, reactions to allergens can trigger an asthma attack.
  • Exercise-induced asthma: This type of asthma is triggered by exercise. The trick with exercise-induced asthma is to find a way to remain physically active, which is important for your overall health, while avoiding asthma attacks.
  • Occupational asthma: If you work where chemical fumes, dust, gases, or other potentially harmful airborne substances exist, you may develop this type of asthma.
  • Childhood asthma: Most children who develop asthma do so before the age of five. Some children outgrow their asthma, while others carry it into adulthood.

What causes asthma?

Doctors don’t understand what causes asthma, but they believe that it’s closely tied to heredity. In other words, if your family has a history of asthma, your risk of developing asthma increases. What medical researchers are getting a handle on are the triggers for asthma, making treatment more a matter of avoiding certain environments and activities, and mitigating symptoms. In fact, because the cause is unknown, there is no cure for asthma.

What are the symptoms of asthma?

The range and severity of symptoms vary from person to person, but the following are the most common:

  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing attacks
  • Tightness of pain in the chest
  • Trouble sleeping

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, make an appointment with Dr. Tjahjana to get to the bottom of the issue.

How is asthma treated?

Since there is no cure for asthma, prevention and long-term management are the best ways to control your condition.

Treatment typically requires a multi-pronged approach that includes a combination of the following:

  • Long-term medications: inhaled corticosteroids, beta agonists, and leukotriene modifiers to open airways and address inflammation
  • Spot inhalers: for use during an asthma attack to open airways
  • Allergy medications: for allergy-induced asthma
  • Trigger avoidance: staying away from environments or activities that trigger your asthma
  • At-home changes: air-conditioning, dust control, cleanliness, and optimal humidity all help in preventing asthma attacks

Dr. Tjahjana will work with you to design the best plan to control your asthma.