A chronic disorder with recurrent attacks of wheezing and shortness of breath. It affects all ages but 50% of the cases are in children under the age of 10 boys with asthma outnumber girls. In adult-onset asthma, women are more often affected than men are.

• Chest tightness and shortness of breath.
• Wheezing upon breathing out.
• Coughing, especially at night, occasionally with thick, clear or yellow sputum.
• Rapid, shallow breathing that is easier with sitting up.
• Breathing difficulty.
• Neck muscles tighten.
Severe Symptoms of an acute attack:
 Bluish skin.
 Exhaustion.
 Grunting respiration.
 Inability to speak.
 Mental changes, including restlessness or confusion.

Inflammation and resulting spasm of air passages of the bronchi and bronchioles followed by swelling of the passages and thickening of lung secretions of sputum. This decreases or closes off air to the lungs. These changes are caused by:
 Allergens, such as pollen, dust, animal dander, molds and some foods.
 Lung infections such as bronchitis.
 Air irritants, such as smoke and odors.
 Exposure to occupational chemical or other materials.

 Other allergic conditions, such as eczema or hay fever.
Family history of asthma or allergies.
 Exposure to air pollutants.
 Smoking.
 Use of some drugs, including aspirin.
 Stresses viral infection, exercise, emotional upset, noxious odors and tobacco smoke.

 Avoid known allergens and air pollutants.
 Take prescribed preventive medicines regularly; don’t omit them when you feel well.
 Avoid aspirin.
 Investigate and avoid triggering factors.
 Do relaxation and airway clearing exercises.

 Symptoms can be controlled with treatment and strict adherence to prevention measures.
 Half of the children will outgrow asthma.
 Without treatment, severe attacks can be fatal.

 Respiratory failure.
 Pneumothorax.
 Lung infection and chronic lung problems from recurrent attacks.

General Measures:
 Diagnostic tests may include laboratory blood studies, pulmonary function tests and allergy testing, usually with testing.
 Emergency-room care and hospitalization for severe attacks.
 Psychotherapy or counseling, if asthma is stress-related.
 Eliminate allergens and irritants at home and at work, if possible. Treatment for desensitizing to specific allergens.
 Keep regular medications with you at all times.
 Sit upright during attacks.
 Stay indoors as much as possible during high allergen times.
 Additional information available from the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America, 1717 Massachusetts Ave. Suite 305, Washington, DC 20036. Telephone (800) 7-ASTHMA (278462).

 Expectorants to loosen sputum.
 Bronchodilators to open air passages.
 Intravenous cortisone drugs (emergencies only) to decrease the body’s allergic response.
 Cortisone drugs by Nebulizer, which have fewer adverse reactions than oral forms.
 Antihistamines (cromolyn sodium or nedocromil) by Nebulizer. These are preventive drugs.

 Stay active, but avoid sudden bursts of exercise. If an attack follows heavy exercise, sit and rest. Sip warm water.
 Treatment with bronchodilators often prevents exercise-caused asthma.
 Swimming is perhaps the best exercise for asthma patients.

 No special diet, but avoid foods to which you are sensitive.
 Drink at least 3 quarts of liquid daily to keep secretions loose.

 You or a family member has symptoms of asthma.
 You have an asthma attack that doesn’t respond to treatment. THIS IS AN EMERGENCY!!!
 New, unexplained symptoms develop. Drugs used in the treatment may produce side effects.

John Drew Laurusonis

Doctors Medical Center

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Laurusonis was conferred his Doctor of Medicine degree in 1983 and has been actively taking care of patients since completing his Internal Medicine residency in 1987 in the Garden State of New Jersey. Dr. Laurusonis has been licensed in four states but ultimately chose to permanently relocate to Georgia with his family and begin a private practice. Through his extensive experience in Internal Medicine, as well as in Emergency Rooms throughout the United States, Dr. Laurusonis saw how traditional Emergency Rooms were often overwhelmed by patients suffering medical conditions that were urgent but may not need the traditional “Level I Trauma Center”. Patients often waited six to twelve hours to be seen by a physician, were riddled with thousands of dollars in medical bills, and were generally unhappy with the system.
Dr. Laurusonis decided to open an Urgent Care Center instead of a 9-5 doctor's office. Through the last fifteen years he has received accolades from the community and his patients. He has expanded his practice to include many cosmetic therapies that have previously been treated with painful and extensive plastic surgery. He has been invited to the White House numerous times, has been named Physician of the Year from GA, as seen in the Wall Street Journal, and has served as Honorary Co-Chairman on the Congressional Physicians Advisory Board
Dr. Laurusonis and his practice, Doctors Medical Center, is open 7 days a week from 7:30 am to 9:30 pm offering such services as lab, x-ray, EKGs, aesthetics (Botox, dermabrasion, sclerotheraby and veins etc.), cold/flu, sore throats, fractures, sprains, lacerations, GYN, Pediatrics, Phlebology Anxiety/Insomnia/Depression Treatment, skin tag/mole removal, veins, allergies, asthma, physicals--just to name a few. Dr. Laurusonis welcomes you to either make an appointment or just walk-in to see him. Dr. Laurusonis will take the time to speak with you about your concerns--no problem is too big or too small. If you need additional services we have specialist referrals available or we can refer you to the neighborhood hospital emergency room. Give Doctors Medical Center a call--Dr. Laurusonis will be happy to speak with you.

John Drew Laurusonis, MD
Doctors Medical Center
3455 Peachtree Industrial Blvd
Suite 110
Duluth, GA 30096