What is asthma?

Asthma is caused by narrowing of the air passages in the lungs. It may be triggered by pollen, dust, animal dander, molds, some foods, respiratory infections, exposure to smoke, exercise or emotional stress. Repeat attacks are common.

What should I do?

  1. If you are given a prescription for medicine, use it as ordered by your doctor.
  2. Avoid pollen, dust, animal dander, molds, smoke and other things that cause attacks at home and at work.
  3. If you are not on a fluid restriction, drink eight to 10 glasses of water each day. This will help thin sputum so that it can be coughed-up more easily.
  4. Discuss an exercise routine with your doctor.
  5. If animal dander is the cause of asthma, you may need to get rid of those pets.

Call the doctor if:

  1. You have wheezing and shortness of breath even if you are taking medicine to prevent attacks.
  2. You develop a temperature over ____°F(____°C).
  3. You have muscle aches, chest pain and thickening of sputum.
  4. Your sputum changes from clear or white to yellow, green, grey or bloody.
  5. You have any problems that may be related to the medicine you are taking (such as a rash, itching, swelling or trouble breathing).

Return to the doctor IMMEDIATELY if:

  1. Your usual medicines do not stop your wheezing, difficulty breathing or coughing.
  2. You have increased difficulty breathing.
Mission Health Care Network | 2525 de Sales Avenue | Chattanooga, TN 37404 | MissionHealth@memorial.org
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