COVID-19/Coronavirus Updates

The Urgency Room Is Here for Your Asthma Needs

Asthma can be a frightening condition. If it isn’t under control or kept in check, an asthma attack can occur and cause a need for medical care—in some cases, an asthma attack can be fatal.

The Urgency Room, with locations in Eagan, Vadnais Heights and Woodbury, can help in the event you need help managing your asthma. If you’re experiencing coughing, wheezing or shortness of breath, you may have asthma. Our highly experienced physicians can help in a fraction of the time it would take at your typical emergency room.

Each Urgency Room is owned and operated by the Emergency Physicians Professional Association (EPPA) and upholds the highest possible care standards. Our state-of-the-art facilities incorporate everything needed to treat everything from chest pain and high fevers to kidney stones and acute injuries. Your breaks, sprains, coughs and asthma won’t have to wait for hours to be addressed—instead, you’ll be seen quickly by one of our physicians faster than you would be seen in your average emergency room or urgent care.

What Is Asthma?

Asthma is an incurable condition that includes the narrowing or swelling of your airways. In addition to swelling airways, they may also produce mucus, making it especially difficult to breathe. If you have asthma, your symptoms might be very minor to more prominent. Asthma might simply be a nuisance to some while it’s an inhibitor to others and their daily activities.

You might develop asthma for a number of reasons. More than 22 million people have asthma in the United States alone, so it isn’t a rare or uncommon condition to have. Adults may develop asthma later in life due to exposure to irritants or dust in the workplace. For example, someone who works in a woodshop may develop asthma from prolonged exposure to sawdust in the air; this is called occupational asthma.

If you think you have asthma, some symptoms you may experience include:

  • Chest tightness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath, wheezing or coughing at night, making it difficult to sleep
  • Pain while breathing
  • Feeling unable to fully inhale or exhale air
  • Difficulty breathing especially during exercise

How Can Asthma Be Treated?

While asthma doesn’t have a cure, it can be managed to the point where it doesn’t interrupt your day-to-day activities. Several steps may be taken to treat your asthma and control its symptoms. Since the severity of asthma can vary depending on your age, activity level and common exposure to irritants, it’s important to keep your physician up to date with changes in your symptoms so your treatment plan can be changed accordingly.

Treatment ranges from quick-relief to long-term care. Quick-relief treatment options are often referred to as rescue inhalers. These are for use before exercise (if your doctor thinks it’s necessary) or during an asthma attack. These medications will quickly open up your airways, making it possible for you to breathe. Some common quick-relief treatments include albuterol or a nebulizer.

Long-term asthma medications are meant to be taken every day. These medications usually take a few days before they reach effectiveness. Some common long-term medications include fluticasone, which is inhaled, or a bronchodilator, which is a pill that relaxes the muscles around the airways. These long-term asthma medications help reduce the chances you’ll have an asthma attack. They may be used in conjunction with other drugs that help stave off the odds of an attack—such as allergy medication.

What is Asthma Exacerbation?

Asthma exacerbation is the more clinical term for an asthma attack. When this happens, a person experiences a sudden worsening of asthma symptoms. There are several potential causes of asthma exacerbation but it can also occur unexpectedly and without an easily identifiable cause. 

Dealing with asthma can be difficult, especially when you experience an acute attack. During an asthma attack (also known as asthma exacerbation), a person experiences coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. Many people become panicked when experiencing an asthma attack because it’s very difficult for them to breathe.

Asthma exacerbations are different from regular asthma. An instance of asthma exacerbation indicates the patient requires a change in treatment. Some people may experience an asthma attack without any obvious triggers but there are some common conditions that can trigger asthma exacerbations

These are some of the most common conditions that cause asthma exacerbations in patients:

  • Viral respiratory infections
  • Allergies
  • Defective antiviral immunity
  • Occupational exposures
  • Exposure to pollutants such as tobacco smoke

The symptoms of asthma attacks can vary between patients but most people will experience several of the following symptoms:

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightening
  • Breathlessness
  • Agitation
  • Decreased lung function
  • Increased respiratory rate
  • Increased pulse rate

If you believe you’re experiencing an asthma exacerbation, it’s important to contact a trained healthcare provider as soon as possible. If your concerns are minor, online care at The Urgency Room can be a great option. Online care is available from 8 am- 8pm daily and can help you determine the best course of treatment. If you prefer to visit us on person, schedule a same-day visit.

Is Asthma Genetic?

Asthma is a condition that likely results from a complex interaction of genetic and environmental factors. 

People with mutations in the genes associated with asthma are more likely to develop allergic asthma, especially when they’re exposed to known environmental risks. Inhaling pollutants, toxins, and mold are the biggest triggers of allergic asthma. 

Nevertheless, this indicates a likelihood and not a certainty of inheriting the condition itself. The inheritable pattern of asthma is still unknown.

There is also evidence to suggest that people with compromised immune systems are more likely to develop asthma, especially if they show mutations in the associated genes. However, there is no direct link between one or more environmental or genetic components that will always lead to the development of asthma. 

Some of the most common reasons it’s believed people develop asthma are:

  • A genetic predisposition
  • Exposure to allergies, air pollutants, and other airborne irritants
  • Environmental factors including exposure to mold, cockroaches, rodents, and dust
  • Respiratory issues, such as respiratory infections, GERD, obesity, and obstructive sleep apnea

Having some or all of these issues doesn’t guarantee a person will develop asthma. Some people may develop asthma when they’re young and outgrow it after adolescence. 

If you believe you’re suffering from asthma, it’s important to contact a healthcare provider who can develop a treatment plan for you. The Urgency Room understands the importance of providing quality and convenient care for their patients, which is why we offer both in-person and online care.  We offer two convenient ways to get the level of care you need.  

How Do I Know If I Have Asthma?

It’s best to obtain a diagnosis from a trained professional if you believe you’re experiencing symptoms of asthma. However, before you make an appointment, it can be helpful to know what the signs of asthma are. 

Most people who have experienced asthma attacks in the past are very familiar with the range of uncomfortable symptoms they might experience. For patients who have no history of asthma attacks, it might be hard to distinguish what you’re experiencing from other conditions, such as panic disorder.

Episodes of panic attacks and asthma attacks have many symptoms in common, including tightness of the chest, shortness of breath, and increased heart rate. 

There are several symptoms of asthma attacks that stand out and can help you identify whether you’re experiencing an asthmatic episode. 

Common symptoms of asthma include:

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Waking at night with difficulty breathing
  • Decreased lung function

The best way to determine whether you have asthma is to speak with a trained healthcare professional. Visit our website to schedule your appointment or start your visit online.   

How Can The Urgency Room Help?

No matter which Urgency Room is nearest you, our physicians will know how to quickly and effectively treat your asthma symptoms in the timeliest way possible. Don’t trudge through life not being able to breathe fully or fear risking an asthma attack. Stop by one of our Woodbury, Eagan or Vadnais Heights locations today and get the high-quality asthma care you need to improve your breathing and get back to living life fully.

Call us today or stop by anytime. Each Urgency Room location is open from 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM 365 days of the year—that means even holidays and weekends. Skip the waits and finally get the care you deserve now.