Lung disease is the number three killer in America, responsible for one in seven deaths. Lung disease and other breathing problems are the number one killer of babies younger than one year old. Today, more than 30 million Americans are living with chronic lung disease such as asthma, emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Northern Nevada Medical Center's Pulmonology/Physiology Lab diagnoses and treats asthma, tuberculosis, emphysema and A1AD related emphysema, pneumonia, sarcoidosis, HIV/AIDS and lung disease, and influenza.
Asthma treatment means life and breath
The very word emergency connotes urgency. But many people don't realize how important it is to recognize emergencies and react by seeking emergency care. This is especially true when it comes to breathing. With the Truckee Meadows' elevation, prevalence of smoking and high air particulate count, especially in winter, asthma is quite common. The disease may often be undiagnosed and affects children as well as adults.
While it's known that pollutants and other factors are triggers, no definitive cause or cure for asthma has been discovered. Asthma is defined as a chronic condition in which the air passages in the lungs become inflamed and swollen. Any irritation of these overly-sensitive air passages can lead to an asthma attack with symptoms including chest tightness, coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing or feeling of inability to catch one's breath. Asthma can become critical or even fatal if ignored. Don't wait to seek emergency care when symptoms of respiratory distress appear:
- Shortness of breath when walking or talking
- Feeling of constant fatigue
- Inability to sleep or eat
- Inability to tolerate regular activities without breathing difficulty
One or more of the symptoms above with a family history of asthma especially signals emergency attention. Treatment for asthma can involve medications including IVs, heart monitoring and multiple breathing aids including inhalants.
For more information on asthma and local asthma resources, please call Northern Nevada Medical Center's respiratory department, 356-4949, or the American Lung Association of Nevada, 829-5864.