Chesapeake ERgent Care
Emergency Medicine located in Gambrills, MD

Asthma is a chronic disease that causes your airways — the tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs — to become sore and swollen, leading to several bothersome symptoms. If wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and coughing limit your quality of life, get the medical care you need in under 30 minutes from the medical staff at Chesapeake ERgent Care in Gambrills, Maryland. Call, visit, or use our online booking system today.

Asthma Q & A

What is asthma?

Asthma is a chronic lung disease caused by your airways’ reaction to particular inhaled substances.
Inflammation leads to tightening in the muscles around your airways, further narrowing them and causing less air to flow into your lungs. That can also prompt the production of more mucus, and since mucus is sticky and thick, it further constricts your airways.

The more narrow your airways, the more likely you are to have symptoms, including:

  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing that worsens before bed and when you wake up

What causes asthma?

The exact reasons why one in 12 people have asthma are unknown. However, several contributing factors lead to flare-ups, including:

  • Exercise, especially in cold weather
  • Allergens, including pollen, pets, mold, and dust mite
  • Illnesses like a cold, the flu, or sinus infection
  • Smoke from both first and secondhand tobacco use
  • Stress

How is asthma diagnosed?

Dr. Elfenbein, or another member of the medical staff at Chesapeake ERgent Care, begins by reviewing your family and medical history. You will also undergo a physical exam, including lung function tests, to find out how much air moves in and out of your lungs as you breathe.

The most common pulmonary capacity test involves using a spirometer. This test requires you to take a deep breath and then exhale as much air as possible, as quickly as possible. That allows Dr. Elfenbein to estimate the narrowness of your bronchial tubes.

To ensure proper diagnosis, Chesapeake ERgent Care has both an in-house lab and the ability to take digital X-rays.

How is asthma treated?

Since there’s no cure, prevention and long-term control help stop an asthma attack before it starts. Therefore, treatment requires you to learn to recognize and avoid your triggers.

There are several daily medications that Dr. Elfenbein prescribes, as well as a quick-relief inhaler, for flare-ups. Regardless of your prescription, the medicine dispensary at Chesapeake ERgent Care makes it easier and more convenient for you to pick up your prescriptions.

The next time you have an asthma flare-up, call, visit, or use our online booking tool to get the medical care you need quickly at Chesapeake ERgent Care.


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Asthma is a chronic disease that causes your airways -- the tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs -- to become sore and swollen, leading to several bothersome symptoms.