If you’re living with asthma in Stark County, Ohio (or North Canton, Ohio, or anywhere else), then you’re probably familiar with most of your asthma triggers. So, what happens with you haven’t been exposed to any of those triggers, you don’t have a cold that could exacerbate things, and yet your asthma flares up anyway? Do you just chalk it up to a random occurrence and move on? What if it happens again? You head off to see Dr. Given or Jen and the wonderful team at Allergy Respiratory & Sleep Medicine in Canton, Ohio to see what’s going on and find the underlying cause of your asthma symptoms. What you discover during the course of your visit is that you may be experiencing a domino effect with a cause that may or may not actually be related to your asthma: GERD.
What is GERD? GERD is an acronym that stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease. That’s a lot of big words that basically boil down to the contents of the stomach moving backward into the esophagus. There are many different symptoms that you may experience such as heartburn or pain in your chest. In some cases, GERD can also cause laryngeal and bronchial inflammation. More big words. Inflammation is typically defined as redness and swelling. Laryngeal refers to your larynx or voice box in the back of your throat. Bronchial refers to the mucous membranes in the respiratory tract and lungs.
So, what are the symptoms of laryngeal and bronchial inflammation? These may sound familiar: coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath. If you have asthma and you begin to experience these symptoms, your first though is that your asthma is acting up. However, if you do not treat the underlying cause of your asthma symptoms, GERD, then this process can be repeated again and again without improvement. You may head over to Allergy Respiratory & Sleep Medicine to explain that your medication is no longer managing your symptoms, but don’t be surprised if you find yourself answering a lot of questions instead of being written a new prescription and sent on your way.
The team at Allergy Respiratory & Sleep Medicine is very thorough. You may, in fact, be correct. Perhaps your medication is not as effective as it once was. But, before that determination is made, these medical professionals will do everything possible to get to the bottom of things and find the root cause of your problem. Treating the symptoms will only get you so far, and in the case of GERD, treating your asthma symptoms could possibly make things worse. How? Just as you have asthma triggers, there are factors that can bring on or worsen GERD. One of these factors is medications, and one type of medication is…. Have you guessed it yet? Bronchiodilators prescribed for asthma! In short, using your inhaler has the potential to actually increase your discomfort.
Now you know that when Dr. Given or another staff member at Allergy Respiratory & Sleep Medicine starts asking you questions about other medications you take, the time of day your attacks occur, or other questions that seem to come from left field, they’re not crazy! Every question (and every answer) will help them to determine if you may be suffering from GERD or another underlying issue that is causing your coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
This information isn’t just for Stark County, Ohio residents struggling with asthma triggers, either. If you live in the North Canton, Ohio area find yourself struggling to breathe sometimes, even if you’ve never been diagnosed with a respiratory condition like asthma or COPD, Dr. John T. Given and his experienced, compassionate staff at Allergy Respiratory & Sleep Medicine will get to the bottom of it! To schedule an appointment with your regional respiratory experts, call 330.479.3333. You can also find them online at www.AllergyRespiratoryCenter.com. Visit today to learn more about this Canton, Ohio practice and the many ways they’re prepared to help you, which includes finding the underlying cause of your asthma symptoms. As Dr. Given always says, “You don’t have to live with it!”