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Asthma Specialist

Murphy Medical Associates

Acute Primary Care & Board Certified Internal Medicine located in Greenwich, Stamford, & Stratford, CT

Difficulty breathing and other symptoms of asthma can be debilitating and even dangerous. If you suspect you have asthma, the primary care team at Murphy Medical Associates in Stamford, Stratford, and Greenwich, Connecticut, is here for you. They offer asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) testing and treatment to help you breathe easier and restore your quality of life. Schedule an appointment with Murphy Medical Associates over the phone or online today.

Asthma Q & A

What is asthma?

Asthma is a chronic condition that affects your airways and breathing. It causes airway walls to swell, produce extra mucus, and narrow in response to allergens, irritants, or physical activity. 

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is another inflammatory condition that can restrict breathing, as its symptoms are similar to asthma. Seeking treatment with the Murphy Medical Associates team can relieve your symptoms.

What are the symptoms of asthma?

The following signs and symptoms may indicate you have asthma:

  • Shortness of breath 
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing

Breathing problems might worsen when you’re exposed to allergens, get sick with a virus, or are physically active. COPD symptoms are similar to asthma symptoms. 

With COPD you might also experience a cough with mucus, fatigue, bluish fingernail beds, unexplained weight loss, frequent respiratory infections, and swelling in your legs, ankles, or feet.

What are the risk factors for asthma?

Your risk of developing asthma increases with:

  • Genetics 
  • Family history of asthma
  • Having allergies
  • Smoking or second-hand smoke exposure
  • Being overweight
  • Breathing in polluted air, exhaust fumes, or chemicals

COPD risk factors are similar, with cigarette smoking as the most significant risk factor. Complications associated with COPD include respiratory infections, lung cancer, heart problems, high blood pressure in lung arteries, and depression.

How is asthma diagnosed?

To diagnose asthma, your primary care team reviews your symptoms and medical history. They complete lung function (breathing) tests before and after taking bronchodilator medicines. Lung function tests can help your provider diagnose COPD, too. 

They might complete allergy testing, blood tests, chest X-rays, CT scans, or other diagnostic imaging procedures to diagnose your condition.

What is the treatment for asthma and COPD?

Your personalized asthma or COPD treatment plan might include one or more of the following:

  • Oral medications
  • Inhalers
  • Allergy shots
  • Keeping indoor air clean
  • Not smoking
  • Avoiding allergens and irritants
  • Oxygen therapy
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation
  • Minor surgical procedures

Your provider works with you to find a treatment that best matches your unique needs based on the type and severity of your condition. For example, you might only need an inhaler during physical activity. 

Don’t live with breathing problems associated with asthma or COPD. Schedule an appointment with Murphy Medical Associates over the phone or online today for relief.