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Asthma Specialist

Omar Aref, MD -  - Board Certified Family Physician

Omar Aref, MD

Board Certified Family Physician & Aesthetic Specialist located in Plant City, FL

Coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath are all symptoms of asthma, a chronic lung condition that impacts the lives of millions of Americans. Dr. Omar Aref, a board-certified family physician in Plant City, Florida, can provide quick relief for asthma attacks and long-term therapy that manages the disease, allowing you to live your life to the fullest. Call or book online today to schedule your consultation with Dr. Aref.

Asthma Q & A

What is asthma?

Asthma is a chronic lung condition that constricts your airways, making it difficult to breathe. Often triggered by allergies and environmental irritants, the disease afflicts more than 25 million people in the United States. Although there is no cure, you can successfully manage asthma with medicine and healthy lifestyle choices.

What causes asthma?

An asthma attack occurs when airways in the lungs swell and excrete mucus, making it hard to breathe normally. Although there is no single cause, the condition is often aggravated by allergies to dust, pet dander, pollen, mold spores, and other irritants.

Attacks can also be brought on by cold air, pollution, and certain food allergies. Some sufferers have attacks after vigorous exercise or stressful emotional events.

What are the symptoms of asthma?

Coughing, wheezing, tightness in the chest, and shortness of breath are all symptoms of an asthma attack. When symptoms become severe, it can be difficult to talk.

How is asthma diagnosed?

After performing a physical exam, Dr. Aref tests your current lung capacity. After establishing a baseline, he gives you an inhaler with an airway-opening medicine like albuterol and measures your lung capacity again. If the treatment has improved the function of your airways, you probably have asthma.

However, in order to rule out other lung conditions, Dr. Aref might order additional evaluations, such as:

  • Allergy tests
  • Chest X-rays or CT scans
  • Exam for elevated nitric oxide levels in the breath
  • White blood cell counts in mucus and saliva

What treatment options are available for asthma?

Once Dr. Aref determines the severity of your asthma, he develops a comprehensive treatment plan that includes long-term and quick-relief medications.

Long-term medications prevent attacks by reducing inflammation in your airways. Drugs in this class include:

  • Inhaled corticosteroids
  • Leukotriene modifiers
  • Long-acting beta agonists
  • Theophylline

If allergies are a major trigger for your asthma attacks, Dr. Aref might recommend immunotherapy via allergy shots. Over time (typically 3-5 years), your allergic response will diminish.

Sometimes, despite long-term drug therapies, flare-ups occur. To relieve these sudden attacks, Dr. Aref can provide fast-acting inhalers with albuterol, levalbuterol, or ipratropium.

If you have asthma or suspect you are developing it, Dr. Aref can provide fast relief and long-term management with a range of highly effective therapies. Call or book online today to schedule your consultation with Dr. Aref.