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Asthma & trouble breathing

Asthma and its associated breathing problems affect more than 25 million people in the U.S. each year. Roughly 7 million of these are children. If you experience an asthma attack and need immediate medical help, FastMed is available seven days a week, including holidays. Our qualified medical providers can provide the asthma treatment you need to breathe more freely.

What is asthma?

Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition that causes difficulty breathing. Symptoms may range from mild to severe, depending on how strongly the airways react to the inhaled allergens.
woman with inhaler

What causes asthma?

No one knows for sure exactly what causes asthma. If one, or both, of your parents has experienced asthma symptoms, you’re more likely to experience them yourself. So, there’s a genetic component. Respiratory infections that occur in early childhood, during the development of the body’s immune system, may also play a role.

While the exact cause of asthma is unknown, we do know quite a bit about the body’s allergic response. When someone with an allergic sensitivity breathes in certain allergens, the airways become inflamed, and the inflammation causes swelling and tightening of the muscles surrounding the airways. The problem is often made worse by the body’s increased production of mucus in response. Together, these reactions make it difficult to get enough air into the lungs.

What are the symptoms & signs of asthma?

Someone having an asthma attack will usually experience noticeable breathing problems. Asthma symptoms may include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightness
  • Coughing, which is usually worse in the evening & early morning

Symptoms can vary in intensity depending on how strongly the airways respond to the specific allergens encountered.

How to prevent & manage asthma

Although there’s no cure, there are asthma medications and treatment options available to help those with asthma manage the disease. Most live normal, active lives and suffer few symptoms.

If you experience asthma symptoms and need medication or treatment, the FastMed medical professionals are available seven days a week, including holidays. No appointment is ever necessary and online check-in is available for your convenience. We can provide immediate care to help you adhere to your doctor’s action plan and manage any symptoms. Let us help you get back to your normal activities as quickly as possible.

When to seek medical help for an asthmatic reaction

Asthma attacks range from mild to severe. This is because the body has different responses to different allergens. Depending on how strongly the body reacts to the allergens, you may experience a simple allergic reaction, an asthma attack, or anaphylaxis—a very dangerous reaction that can be deadly.

Here’s how to tell which you’re experiencing, and when to seek medical attention fast:


Allergens are substances that cause your body’s immune system to react strongly. Although nearly any substance can be an allergen, in the spring, the most likely substances are pollen grains. The same yellow glaze you spot on the roof of your car in the morning can also affect your lungs.

Allergens can cause the body to produce chemicals called histamines as a protection. Unfortunately, histamines cause unpleasant symptoms that can range from mildly uncomfortable to extremely dangerous. If you have a particularly strong reaction, you should seek medical care immediately.

Allergic rhinitis

Coughing, sneezing, itchy skin, watery eyes, and other symptoms of allergic rhinitis—known as allergies—can leave your nose raw. If this happens, you may have seasonal allergies specific to certain types of pollen. Tree pollen is the most likely suspect, followed by flower pollen from chrysanthemums and goldenrods.

Pollen carries male reproductive material, so only males or plants that exhibit both sexes produce it. Unfortunately, you have little control over the sex of the trees in your neighborhood, but you may want to choose female blossoms if you’re buying plants or flowers for your home.

When you need relief from allergy symptoms, your FastMed provider can help you feel better, fast.

FastMed can treat your allergy symptoms and your asthma to help you avoid feeling miserable in the future. Severe asthma attacks or anaphylaxis, however, should send you straight to the hospital. How do you know if it’s severe? If your body reacts strongly to allergens and other irritants, learn the symptoms of each condition and make sure you know what to do.

Anaphylaxis symptoms

  • Skin reactions, such as hives, along with itching
  • Either flushed or pale skin
  • A feeling of warmth
  • Sensation of a lump in your throat
  • Airway constriction, a swollen tongue, or swollen throat
  • Wheezing & trouble breathing
  • A weak and rapid pulse
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Confusion

If symptoms are severe, they require immediate medical attention. Visit the nearest hospital emergency room or call 911. For milder symptoms, the FastMed professionals can provide immediate and convenient relief, with no appointment. We’re open 365 days and most of our clinics are open 7 days a week including holidays. Online check-in is provided for your convenience.

* The content presented on this page is not intended to diagnose health problems or take the place of professional medical care.