Dr. Benjamin Laracuente, a Beaver-area pulmonologist and asthma doctor, and the team at Tri-State Pulmonary, provide asthma treatment in Monaca, PA. Controlling asthma symptoms requires a strong doctor-patient relationship to keep symptoms in check. Asthma doesn’t have to control you or your life; at least not if you control your asthma. We can help you do just that.

What Is Asthma?

Asthma is a chronic disease affecting the airways carrying air to and from your lungs. Airway linings narrow as the result of swelling or inflammation; this restriction means less air can flow through the airways.

This results in the onset of common asthma symptoms like shortness of breath, coughing (especially a nighttime or early-morning cough), wheezing, and chest tightness. Mucus production may also increase and be larger and thicker than normal.

What Causes Asthma?

Nearly 23 million people in the United States suffer from asthma. While the disease most often surfaces in childhood, with early symptoms like frequent wheezing and recurring respiratory infections first appearing around the age of 5, we’ve diagnosed plenty of patients over the age of 20 with adult-onset asthma.

Hormonal changes, such as a menstrual cycle, pregnancy or menopause, and environmental irritants such as dog or cat allergens, mold and dust, cigarette smoke, obesity, and perfumes are common causes of adult-onset asthma. People can also be exposed to irritants at their workplace, which is called occupational asthma.

Many of our patients are life-long asthma suffers seeking effective symptom management and treatment. Patients that were diagnosed as a child, many of which were regularly exposed to secondhand tobacco smoke or had other significant health issues while growing up. Other contributors to a childhood asthma diagnosis are low birth weight, atopic dermatitis (eczema), and having one or both parents with asthma.

What Is An Asthma Attack?

Whenever asthma symptoms worsen from their “norm,” this is referred to as an asthma attack. These attacks can be mild, moderate, severe, or even very severe and potentially fatal. Air is allowed into the lungs at the onset of an asthma attack but the carbon dioxide leaving the lungs may not be pushed out fast enough. During a prolonged attack, the carbon dioxide may build up in the lungs, leading to an insufficient amount of oxygen entering your bloodstream.

Why You Need an Asthma Doctor

Asthma is an incurable condition. When people say, “Live with it,” that’s really all you can do with an asthma diagnosis. Learn to live with it. It’s a matter of learning how to better manage your symptoms to effectively stop asthma from disrupting your life and slowing you down.

When you visit Dr. Benjamin Laracuente and the team at Tri-State Pulmonary in Monaca, PA, we fully understand that you’re seeking help. You’ve come to us to help you breathe better. You want us to help you live better in spite of your asthma.

During your first visit, we’ll compile a detailed medical history for you and conduct a physical examination. This physical exam may include any of the following:

Spirometry Test – This test requires the use of an instrument called a spirometer to help the doctor assess several lung capacities.

PEF (Peak Expiratory Flow) – Your PEF rate may also be measured to determine how forcefully you can blow into a small tube. This device can also be given to you to measure and record PEF readings at home for a few weeks.

Bronchial Provocation – Bronchial Provocation may also be ordered if Dr. Laracuente suspects asthma despite normal spirometery and PEF tests. This test involves the inhaling of an aerosol-like chemical to trigger a hyperresponsive action and help identify hyperresponsive airways.

Once your asthma diagnosis has been confirmed, controlling your asthma symptoms becomes our main goal. We’ll work with you to determine the most appropriate and beneficial medications for your asthma and recommend a daily management plan. In time, once you’ve gotten results and are better managing your asthma and its symptoms, your need for asthma treatment will diminish and your visits will be less-frequent checkups. Contact us today to begin this journey to a better breathing you.