Diagnosing and Treating Asthma Online
Asthma can make it very difficult to breathe. Why? Asthma causes your airways to be inflamed and this can make it difficult for air to move in and out of the lungs. The severity of symptoms can vary from patient to patient. For some people, asthma is a minor nuisance, but for others, it can be a major problem that interferes with daily activities.
There are many triggers for asthma including exposure to various irritants and substances. Some of these triggers can include, but are not limited to:
- Airborne substances - smoke, pollen, dust mites, pet dander, etc.
- Physical activity which can cause exercise-induced asthma (see FAQ's)
- Cold air
- Respiratory infections
Doctors can help determine the severity of your asthma and decide if treatment is needed, or if a referral to a specialist is required.
During a video consult on Amwell, your doctor will ask you a series of targeted questions to better understand your asthma. This is based on duration, severity of symptoms and your medical history. Online physicians will likely encourage you to follow up with your PCP to review your treatment plan and/or schedule follow up visits.
Once a diagnosis has been made, your doctor will go over the risks and benefits of the various treatment plans. Depending on the cause and severity of the infection, your treatment plan may include:
- Self-care - quitting smoking
- Supportive care - oxygen therapy
- Medications - anti-inflammatories, steroids or a bronchodilator
- A referral to a specialist