Being diagnosed with asthma can be scary, especially as there’s no cure for this medical condition. A person with asthma will notice that they can’t breathe and will also experience wheezing, coughing, and aches in their chest. Physical activity can exacerbate asthma, but it can also be triggered by weather and stress. Just because this medical condition is incurable doesn’t mean that symptoms can’t be reduced so that a person with asthma can enjoy a significantly improved quality of life. An internal medicine doctor can help.
Internal medicine doctors are also known as internists. They blend medical knowledge with science to accurately diagnose diseases and medical conditions and then suggest a tailored treatment. A patient’s primary physician will often recommend the attention of an internist, who doesn’t act as a primary doctor. Instead, they review a patient’s medical records, treat them, and typically do not see that patient again. After an appointment with an internist, a patient would return to their primary care doctor.
Those who have found that standard asthma treatments like inhalers aren’t working as well as they could may want to see an internist. Similarly, a patient who can’t pinpoint their asthma triggers may also need more specialized attention. The internist will first review the patient’s medical records to see if there are any hints there. They will quiz the patient about their lifestyle, sleeping habits, eating habits, exercise routine, and more.
There are various types of asthma that can disrupt a patient’s life. Nocturnal asthma can occur during the daytime, but it’s much worse at night, especially when a patient is asleep. This type can be deadly, so it’s best to see a doctor as soon as possible if a patient thinks they may have nocturnal asthma. Occupational asthma, as the name suggests, is caused by hazardous materials that are breathed in on the job. If a patient works with wood, paint, hair products, and live animals, these could be the culprits.
Exercise-induced asthma, as mentioned, gets worse when the patient tries to work out. They may not be able to ever exercise for long without having trouble breathing. Allergies can trigger an asthma attack since the patient’s sinuses close up and make breathing difficult. If an internist rules out all these possibilities, they will check for vocal cord dysfunction or cardiac asthma, both which have symptoms similar to asthma. Once a patient knows which type of asthma they have, their internist will come up with a specialized treatment plan to reduce symptoms and improve their breathing.