Asthma

Megan Dillman, MD -  - Internal Medicine Physician

MD²

Megan Dillman, MD

Internal Medicine Physician & Pediatrician located in Lakeville, MN

Nearly 25 million Americans have asthma, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America reports. As one of the only double board-certified practitioners in the Southwest metro area, Megan Dillman, MD, offers comprehensive asthma care for children and adults at MD² in Lakeville, Minnesota. She understands the importance of providing individualized treatment for asthma and other respiratory disorders, like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). To learn more, call MD² or schedule an appointment online today.

Asthma Q&A

What is asthma?

Asthma is a chronic condition that causes the airways to swell and narrow. The symptoms of asthma can vary widely from person to person. While some individuals may have minor coughing that worsens in cold or dry weather, others experience persistent symptoms. Chronic asthma can even interfere with many peoples’ daily lives. 

What are the symptoms of asthma?

Many people experience persistent symptoms of asthma, such as:

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Excessive mucus
  • Chest pain or tightness

Without treatment to manage your symptoms, asthma can even impact your ability to sleep through the night.

What causes asthma?

Researchers don’t know the exact cause of asthma. However, they do believe genetics and certain environmental factors play a role in its development. Some of the most common asthma triggers include:

  • Cold air
  • Stress
  • Respiratory viruses
  • Aerobic exercise
  • Smoking
  • Chemical irritants
  • Pet dander
  • Mold
  • Certain medications (ibuprofen, beta-blockers, aspirin, etc.)
  • Pollen
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Food additives

Pinpointing your triggers is an important step in managing the symptoms of asthma. The sooner you know your triggers, the easier it is to prevent sudden asthma attacks.

How is asthma diagnosed?

Dr. Dillman provides complete diagnostic exams for asthma. In addition to a full physical exam, she performs lung function tests, such as:

Spirometry 

A spirometer measures how much air exits your lungs when you exhale. It also assesses how quickly you can breathe out during the test. Along with diagnosing asthma, a spirometry test can help investigate COPD symptoms.

Peak flow meter

A peak flow meter is a device that measures how forcefully you can exhale. If you have a low reading, it can indicate poor lung function.

What are the treatments for asthma?

Treating asthma typically requires a combination approach that includes trigger avoidance. Staying away from triggers may help you control your symptoms. Other common treatments for asthma include:

  • Quick-relief medications
  • Controller medications
  • Corticosteroids
  • Leukotriene modifiers

While you can take some asthma medications orally, inhalers tend to work more effectively to treat the condition. Depending on the severity of your condition, Dr. Dillman may recommend keeping your inhaler on hand for emergencies.

To learn more about asthma, call MD² or book an appointment online today.