Asthma in Teens and Adults
When to Call a Doctor
Call 911 or other emergency services right away if:
- You are having Reference severe trouble breathing.
Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:
- Your symptoms do not get better after you have followed your asthma action plan.
- You have new or worse trouble breathing.
- Your coughing and wheezing get worse.
- You cough up dark brown or bloody mucus (sputum).
- You have a new or higher fever.
Call your doctor if:
- You need to use quick-relief medicine on more than 2 days a week (unless it is just for exercise).
- You cough more deeply or more often, especially if you notice more mucus or a change in the color of your mucus.
- You have asthma and your peak flow has been getting worse for 2 to 3 days.
If you have not been diagnosed with asthma but have mild asthma symptoms, call your doctor and make an appointment for an evaluation.
If your teenager has symptoms of asthma, it is important to see a doctor. Many teens with frequent wheezing may have asthma but aren't diagnosed with the disease. Teens who have asthma but are less likely to be diagnosed are most often:Reference 14
- Smokers, or teens who are exposed to household cigarette smoke.
- Those with low socioeconomic status.
- Those who have allergies.
- African Americans, Native Americans, or Mexican Americans.
Watchful waiting is a "wait and see" approach.
If you have been getting treatment for 1 to 3 months but aren't improving, ask your doctor if you need to see an asthma specialist.
Who to see
Doctors who can diagnose and treat asthma include:
- Reference Pediatricians Opens New Window.
- Reference Family medicine physicians Opens New Window.
- Reference Nurse practitioners Opens New Window.
- Reference Physician assistants Opens New Window.
- Reference Internists Opens New Window.
- Reference Severe persistent asthma.
- Other medical conditions that make it hard to treat asthma.
- A need for more education or have trouble following your asthma action plan.
- Not met the goals of treatment after several months of therapy.
- Had a life-threatening asthma attack.
- Skin testing for allergies or you get Reference allergy shots Opens New Window.
- Reference Occupational asthma.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference October 22, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Rohit K Katial, MD - Allergy and Immunology