Our Washington DC allergist has years of experience offering asthma treatment in Washington DC. More than 25 million people in the United States are affected by asthma every year, including many people in the Washington, DC area. Allergies in Washington DC often trigger asthma.
Approximately 25 million people (1 in every 12 individuals) in the United States have asthma. This equates to about 500,000 people afflicted with asthma in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. The prevalence of asthma has been increasing over the last 30 years. More than 20 million missed school/work days are a result of asthma. Asthma can occur in individuals of any age. It is more common in females than in males. African Americans have a higher rate of asthma than white individuals. It is also more prevalent in children than in adults. In fact, asthma is the most common chronic condition in children and occurs in about 1 in every 10 children. Allergies in Washington, DC can often trigger asthma, as roughly 70% of asthmatics also have allergies. These allergies are usually due to pollens, molds, dust, pets, and/or cockroaches. Asthma, however, can also be triggered by upper respiratory tract infections (i.e., common cold, flu, sinus infections, bronchitis), exercise, acid reflux (also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD), stress, strong emotions, air pollution, cigarette and other types of smoke, increased humidity, cold dry air, food additives (i.e., metabisulfites, food dyes), fragrances, food allergies, insect stings (i.e., bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets), inhalation of various chemicals, and allergic reactions to medications. The most common symptoms of asthma are wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and/or coughing. Asthma can be very serious and even fatal.
Brief Explanation of Asthma
There are 3 major components of asthma. The most important is inflammation of the bronchial tubes (breathing tubes) in the lungs. The second component of asthma involves “bronchoconstriction” which means that the bronchial tubes constrict, thus causing the chest tightness, wheezing, and shortness of breath associated with the disease. Lastly, there is increased mucus production in the bronchial tubes which further “clog” them, making it even more difficult to breathe.
Environmental Conditions for Asthmatics in Washington, DC
The Washington, DC area, due to its climate, can be a hotbed for allergens that trigger allergies and asthma. According to our Washington, DC allergist, since Washington, DC has a very humid climate and it was built on a swamp, the Washington, DC area contains lush foliage which produces large amounts of tree and grass pollens in the Spring and ragweed and other weed pollens in the late Summer and Fall. In addition, mold is present throughout the year which can induce serious asthmatic symptoms in sensitized individuals. The Washington, DC metropolitan area is also one of the worst areas for traffic congestion in the United States. The exhaust from all these motor vehicles increases air pollution and decreases air quality. This effect is even more pronounced in the hot humid summer days that occur in Washington, DC. When the air quality is extremely poor, it is considered a Code Red day. This poor air quality, which contains high ozone levels, can also be a major factor that increases asthma symptoms in the DC metro areas’ asthmatic population. In Washington, DC, like many cities across the nation, cockroaches are very common amongst inner city homes, apartments, condos, office buildings, restaurants, and other establishments. Cockroaches are potent allergens to many people, particularly children. When exposed to these insects, sensitized individuals can have an increase in their asthma symptoms. In addition, most office buildings in Washington, DC, as in other big cities, have windows that do not open causing air to be recirculated and poorer air quality than in buildings in other locations in the U.S. where windows can be opened allowing for better ventilation and thus better air quality.
Asthma Diagnosis and Treatment
Our board certified allergists can properly diagnose your asthma and allergy problems. It is first necessary for us to obtain a comprehensive history and physical examination. Then depending on each individual’s situation, other diagnostic tests may be performed which may include allergy skin and/or blood testing, pulmonary function testing, and/or X-rays. The Washington, DC allergy doctors of Black & Kletz Allergy understand how the Washington, DC area may be contributing to your asthma, and we can provide a variety of options in the treatment of your asthma. Our allergy doctors have more than 50 years of experience in helping our patients understand their asthma and the triggers that affect their condition, educating them about what symptoms to look for and what to do if these symptoms occur, teaching patients how to monitor their lung function at home, showing them the correct way to use their asthma inhalers, and creating a personalized long term treatment plan to mitigate the adverse effects of asthma. The treatment options vary and may include avoidance of allergens in one’s home and/or workplace, medications in the form of pills, syrups, lung inhalers, allergy immunotherapy (allergy shots; allergy injections), Xolair injections, and/or other new cutting edge treatment modalities as they become available. The Washington, DC allergists of Black & Kletz Allergy treat both children and adults with allergies and asthma.
How to Schedule a Consultation
If you live in the Washington, DC area and suffer from asthma or asthma-related symptoms, please do not hesitate to contact us so that we can help you enjoy relief from your wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing, and/or chest tightness symptoms. You can make an appointment at one of our 3 office locations in the Washington, DC, Northern Virginia, and Maryland metropolitan area. We have offices in Washington, DC, McLean, VA (Tysons Corner, VA), and Manassas, VA. The Washington, DC and McLea, VA locations are Metro accessible and all 3 offices have on-site parking. To make an appointment, please call us at 202-466-4100. Alternatively, you can click Request an Appointment and we will respond to you within 24 hours of the next business day. Black & Kletz Allergy prides itself in providing excellent asthma and allergy care to the greater Washington, DC area in a comfortable friendly professional environment.