Asthma Specialist

Alex M. Mercado, MD

Board Certified Internal Medicine located in Flanders, NJ

Living with asthma can be challenging: it affects an estimated 26 million Americans and is among the leading causes of missed time from work or school. However, working with a skilled physician can make the path easier to navigate. Alex M. Mercado, MD, A Primary Care Partners Affiliate, is proud to be the doctor of choice for many asthma patients living in and around Flanders, New Jersey. If you’re ready to try a new approach to managing your asthma, schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience.

Asthma Q & A

What is asthma?

Asthma is a chronic disease that narrows your airways and makes breathing difficult. It’s an inherently dangerous condition, as an attack can significantly reduce your ability to breathe and sometimes requires a visit to the emergency room.

People with asthma react more strongly than others to bacteria, viruses, and environmental triggers. Their bodies respond to these irritants with an intense inflammatory reaction, causing their airways to swell, leading to wheezing and shortness of breath, which can induce panic.

Asthma can develop at any age, but it’s more common in those under the age of 40. Researchers believe there’s a genetic factor, so if you have a family member with a history of asthma, you may be at an elevated risk yourself.

What are some common asthma triggers?

Each person with asthma reacts differently to various known triggers. These are some of the more common irritants that can cause or worsen asthma symptoms:

  • Bacterial or viral infections
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Mold or spores
  • Pet dander
  • Dust mites
  • Certain medications
  • Chemicals in perfumes or cleaning products
  • Air pollution

Some people even experience asthma symptoms during periods of exercise, laughter, stress, or anxiety. Changes in the weather can also trigger an asthma attack.

How is asthma treated?

There is no cure for asthma, but it is possible to manage the symptoms and live an active, healthy life. Prevention is the key to asthma treatment and working with an experienced doctor is a great place to start.

Understand your asthma triggers and take steps to avoid exposure to known irritants. Doing so may include modifications to your living or work environment.

Certain medications can help manage asthma and can be life-saving in the event of a severe attack. Dr. Mercado often prescribes anti-inflammatory drugs, which are available as inhaled steroids. Bronchodilators are also a robust treatment option; sometimes referred to as rescue inhalers, they work by relaxing the muscles that restrict your airways.

Dr. Mercado uses albuterol nebulizer treatments to manage asthma symptoms. This approach uses a machine to create a mist of medication, which you then inhale. You may need to use the nebulizer several times a day to find relief.

If you suffer from asthma and are looking for a way to effectively manage your condition, schedule an appointment with Dr. Mercado right away.

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