Asthma Specialist

Montecristo Medical Group

Anita E. Gonzalez, MD

General Practitioner & Pediatrician located in Van Nuys, CA

Asthma is a chronic condition that affects around 25 million Americans. Asthma isn’t just a breathing problem. If left untreated, asthma can lead to other life-threatening conditions like heart disease. If you struggle with periodic shortness of breath and you’re not a habitual smoker, get tested for asthma at Dr. Anita E. Gonzalez, MD, in Van Nuys, California. Call Montecristo Medical Group or use the online scheduling tool to make an appointment and start breathing better today.

Asthma Q & A

What is asthma?

Asthma is a chronic respiratory infection where the muscles in your airways become narrower and produce mucus. Your airways carry oxygen in and out of your lungs, and when they contract too much, it causes inflammation and makes it difficult for you to breathe. 

If you’re unable to breathe properly, you may have symptoms like:

  • A tight chest
  • Labored breathing
  • Persistent coughing

Over time, uncontrolled asthma attacks can damage your lungs irreversibly and put you at a higher risk of developing high blood pressure, obesity, and other life-threatening conditions.

What causes asthma?

There is no one cause of asthma and each patient has their own triggers. A combination of environmental and genetic factors are known to provoke attacks and increase your chance of developing asthma. Some of these are:

  • Airborne allergens (pollen, dust, pet dander)
  • Respiratory infections
  • Cold, dry air
  • Chemical irritants
  • Air pollution
  • Certain medications
  • Tobacco smoke

Other triggers can include extreme emotional reactions and intense physical exercise. Learning what causes your asthma attacks is a key component in treating it effectively, and Dr. Anita Gonzalez, MD, can help narrow down your strongest risk factors.

How do you treat asthma?

Although asthma can’t be cured, you can manage your condition and continue to live a long, healthy life. Dr. Gonzalez develops a treatment plan that includes medication and lifestyle changes to reduce your symptoms and address the cause of your attacks. 

Dr. Gonzalez may prescribe an inhaler to use when you have asthma attacks. An inhaler is a portable device that delivers concentrated doses of medicine to relax your airways and make it easier to breathe again. For persistent symptoms, Dr. Gonzalez prescribes medication to reduce inflammation and prevent your condition from getting worse. 

Other than medication, Dr. Gonzalez helps identify your asthma triggers and teaches you how to best avoid them. For example, if airborne irritants are causing your airways to become inflamed, Dr. Gonzalez may suggest getting an air filter to help reduce the severity and frequency of your attacks.

To learn about other treatment options and take steps to get your asthma under control, call the office or use the online scheduling tool to make an appointment today.