Medicine and Treatment for
Asthma in Murfreesboro, TN

Medicine and Treatment for Asthma in Murfreesboro, TN


Asthma is a challenging and annoying condition, and our team at Highland Family Medicine in Murfreesboro, TN, understands that. That’s why we welcome intricate and even complicated cases and help asthmatics patients of all ages (kids to older adults) manage their asthma through proper medication, exercise, and nutrition. Our treatment for asthma is holistic, and we work hand in hand with your family to minimize your asthma attacks, allowing you to enjoy any activity like everyone else.

Asthma is a condition in which your airways narrow, swell, and produce extra mucus. This condition can make breathing difficult and trigger coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.

For some people, asthma is a minor nuisance. For others, it can be a major problem that interferes with daily activities and may lead to a life-threatening asthma attack.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for asthma yet, but there are proven effective treatments to control and manage its symptoms. Because asthma often changes over time, you must work with your doctor to track your signs and symptoms and adjust treatment as needed.

Asthma Remission

Asthma remission isn’t a cure or a status or being cured; it is the state of being free from significant symptoms for a year or longer. That also means that you’ll likely no longer need corticosteroid medications, and you will now have better lung function. 

At Highland Family Medicine Murfreesboro, TN, we can work with a schedule that works best for you to check on your condition regularly. Apart from the given goal of asthma management, we also like to have it go into remission. 

When your asthma is in remission, you’ll have an even normal and healthier life:

  • No asthma attacks (no ER visits)
  • Fewer checkups 
  • Become more independent from quick-relief medications (inhalers)
  • Better participation in sports and exercise 
  • Better sleep
  • Overall, a better quality of life 


What Causes Asthma?

It isn’t clear why some people get asthma, and others don’t, but it’s probably due to a combination of environmental and genetic (inherited) factors.

Scientists are still continuing their research to find the actual cause of asthma to find an effective cure. 

Exposure to various irritants and substances that trigger allergies (allergens) can trigger signs and symptoms of asthma. Asthma triggers are different from person to person and can include the following:

  • Airborne substances, such as pollen, dust mites, mold spores, pet dander, or particles of cockroach waste
  • Respiratory infections, such as the common cold
  • Physical activity (exercise-induced asthma)
  • Cold air
  • Air pollutants and irritants, such as smoke
  • Certain medications, including beta blockers, aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), and naproxen (Aleve)
  • Strong emotions and stress
  • Sulfites and preservatives that are added to some types of foods and beverages, including shrimp, dried fruit, processed potatoes, beer, and wine
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition in which stomach acids back up into your throat


Other causes are occupational exposures (working in a factory with many irritants) and genetics. Regarding the latter, if your parents are asthmatic, you are much more prone (three to six times more likely) to have it than those with normal parents. 

Asthma symptoms vary from person to person. You may have infrequent asthma attacks, have symptoms only at certain times — such as when exercising — or have symptoms all the time.

Asthma signs and symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness or pain
  • Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing, or wheezing
  • A whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling (wheezing is a common sign of asthma in children)
  • Coughing or wheezing attacks that become worse by a respiratory virus, such as a cold or the flu


Signs that your asthma is probably worsening include:

  • Asthma signs and symptoms that are more frequent and bothersome
  • Increasing difficulty breathing (measurable with a peak flow meter, a device used to check how well your lungs are working)
  • The need to use a quick-relief inhaler more often


Some people may require a trigger to initiate an asthma attack. There are three well-known triggers:

  • Exercise
  • Occupational Irritants (chemical gasses, dust, etc.)
  • Allergens


The more exposed you are to these triggers, the more frequently your symptoms flare up. That is why we advise you to know your triggers to help you avoid them at all costs. 

Prevention and long-term control are vital to stopping asthma attacks before they start. Treatment usually involves learning to recognize your triggers, taking steps to avoid them, and tracking your breathing to make sure your daily asthma medications are keeping symptoms under control. In case of an asthma flare-up, you may need to use a quick-relief inhaler, such as albuterol.


The right medications for you depend on your age, symptoms, asthma triggers, and what works best to keep your asthma under control.

Preventive, long-term control medications reduce the inflammation in your airways that leads to symptoms. Quick-relief inhalers (bronchodilators) quickly open swollen airways that are limiting breathing. In some cases, allergy medications are necessary.

Long-term asthma control medications, generally taken daily, are the cornerstone of asthma treatment. These medications keep asthma under control on a day-to-day basis and make it less likely you’ll have an asthma attack. Types of long-term control medications include:

  • Inhaled corticosteroids
  • Leukotriene modifiers
  • Long-acting beta agonists
  • Combination inhalers
  • Theophylline


Quick-relief (rescue) medications are used as needed for rapid, short-term symptom relief during an asthma attack — or before exercise if your doctor recommends it. Types of quick-relief medications include:

  • Short-acting beta agonists — These inhaled, quick-relief bronchodilators act within minutes to rapidly ease symptoms during an asthma attack. They include albuterol (ProAir HFA, Ventolin HFA, and others) and levalbuterol (Xopenex). Short-acting beta agonists can be taken using a portable, hand-held inhaler or a nebulizer — a machine that converts asthma medications to a fine mist — so that they can be inhaled through a face mask or a mouthpiece.
  • Ipratropium (Atrovent). Like other bronchodilators, ipratropium acts quickly to relax your airways, making it easier to breathe immediately. Ipratropium is mostly used for emphysema and chronic bronchitis, but it’s sometimes used to treat asthma attacks.
  • Oral and intravenous corticosteroids. These medications — which include prednisone and methylprednisolone — relieve airway inflammation caused by severe asthma. They can cause serious side effects when used long-term, so they’re used only on a short-term basis to treat severe asthma symptoms.


Can You Overcome Asthma with Exercise?

Although exercise may trigger asthma, you should never avoid it. With proper asthma treatment, you can still work out and do activities. Just make sure that you take your preventer medicine before working out. Going slow and listening to how your body reacts is also crucial to minimize the chance of an asthma attack. 

Regular exercise will provide incredible benefits for asthmatics and may even help speed up the process of having your asthma go into remission. Exercise will help improve lung function, support your immune system in fighting viruses (common asthma triggers), and helps you maintain a healthy weight, significantly lowering your risk of an asthma attack. 

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The Highland Family Medicine Asthma Care

More than 25 million Americans have asthma, a condition that narrows the airway, causing noisy breathing and shortness of breath. During activity (exercise), cold weather, and allergies, asthma can worsen and sometimes even become life-threatening during attacks.

Dr. Helton and his team at Highland Family Medicine are very familiar with the signs and symptoms of asthma. We have over 20 years of experience, and we assure you that we can give the best treatment for asthma to allow you or your loved ones to live a normal, healthy life. We also keep up with the latest medication, practices, and technology to manage your asthma as conveniently as possible.

Highland Family Medicine and its doctors, Dr. Helton, Dr. Housden, and Dr. Hardin, have been serving and treating the community of Murfreesboro, TN, and surrounding areas for over two decades.

Collectively, they have treated more than 20,000 patients. Highland Family Medicine specializes in comprehensive health care for people of all ages, treating most ailments and non-emergencies.

Please don’t hesitate to call the Highland Family Medicine doctor’s office. Dr. Helton, Dr. Housden, and Dr. Hardin are professionals and ready to serve.