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About Asthma

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory condition that narrows and irritates the airways of the lungs. Affecting nearly 24 million Americans, asthma is a very common, but non-contagious respiratory disease that usually begins in childhood and continues into adulthood. The effects of asthma vary in severity from person to person.

Common symptoms of asthma include:

Asthma develops over an individual’s lifetime and may vary in severity from person to person. Most people experience asthma symptoms during an “asthma attack” - or, an episode triggered potentially triggered by factors above, that results in sensations commonly associated with the condition.

These common symptoms include:

  • Breathing problems, such as shortness of breath
  • Coughing episodes
  • Wheezing while exhaling (a sort of whistling rasp as you breathe out)
  • Chest tightness

More severe cases of asthma may cause chronic problems such as:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Frequent asthma attacks
  • Increased need for an inhaler (especially after physical activity)

While most asthma attacks are manageable with a quick-relief inhaler, certain triggers or a worsening condition can lead to severe - potentially life-threatening - episodes.

Seek emergency medical attention if you experience:

  • Shortness of breath that becomes rapidly worse
  • Shortness of breath after minimal physical exertion
  • No improvement in breathing after using a quick-relief inhaler

Causes of Asthma

There is no common cause of asthma, although it is widely agreed that a combination of genetics (inheriting the condition from a parent) and environment play significant roles in who develops it and who doesn’t. Asthma often develops throughout an individual’s life, usually first appearing during childhood. The severity of asthma may vary from person to person. Many people with asthma experience infrequent attacks that can lead to wheezing and shortness of breath, while others may experience persistent difficulty breathing.

The most common triggers of asthma attacks are:

  • Allergens such as mold, pollen, dust, and pet dander
  • Physical activity
  • Pollutants and irritants such as smog and secondhand smoke
  • Cold air
  • Respiratory infections (like a common cold)
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Sulfites and preservatives found in food

Asthma Risk Factors

While there is no common cause of asthma, several factors may increase the risk that you or your child develop the condition. These risk factors include:

Genetics: Asthma is often passed from parent to child.

Allergies: Individuals who experience allergic reactions such as sneezing, coughing, skin rashes, and itchy eyes may also develop asthma triggered by allergens.

Smoking: Smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke can dramatically increase your or your child’s risk of developing asthma.

Pollutants: Exposure to pollutants, cleaning chemicals, and fumes (like exhaust) can increase your risk of developing asthma.

Weight: Being overweight may increase your risk of developing correlated health conditions, such as asthma.

Common Medication
Treatment Options

Doctors and providers on Sesame offer the following medications often used to treat asthma. Book a visit today to discuss if the following medication can be part of a treatment for asthma.

Note that all prescriptions are at your provider's discretion.

Asthma cannot be cured, but it can be managed in a way that allows you to continue your daily activities as normal. Prevention and medication are the best options for treating asthma. Below is a description of treatment options for asthma. During your appointment, talk to your doctor or provider about what plan might work best for you.

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Sesame FAQs

Frequently asked questions about asthma treatment on Sesame

Absolutely. If you notice that you or your child are experiencing symptoms of asthma, such as wheezing after physical activity or shortness of breath, talk to a health care provider as soon as you can. While many people experience mild symptoms during an asthma attack, these episodes can be life-threatening in severe cases.

Like other chronic conditions, asthma requires management and medical care. It will not go away on its own, and it cannot be cured. Because of this, it is crucial that you seek medical attention for symptoms of asthma. Your provider can help you determine the potential triggers of your asthma and provide medication to help alleviate symptoms during an attack.

In most cases, a primary care provider (such as a family medicine doctor, internal medicine doctor, or pediatrician) can test for - and diagnose - asthma. Asthma can be diagnosed through a physical exam, a test of lung function, or diagnostic imaging - usually a chest X-ray.

If your primary care provider suspects that your asthma may be caused by an allergic reaction, they may choose to refer you to an allergist who can work with you to determine the trigger and plan methods to avoid attacks.

Now, with telehealth platforms like Sesame, it is easier than ever to get answers to whatever health care questions you may have. Not sure about where to turn? Book an in-person or video appointment with a licensed provider on Sesame to discuss your symptoms and talk through treatment options. Doctors on Sesame can diagnose conditions, offer medical advice, and prescribe medication - if appropriate. If a follow-up appointment is needed, we will reach out to you after your first appointment to figure out the next steps in your treatment.

Sesame offers convenient and affordable online doctor visits with licensed health providers across the country. If you are experiencing the signs and symptoms of asthma, book a visit right away for a diagnosis and treatment plan.

Online doctor visits can be conducted in the comfort and privacy of your own home. During your visit, you will be asked about your symptoms and medical history.

If your doctor determines that you are experiencing asthma, they will discuss a treatment plan with you. This may include prescription medication. If appropriate, your doctor can prescribe medication through Sesame. Depending on the medication, you can have your prescription delivered to your home or ready for same-day pickup at a pharmacy of your choice. Book a visit today to get started on treatment right away.

Yes! Sesame makes it easier than ever to get a new prescription or refill a prescription from the comfort of your own home! To discuss a new online prescription or refill, book a video visit with a doctor or nurse on Sesame to discuss a new online prescription or refill. Clinicians on Sesame can prescribe drugs that help treat conditions like asthma.

Note that providers on Sesame cannot prescribe controlled substances.

Book a video visit on based on the health care you need, and pick up a new prescription or existing prescription refill at a pharmacy of your choice. Browse services on Sesame, set up an appointment with a real doctor at your convenience, and get the care you need.

Asthma cannot be completely treated with at-home solutions. However, there are several steps you can take to minimize your risk of having an attack and improve your quality of life. These therapies include:

- Exercise: Regular exercise can help strengthen the lungs and heart, which can reduce the risk of an asthma attack. Some people experience asthmatic symptoms during exercise, so talk to your doctor about what form of physical activity is right for you.

- Keep a clean space: Keep surfaces of your home clean from dust and mold. If you have pets, make sure to clean frequently to avoid the buildup of pet dander on surfaces and in the air of your home. These small steps can help rid your space of common irritants that cause asthma attacks.

- Quit smoking: This is a no-brainer. Smoking damages your air pathways and the tissue of your lungs, increasing the risk of asthma attacks. Even vaping can lead to symptoms of asthma. Talk to your doctor about ways to quit smoking, and avoid secondhand smoke as much as possible.

- Eat a clean diet: Obesity can make it hard to treat symptoms of asthma. Along with physical activity, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help maintain heart health and reduce the risk of an asthma attack. Additionally, acid reflux can contribute to symptoms of asthma, so eating foods that help control heartburn (like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables) can also help prevent asthma attacks.

Booking an appointment with a doctor or nurse online is typically the fastest way to get a prescription! Sesame offers same-day online doctor prescription and prescription refill appointments with board-certified healthcare professionals. If deemed clinically necessary, Sesame providers can provide prescriptions and prescription refills for most non-controlled substances. They can also provide you with a doctor’s note if necessary.

Most online prescription and prescription refill appointments take around 15 minutes, and providers are able to send a prescription to a pharmacy of your choice right after your appointment.

It is not legally possible to get prescription medications online without a doctor or nurse practitioner writing a prescription. You can see a doctor virtually - via telehealth - to write most scripts without seeing a doctor in person.

At Sesame, we make speaking with a doctor about writing a first time prescription or prescription refill easy, convenient, and inexpensive.

Speak with the doctor of your choosing in minutes. Pay a fair cash price for the consultation. If clinically appropriate, the doctor can write the script and have it sent to the local pharmacy of your choice within minutes.

Sesame even offers a discount card that can help you receive up to 85% off your prescriptions at your local pharmacy.

Sesame offers online prescription and refill services at affordable prices, starting at just $34. If a new prescription is determined necessary by a provider, clinicians on Sesame can prescribe medication that helps treat blood pressure, infections, allergies, cholesterol problems, thyroid conditions, and more!

Yep! If you request a prescription transfer, you can easily move your prescription from one pharmacy to another. Plus, many pharmacies now offer mail services for home delivery. Here's how to request a prescription refill at a different pharmacy:

1) Call your new preferred pharmacy to request a transfer.

2) Provide that pharmacy with health insurance/ prescription info

3) Wait for the prescription to be transferred before you pick it up. It usually takes pharmacies a few days to transfer a prescription, but you will get a notification once this step has been completed. Either go pick up your prescription in person or set up home delivery.

If you need a prescription refill, book a visit with a real, quality doctor on Sesame today. Doctors on Sesame can refill prescriptions for high blood pressure, birth control, allergies, and more! Save up to 60% on your prescription refill visit when you book with Sesame.

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