How To Sleep Better With Severe Asthma
In addition to taking asthma medications as prescribed, here are seven steps you can take to lower your chances of having a nighttime asthma attack:
1. Clean your bedroom regularly. Use a vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate air filter to trap mites and their waste and get them out of your bedroom. If your vacuum doesnt have a HEPA filter, you can buy one from an allergy supply company, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of American .
2. Wash your bedding in hot water weekly. Make sure the water is at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit so it will kill dust mites. Finish the job in a hot dryer.
3. Invest in dust-proof mattress and pillow protectors. These zippered covers are woven tightly to keep dust mites out of bedding. You can find them at bedding and housewares stores, the AAFA says.
4. Invest in a humidifier. Cold air is drier and more troublesome for people with severe asthma. Depending on where you live, you might benefit from a humidifier to add moisture to the air in your bedroom in the winter, Bose says. Whats more: Dust mites thrive in low humidity, so boosting humidity by using a humidifier in your bedroom can help keep dust mites at bay.
5. Dont sleep with pets. If you have pets, keep them out of the bedroom so their dander doesnt collect or stick to the carpeting and bedding, Bose says. You may also need to keep the door to your bedroom shut to keep your pet and its dander out.
Inflammatory Changes At Night
Recent studies examining inflammation in nocturnal asthma have shown that the pattern and location of inflammation in nocturnal asthma are different compared to non-nocturnal asthma. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid from asthmatic individuals with nocturnal symptoms shows significantly more prominent inflammation in the airways. Nocturnal asthmatic individuals have been shown to have an increase in the total leukocyte count, neutrophils, and eosinophils from 4 pm to 4 am however, cellular components from a non- nocturnal asthma control group did not change. Further analysis showed that between groups, the 4 pm cell differentials were similar however, at 4 am, the nocturnal asthma group had significantly higher total leukocyte, neutrophil, eosinophil, lymphocyte, and epithelial cell counts. This study suggests that the nocturnal worsening of asthma has an associated cellular inflammatory response that is not seen in patients without overnight decrements in lung function.
Inflammation in asthma is typically treated with corticosteroids. Studies suggest that glucocorticoid receptor binding affinity and steroid responsiveness also have circadian variation in subjects with nocturnal asthma. It has been suggested that this may contribute to nocturnal airway inflammation by inhibiting the anti-inflammatory effects of glucocorticoids.
Richard B. Berry MD, in, 2012
When Should I Go To The Er
Dont be embarrassed to get medical help if you think you need it. These situations call for emergency care:
- You take your asthma medicine and your flare-up doesnt get any better.
- You feel a little better after taking your medicine, but your symptoms come back quickly.
- You have frequent wheezing, a lasting cough, or chest pain.
- Your lips and fingernails are bluish or grayish.
- You have trouble breathing, talking, or walking.
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Maintaining A Healthy Weight
Being overweight is a risk factor for both asthma and nocturnal asthma, but you can reduce your symptoms by making various lifestyle changes to reduce your weight over time. This may be due to the fact that fat tissue tends to facilitate inflammation throughout the body, which may impact your asthma symptoms.
Weight loss isnt easy, and asthma can make it more difficult to integrate physical activity into your day, but it can improve your bodys ability to manage your asthma symptoms day or night.
You may also want to try an asthma-friendly diet, which is high in fruits, vegetables, and vitamin D, while staying low in allergy-triggering foods.
How Is An Asthma Flare
The best thing to do first if your asthma symptoms are getting worse is to use your rescue or quick-relief medicine. Ask your doctor if youre not sure what to use for quick-relief medicine. The usual inhaler dose is two to four puffs every 20 minutes for a total of three doses, or one nebulizer treatment if you have a home nebulizer.
You should be able to tell how serious the flare-up is after you use your quick-relief medicine. If you have a peak flow meter, check your PEF again after you use the quick-relief medicine. If your PEF is still very low, your flare-up is serious.
Your doctor may have given you a written Asthma Action Plan with directions for treating mild, moderate and severe flare-ups. If you dont have an action plan, ask your doctor for written directions about treating asthma flare-ups. If you have the symptoms of a serious flare-up or if your PEF is less than 50 percent of your personal best, call your doctor right away or go directly to the nearest hospital emergency room .
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What Types Of Asthma Are There
Asthma is broken down into types based on the cause and the severity of symptoms. Healthcare providers identify asthma as:
- Intermittent: This type of asthma comes and goes so you can feel normal in between asthma flares.
- Persistent: Persistent asthma means you have symptoms much of the time. Symptoms can be mild, moderate or severe. Healthcare providers base asthma severity on how often you have symptoms. They also consider how well you can do things during an attack.
Asthma has multiple causes:
- Allergic: Some peoples allergies can cause an asthma attack. Allergens include things like molds, pollens and pet dander.
- Non-allergic: Outside factors can cause asthma to flare up. Exercise, stress, illness and weather may cause a flare.
Asthma can also be:
- Adult-onset: This type of asthma starts after the age of 18.
- Pediatric: Also called childhood asthma, this type of asthma often begins before the age of 5, and can occur in infants and toddlers. Children may outgrow asthma. You should make sure that you discuss it with your provider before you decide whether your child needs to have an inhaler available in case they have an asthma attack. Your childs healthcare provider can help you understand the risks.
In addition, there are these types of asthma:
When To Visit A Doctor
You should make an appointment to talk with your doctor if your nocturnal asthma frequently interferes with your sleep or if your daytime asthma seems to be poorly controlled. Your doctor may have to change your treatment plan, or they may offer additional tips that have worked for other patients to prevent asthma attacks during the day and night.
You should also visit a doctor if you have not yet been diagnosed with asthma but you experience many of the symptoms listed above. Difficulty breathing and chest tightening are common symptoms, but they may also indicate other medical conditions that require other forms of treatment.
It also never hurts to reach out to your doctor with questions about side effects from medications or concerns about recent changes in your asthma symptoms.
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How Should I Handle My Childs Na
Each person is different. If you lessen the amount of time your child spends around triggers, that will help with their asthma symptoms and NA. Itâs also important to keep the sleeping area clean.
Change sheets regularly. Wash bedding in hot water. Wipe down shelves, ledges and nearby furniture to lessen the amount of dust in the room. Donât let your child sleep in the same room with pets.
Try to use allergy-free sheets. Make sure pillows have a cover and look for allergy-free material.
Try to have your child sleep at a slight incline. If you lift your childâs head four to six inches by adding blocks under the bed post, this can help with GERD symptoms.
Using a humidifier also helps to keep the air moist in your childâs room.
Wash Your Bedding Weekly
If you can, wash your bed sheets and blankets in hot water once a week. A water temperature of at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit kills most allergens and bacteria. After bedding is washed, dry it on the hottest setting possible. The high heat kills any remaining allergens and sterilizes the material.
Dont place the clean bedding back on the mattress unless its completely dry. Damp bedding can lead to mold and mildew growth, triggers of nighttime asthma symptoms.
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Adhere To Your Daytime Asthma Treatment Plan
One of the best ways to prevent nocturnal asthma is to keep your asthma well managed during the day. Having poorly controlled daytime asthma can increase your risk of suffering from nocturnal asthma too. If your current asthma treatment plan doesnt seem to be working well, make an appointment to talk to your doctor about other possible solutions.
If your nighttime asthma may be caused by allergic rhinitis, getting that under control can greatly reduce your nocturnal asthma symptoms. Allergic rhinitis can also be caused by pet dander and other allergens, and it can be treated by your doctor with medications.
Does Steam Or Vaporizer Reduce Chances Of An Asthma Attack At Night
Generally, steam or vaporizer can liquefy mucus when breathing problems are caused by an allergy or cold. This can help a person feel better. On the other hand, asthma is caused by chronic inflammation of the airways, making it difficult to breathe. Steam or vaporizer can cause irritations and worsen breathing problems.
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Treatment Of Nocturnal Asthma
Important treatment considerations for nocturnal asthma are listed in Box 225, and general asthma guidelines are listed in Table 227. Reducing the burden of allergen exposure by keeping the bedroom free of dust may help. The foundation of treatment of chronic persistent asthma is inhaled corticosteroids. Weersink and colleagues80 studied a group with nocturnal asthma and patients were treated with inhaled fluticasone, salmeterol , or the combination. The three treatments all reduced the circadian variation in peak flow to less than 10% , improved the bronchial hyperresponsiveness to methacholine both day and night, and improved cognitive performance during daytime testing. Thus, the usual practice is to start with inhaled steroids and add a long-acting inhaled beta agonist if symptoms persist .
M. Innes Asher BSc, MBChB, FRACP, Ã¢Â¦ Eamon Ellwood DipTch, DipInfo Tech, in, 2012
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Care Advice For Asthma Attack
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Keep Your Inhaler Handy
Fast-acting inhalers can reduce inflammation in the airways and lungs quickly, helping you breathe easier within minutes. If you wake up suddenly from an asthma attack in the middle of the night, it would be helpful to have your inhaler right by your side to avoid a frantic search for it while you struggle to breathe.
These solutions may not work for everyone, but they may help reduce the severity or the frequency of your symptoms.
Whats It Like Living With Nocturnal Asthma
Living with nocturnal asthma symptoms can be hard. This condition disrupts sleep and leaves patients feeling tired and irritable during the daytime. If you are a parent with a child suffering from nocturnal asthma, it can also impair your quality of life, in addition to the child. Its a scary condition for both the child and parent. Anytime someone wakes up struggling to breathe is terrifying.
Staying observant to what kinds of factors seem to trigger nocturnal asthma can help control symptoms. A pet sleeping on the bed could make asthma worse or an open window could trigger symptoms. Plants, fabrics, and scents can trigger airway constriction, so be aware and take steps to remedy any triggers you find.
Certain groups seem to be more at risk for nocturnal asthma. For example:
- If you have allergic rhinitis, which is an inflammation of your nasal cavities
- Younger people are prone to develop asthma
- Obese adults can develop the condition
- Smoking is a risk factor for nocturnal asthma
- Even living in an urban environment with pollution can be a trigger
An adult suffering from nocturnal asthma may not notice asthma symptoms, but if another person is sleeping within earshot, they may hear the coughing and wheezing. The adult sufferer of nighttime asthma may experience the disease primarily as tiredness during the daytime. The symptoms of the condition can be chronic and happen every night or can come and go throughout the week.
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Your Gp Or Asthma Nurse Can Help Your Asthma Symptoms
Theres a lot your GP or asthma nurse can do to help stop symptoms building up to an asthma attack. Book an appointment now to get the support you need to lower your risk.
Your GP/asthma nurse can:
- Talk to you about why your asthma symptoms have got worse
- Check youre taking your preventer medicine every day. If you havent been taking it regularly, they can suggest ways to get into a good routine with it so its easier to remember.
- Look at your inhaler technique to make sure youre getting the medicine you need
- Suggest a higher dose, or more puffs, of your preventer inhaler for a while
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Who Can Get Asthma
Anyone can develop asthma at any age. People with allergies or people exposed to tobacco smoke are more likely to develop asthma. This includes secondhand smoke and thirdhand smoke .
Statistics show that people assigned female at birth tend to have asthma more than people assigned male at birth. Asthma affects Black people more frequently than other races.
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Why Do I Have Asthma Attacks At Night Nocturnal Asthma Explained
Asthma is a serious condition that needs to be treated and monitored, but what some may not realise is that it can occur at night too.
Symptoms such as chest tightness, shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing during the night can make sleep impossible.
It affects daily life, as lack of sleep can leave us feeling tired and irritable plus, it makes daytime asthma more difficult to control.
If you believe you have nocturnal asthma, its worth seeing a doctor here is everything you need to know.
Know Why Infections Trigger Asthma Symptoms
Sometimes a virus or bacterial infection is an asthma trigger. For instance, you might have a cold virus that triggers your asthma symptoms. Or your asthma can be triggered by a bacterial sinus infection. Sinusitis with asthma is common.
Itâs important to know the signs and symptoms of respiratory tract infections and to call your health care provider immediately for diagnosis and treatment. For instance, you might have symptoms of increased shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, or wheezing with a bronchial infection. In people who donât have asthma, the bronchial infection may not trigger the same debilitating symptoms. Know your body and understand warning signs that an infection might be starting. Then take the proper medications as prescribed to eliminate the infection and regain control of your asthma and health.
For more detail, see WebMDâs article Infections and Asthma.
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Get Tested For Sleep Apnea
People with asthma have a high risk of developing sleep apnea. Congestion from asthma causes snoring and may halt breathing for a few seconds at a time. If you wake up feeling tired, moody, and sore each morning, despite getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep, talk to your doctor about getting tested for sleep apnea.
If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to long-term effects, like excessive daytime sleepiness and more serious medical conditions, like insomnia and acid reflux Worlds largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible.View sourceor GERD).
So How Do You Stop Asthma Symptoms At Night
Theres a really simple trick to combat nighttime asthma. It started working immediately for me in fact, not only did it help at night, but overall it had a noticeable effect on my daytime symptoms, too.
The miracle cure is putting medical tape over your lips when you go to sleep, or wearing an anti-snoring chin strap to keep your mouth shut. Yes, its that simple.
This trick for asthma at night comes to us from Buteyko, and if you havent heard of Buteyko, I know this sounds a little weird!
Buteykos major tenet is that asthma is caused by overbreathing.
Just like you can over-eat, you can over-breathe. Over-breathing creates chronic hyperventilation, which is very bad for your long-term health and for your asthma.
A major culprit in over-breathing is breathing through your mouth. Breathing through your mouth is reeealllly bad for asthma.
Now, you may think that you always breathe through your nose and during the day, you probably do.
But when youre asleep its a different story.
I guess because you get more congested at night, youre apt to unconsciously start breathing through your mouth while you sleep. I know I did.
If you ever wake up with a sore throat or dry mouth, thats a sure sign your mouth was open.
So putting tape over your lips is going to prevent you from mouth breathing at night, and this, in my experience, will keep your symptoms at bay.
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