How Are Types Of Coughs Diagnosed
If you’re concerned about your child’s cough, call your doctor. Depending on the type of cough, other symptoms, and how long it’s lasting, the doctor might want to see your child.
Many health care providers now offer telehealth visits, which can save parents a trip to the office . “Video chatting” lets doctors see and hear a child cough, and often this is enough to make a diagnosis or rule out a serious problem. Hearing the cough will help the doctor decide whether to treat it.
Improving Asthma At Night
Although you cannot control certain factors, such as your hormone levels, there are several things you can do to improve your asthma symptoms at night. Consider the tips below for suppressing flareups.
Certain things in your bedroom might be triggering an increase in asthma symptoms. Make your bedroom as allergen-free as possible. By decreasing allergens, you may reduce nighttime symptoms.
Keep your bedroom free of dust and clean your bedroom often. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter, which works well to trap dust. Get rid of items that easily collect dust, such as books or knickknacks.
You should also wash your bedding in hot water about once a week to get rid of dust mites. Consider using hypoallergenic pillowcases and sheets, which can help decrease allergens as well.
If pet dander is an issue, dont let your four-legged friends sleep in your room. Pet danger can become trapped in the carpet, which can lead to an increase in symptoms.
Sleep with Your Head Elevated
An increase in mucus from your sinuses may trigger asthma symptoms, such as coughing. Acid reflux, which is very common, can also trigger coughing and other asthma symptoms.
If postnasal drip, increased mucus, or acid reflux is an issue, consider sleeping with the head of your bed elevated. Place a wedge pillow under your head or use a few pillows while you sleep.
Medication and/or Treatment Changes
Side Effects Of Steroid Tablets
Oral steroids carry a risk if they are taken for more than three months or if they are taken frequently . Side effects can include:
- muscle weakness
With the exception of increased appetite, which is very commonly experienced by people taking oral steroids, most of these unwanted effects are uncommon.
However, it is a good idea to keep an eye out for them regularly, especially side effects that are not immediately obvious, such as high blood pressure, thinning of the bones, diabetes and glaucoma.
You will need regular appointments to check for these.
Read further information:
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What Factors Increase The Risk Of Nocturnal Asthma
Asthma symptoms are higher during sleep, like nocturnal wheezing, cough, and trouble breathing. The exact cause of nighttime asthma is unknown, but the following factors can be held responsible.
Increased Mucus or Sinusitis – During sleep, the airways tend to become narrow, which may cause decreased airflow. This can trigger nighttime coughing, which can cause a further tightening of the airways. Increased drainage from the sinuses can also trigger asthma.
Sleeping Position – Lying down in a reclining position may trigger nighttime asthma problems. Many factors can cause this, like accumulation of secretions , increased blood volume in the lungs, decreased lung volumes, acid reflux, and increased airway resistance. In addition, sleeping on the back puts pressure on the chest and lungs, making breathing more difficult.
Air Conditioning – Breathing cold air at night or sleeping in an airconditioned room may cause heat loss from the airways. Airway cooling and loss of moisture are essential triggers of nighttime asthma. On the other hand, hot air can cause airways to narrow and thereby cause trouble breathing.
Internal Triggers – Asthma can also occur during sleep. For example, asthmatic people who work at night shift may have breathing attacks during the day when they are sleeping.
What Are The Causes Of Asthma
The definite causes of asthma are unknown, but genetics and the environment play a role in causing asthma. An asthma attack can happen on exposure to asthma triggers .
The following triggers can precipitate different types of asthma.
1. Allergic Asthma– It is caused by the allergens like,
Waste from pests like cockroaches and mice.
2. Nonallergic Asthma– It is caused by triggers . Asthma triggers can be different for each person and can change over time.
Triggers can be,
3. Occupational Asthma– Inhalation of chemicals or industrial fumes at work.
4. Exercise-Induced Asthma– Occurs during physical exercise and strainful activities.
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Why Cant I Catch My Breath After A Coughing Fit
A coughing fit may make it more difficult to catch your breath if it occurs along with a narrowing of the airways that allow you to inhale. Asthma and emphysema may cause an inability to catch ones breath following a series of coughing fits. Steam or an inhaler may be treatments for a coughing fit.
When To See A Specialist
Did you know that you are not able to sneeze when you are asleep? This means that one of the most important ways of ridding your body from allergens, sneezing, is unavailable while you sleep. This can lead to a worsening of symptoms that will wake you up.
Keeping your sleeping environment, your body, and your sleep clothes clear from allergens certainly cannot hurt you and often is enough to give you a comfortable nights sleep. But, for some, it isnt enough and the only available option is allergy medication.
If your allergies are making it difficult to sleep at night, contact Carolina Asthma and Allergy Center today. Since 1952, Carolina Asthma and Allergy Center has served the Charlotte metropolitan area. Today, the center has 12 offices in and around Charlotte. All the 14 allergists at the center are board certified by the American Board of Allergy and . To make an appointment at an office near you call 704-372-7900.
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How Is Nighttime Asthma Diagnosed
Nighttime asthma is easy to diagnose if symptoms clearly get worse at night. In this case, your doctor may diagnose you with nighttime asthma in addition to other types of asthma.2,7
Nocturnal asthma often goes undetected in children because they may not report nighttime symptoms. Monitoring childrens nighttime symptoms can help diagnose nighttime asthma and prevent sleep disturbances.2,7
Certain diagnostic tests can also help identify nighttime asthma. Your doctor may have you use a spirometer or peak flow meter to measure lung function at home. You can do this before you go to sleep and after you wake up. This can help doctors see how lung function changes overnight.3
If symptoms are more severe, you may undergo a sleep study. This diagnostic test tracks many body measurements during sleep. A sleep study can also be helpful to diagnose sleep apnea. This is typically linked to loud snoring and gasping for air in the middle of the night. Inform your doctor if you have experienced these symptoms.3
When To See A Doctor
If you or a family member is experiencing a first onset of symptoms of asthma, see your doctor. They may then refer you to a specialist. You should also see your doctor when you are experiencing less serious symptoms, and the tools you have to improve the asthma are not working.
When you seek medical attention for asthma your doctor can classify the severity of your asthma and select the best treatment. Because the degree of your asthma may change over time, its important to see a doctor regularly to adjust your treatment accordingly.
If you think you or a family member is experiencing an asthma attack, call 911 or local emergency services, or go to your nearest emergency room.
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You Wake Up Coughing And Wheezing During The Night
If youre ever jolted awake in the middle of the night by a fit of coughing or wheezing, you may need to modify your severe-asthma management plan.
Properly managed asthma shouldnt wake you up from sleep more than one or two nights a month. If youre losing sleep due to your symptoms more than this, it may be time to discuss treatment modifications with your doctor.
Your peak flow readings are a measurement of how well your lungs are functioning at their best. This measurement is usually tested at home with a handheld device called a peak flow meter.
If your peak flow levels drop below 80 percent of your personal best, thats a sign that your severe asthma is poorly managed. Another sign that your asthma is getting worse is if your peak flow reading varies greatly from day to day. If you notice low or inconsistent numbers, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
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, which are common triggers of nighttime asthma symptoms.
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Other Tips For Sleeping With Asthma
Other ways to reduce asthma symptoms at night include:
- Cut down on allergens in your bedroom. Consider using an air purifier next to your bed and keep airflow in your room through the night.
- Wash your bedding in hot water every 1-2 weeks to get rid of dust mites and other irritants that may be on your sheets.
- Consider switching to bedding made of natural cotton, as opposed to synthetic polyester depending on your allergies.
- Keep pets off your bed, especially when youre in it.
- Keep asthma medication on your nightstand or another easily accessible place, and take them as directed by your doctor.
- Set the thermostat in your bedroom slightly higher in the evenings. Sleeping in a cold environment can be an asthma trigger.
Clean Sheets + A Clean Body = A Good Nights Sleep
If you are coughing at night and you are not sick, it may be time to do some detective work. Take a good look at your room and see if you need to vacuum, wash your sheets, or shower before bed if you have allergies.
Some people may also have problems if they have acid reflux, and that can trigger their asthma when they lay down at night to sleep.5
Talk to your doctor and see if they can help you find out whats going on.
Lets all get a good nights sleep. I dont know about you, but I am a much nicer person when I get a good nights sleep!
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Descriptive Characteristics Of Nocturnal Cough
Patients coughed in 53% of 2212 nights. Three percent of night recordings were missing . Median coughs per night were one . Nocturnal cough counts per patient showed considerable variance between patients. Furthermore, the standard deviations per patient indicate that nocturnal cough was a time-variant symptom . The median number of coughs per hour was 0 .
The highest cough counts were measured in the first 30 min in bed with a rather homogeneous distribution afterward .
The following analyses are based on all nights with at least one cough. The term cough cluster is defined as a series of at least two coughs with a maximum time of two seconds in between their expulsive phases. Most coughs were not isolated, but part of a cough cluster. Clusters consisted of a median of two coughs .
Distribution of coughs per cluster.
To explore the temporal stability of nocturnal cough, we estimated the auto-correlation function. We found that nocturnal cough was persistent within patient up to all 28 nights .
We did not find significant differences regarding nocturnal cough counts depending on seasons.
Keep Your Mattress Up Off Of The Floor
While you technically can use some mattresses directly on the floor, we dont suggest that for people with allergies Placing your mattress on the floor means youre closer to dirt, dust, and other germs that can more easily make their way into your sleep space. Using a mattress foundation or bed frame limits your exposure to these irritants.
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Factors That Contribute To Nocturnal Asthma
The most common reasons asthma is worse at night:
Exposure to allergens. Bedbugs. Pet dander. Dust mites. All are common in the bedroom, and all can trigger asthma attacks. You probably spend 6 to 9 hours in bed every day thats a long time to be exposed to potential allergens. Some people also experience delayed allergic reactions at night. Its not uncommon for an allergic response to occur 3 to 8 hours after exposure to an allergen. If youre exposed to pollen, for instance, in the early evening, you might experience shortness of breath and wheezing when youre trying to fall asleep.
Supine position and acid reflux. When we lie down, its easier for stomach acid to travel back up into the esophagus, the tube connecting the mouth and stomach.Instead of being swallowed, some of this fluid can enter the large airways and provoke an irritating cough. Reflux of stomach acid can also cause the airways to constrict, which leads to more difficulty breathing.
Postnasal drip. People are more susceptible to postnasal drip at night. When you lie flat, its easier for fluid to drip down the back of your throat and cause coughing. Lying down also causes fluid to shift from the legs to the chest, which can lead to increased fluid accumulation in the airway walls and narrowing of the breathing passages.
Medication timing. If your asthma medication wears off during the night, youre likely to experience nocturnal asthma.
What Parents Can Do
There are a number of preemptive changes you can incorporate into your home to reduce nocturnal asthma.
Try some of the following:
- Frequently wash all sheets and pillowcases in hot water.
- Keep the bedroom area clean of dust. Wipe down shelves, dressers, or anything that can collect dust.
- Never allow an animal to sleep in your childs bedroom.
- Add some extra pillows or place blocks under the mattress to elevate your childs head. This will reduce any GERD symptoms.
There are pros and cons to having a humidifier, so speak with your physician before putting one in the bedroom.
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What Should I Do When My Asthma Symptoms Wake Me Up
Sit up and take your reliever inhaler as prescribed. Its a good idea to keep your inhaler and spacer beside your bed before you go to sleep, so you dont have to search for them in the middle of the night.
Give yourself a bit of time to check your reliever medicine has dealt with your symptoms before you go back to sleep, says Dr Andy Whittamore, Asthma UK’s in-house GP. This is better than falling asleep straight away only to wake up soon after with asthma symptoms because your reliever didnt help enough.
Why Asthma Is Worse At Night
Shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing are annoying enough during the day. Waking up in the middle of a coughing fit or being unable to catch your breath in the quiet of the night is downright disturbing. Unfortunately, approximately 30 to 70% of people with asthma experience nocturnal asthma, or a worsening of asthma symptoms at night. Not everyone with asthma feels worse at night, but many do.
Learn more about nocturnal asthma and what to do if you have nighttime asthma with cough and other 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. Its also important to keep the sleeping area clean.Ã
Change sheets regularly. Wash bedding in hot water. Wipe down shelves, ledges and nearby furniture to lessen the amount of dust in the room. Dont let your child sleep in the same room with pets.Ã
Try to use allergy-free sheets. Make sure pillows have a cover and look for allergy-free material.Ã
Try to have your child sleep at a slight incline. If you lift your childs head four to six inches by adding blocks under the bed post, this can help with GERD symptoms.Ã
Using a humidifier also helps to keep the air moist in your childs room.Ã
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Simple Tips To Stop Asthma Waking You At Night In The Long
You dont have to just accept your night-time asthma symptoms as normal.
- Using your preventer inhaler every day, as prescribed, will build up protection in your airways and keep your asthma symptoms under control, so theyre less likely to wake you at night.
- If youre having asthma symptoms at night or noticing asthma symptoms when you first wake up, you should make a same day appointment to see your GP or asthma nurse. Symptoms that keep you awake at night are one of the signs you might be at risk of an asthma attack.
Its also important to:
- Use your written asthma action plan to help you understand how to manage your symptoms and what to do if they get worse.
- Go for regular asthma reviews with your GP or asthma nurse. They can check youre using your inhalers correctly. Its also a chance to talk about any triggers that might be affecting your sleep.
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