Q: What Happens To The Lungs During A Mild Case Of Covid
Dr. Connolly: Once in the chest, the virus begins to impact a persons airways causing inflammation. As inflammation increases, a barking, dry cough that sounds and feels like asthma develops. In addition, this can cause chest tightness or deep pain while breathing.
Even though its generally mild for some people, the swelling and tightness that results from airway inflammation is essentially like having a sprained windpipe. Think of it like having a sprained ankle, but the effects and discomfort that come with having a sprain are felt inside of your chest.
Common Flu Shot Side Effects
Repeat: The flu vaccine wonât give you the flu, but you can experience mild symptoms because of how the vaccine works.
âThe flu vaccine is designed to stimulate your immune system to build antibodies to the virus. That stimulation can cause a low-grade fever, a decrease in appetite, loose stool, mild fatigue or myalgia and even a scant cough,â Teague says.
According to Teague, these symptoms usually resolve after a few days and are no cause for alarm. You may also experience some redness, swelling or soreness where the shot was injected, which is also normal.
The CDC says you can experience âflulikeâ symptoms after getting the vaccine, such as:
- Soreness, redness, and/or swelling at the injection site
The symptoms listed above should resolve in a few days. Also, keep in mind not everyone has symptoms, but those are the most common. When it comes to other symptoms, or symptoms that last longer, itâs important to keep in mind that you can still catch a cold, or other virus, right after you get the flu shot.
So if you experience other symptoms that seem like the flu, it could be another illness and it doesnât mean the shot made you sick. The flu shot also takes about two weeks to become effective at protecting you from the flu, so you could technically catch the flu within that two-week window.
Why Is My Asthma Worse At Night
Asthma that gets worse at night is sometimes called nighttime asthma or nocturnal asthma. There are no definite reasons that this happens, but there are some educated guesses. These include:
- The way you sleep: Sleeping on your back can result in mucus dripping into your throat or acid reflux coming back up from your stomach. Also, sleeping on your back puts pressure on your chest and lungs, which makes breathing more difficult. However, lying face down or on your side can put pressure on your lungs.
- Triggers in your bedroom and triggers that happen in the evening: You may find your blankets, sheets and pillows have dust mites, mold or pet hair on them. If youve been outside in the early evening, you may have brought pollen in with you.
- Medication side effects: Some drugs that treat asthma, such as steroids and montelukast, can affect your sleep.
- Air thats too hot or too cold: Hot air can cause airways to narrow when you breathe in. Cold air is an asthma trigger for some people.
- Lung function changes: Lung function lessens at night as a natural process.
- Asthma is poorly controlled during the day: Symptoms that arent controlled during the day wont be better at night. Its important to work with your provider to make sure your asthma symptoms are controlled both day and night. Treating nighttime symptoms is very important. Serious asthma attacks, and sometimes deaths, can happen at night.
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When To See A Healthcare Provider
Pressure in your head or head pain isn’t always serious, but some conditions can cause these symptoms and require immediate examination and treatment. If the pressure or pain in the head is sudden and severe, seek emergency care.
If you have recurring head pressure or pain, especially with symptoms like loss of balance or coordination, mood changes, fever, or nausea, you should call your healthcare provider or seek emergency medical care.
How To Treat High Blood Pressure
It is important to talk with a doctor about high blood pressure, as making behavioral changes and taking medications, such as beta-blockers, can help.
A person may find that managing stress or eating less salt can also help lower their blood pressure.
A home blood pressure reading with a systolic number above 180 or a diastolic number above 120
Read Also: Are Almonds Good For Asthma
Contact Doctor During Office Hours
- Don’t have written asthma action plan from your doctor
- Use an inhaler, but don’t have a spacer
- Miss more than 1 day of school per month for asthma
- Asthma limits exercise or sports
- Asthma attacks wake child up from sleep
- Use more than 1 inhaler per month
- No asthma check-up in more than 1 year
- You have other questions or concerns
Vocal Cord Dysfunction Or Inducible Laryngeal Obstruction
Vocal cord dysfunction may exist alone or with asthma, it is caused by paradoxical adduction of the vocal cords during inspiration, and may disappear with panting, speech, or laughing. Patients with chronic symptoms suggestive of asthma, normal spirometry, poor response to asthma medications, and frequent evaluations should be evaluated for vocal cord dysfunction. Usually, the diagnosis can be made using direct laryngoscopy, but only during symptomatic periods or after exercise. The presence of flattening of the inspiratory limb of the flow-volume loop may also suggest vocal cord dysfunction, but this is only seen in 28% of patients at baseline.
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What Is High Blood Pressure
Hypertension is a medical term for high blood pressure. It is a measure of the two pressures inside your arteries.
Your heart is a muscle. When the heart muscle is relaxed it is called diastole. During this time blood enters your heart. When your heart contracts it is called systole which is when blood is pushed through all the arteries of your body. This is how oxygen and other nutrients travel to all the tissues of your body. This gives us two blood pressures.1,2
- Systolic. The pressure during systole. Normal is 120
- Diastolic. The pressure during diastole. Normal is 80
So, normal blood pressure varies with age, although is generally considered 120/80. When your blood pressure is consistently higher than 130/80 you are considered to have high blood pressure. This higher pressure puts extra strain on the walls of your arteries. This puts you at risk for coronary artery disease, heart attacks, and strokes.1
Maintaining blood pressure less than 130/90 can significantly reduce your risk for cardiovascular complications. This can be accomplished through lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise. It can also be accomplished with medicine to lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of complications.1-3
After An Asthma Attack
For several days following a flare-up you are at greater risk of additional asthma attacks. During this time period:
- Avoid your asthma triggers
- Use a peak flow monitor to keep track of your breathing
- As always, take your medications as instructed, even when you feel great
When you stray from your doctors orders regarding asthma treatment, you put yourself at risk of a serious condition called airway remodeling.
Severe asthma attacks can cause brain damage or death.
In this condition, your lungs become scarred. This reduces the effectiveness of your asthma medications and weakens your ability to breathe. You can avoid airway remodeling by working with your doctor to develop and maintain a treatment plan that works for you, reducing your risk of asthma attacks.
If you need medical assistance, contact CareFinders at 1-866-608-FIND to make an appointment with a physician, or call 911 immediately if it is an emergency.
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Difference Between Sino Nasal Disease In Asthmatics And Non
Sino nasal disease may appear differently in asthmatics then that of general population. Literature survey showed that the patients showing nasal symptoms and undergo to examine the clinical feature of lower airway disease then it is found that most of the patients suffering with the chronic sinusitis and allergic rhinitis along with asthma as compared to non-allergic rhinitis. Asthmatic patients associated with sinusitis progress to nasal polyps and are in much complications of sino nasal disease comparing to non-asthmatics. Sinusitis related asthmatics have more severe and persistent disease and they need multiple of surgeries as well .
Studies revealed that sinusitis may develop asthma progressively but there is a difference in between sinusitis related asthma and general population. This is strongly supported by data.
In asthmatics upper air way disease appear differently as compared to general population.
Inflammation in upper and lower air ways in both population would be alike.
Increasing severity in the upper air ways going parallel to the severity in lower air ways .
How To Treat An Ear Infection
Lying down with the ear that hurts facing up, with a heated pad on top, may help relieve the pain of an ear infection. This is because gravity helps the fluid from the ear drain into the throat. Also, the heat from the pad helps keep the drainage site open.
Taking OTC pain relievers can also help ease the symptoms.
Antibiotics may help treat middle ear infections, especially in young children and people with weak immune systems. However, draining the ear by lying on the correct side will help stop the condition from recurring and prevent a ruptured eardrum, which could happen due to fluid buildup.
happens when muscle tension radiates to the head. A person may also experience shoulder or neck pain.
Tension headaches tend to come on slowly, getting worse over time and causing pain throughout the head and sometimes a feeling of pressure. Very bad tension headaches can also make a person feel dizzy.
How Are Asthma And Migraine Linked
Scientists have found some intriguing links between asthma and migraine. For example, one large British study found that people with migraine were 1.59 times more likely to develop asthma than counterparts without migraine. Other research has shown that children with asthma were 5.5 times more likely than non-asthmatic children to have a parent with migraine.
How to explain? The British researchers offered one theory: âA shared functional abnormality of smooth muscle in blood vessels and airways offers a plausible explanation for this link.â
People with asthma or migraines or both conditions might have inherited hypersensitivities, Cady says. Those with asthma may have inherited an over-reactive respiratory system those with migraine may have inherited an over-reactive nervous system.
There are other similarities. Asthma and migraine share many inflammatory chemicals that are released during an attack, Cady says. âThereâs a host of common neurotransmitters that are shared here,â he says, including calcitonin gene-related peptide, histamines and cytokines. âThose are names for inflammatory chemicals that get activated both during asthma and during migraine,â he says.
Links Between Asthma And High Blood Pressure
Apparently, I am not the lone asthmatic with high blood pressure. A whopping 41% of people who completed our annual Asthma In America survey said they also have hypertension.
Various studies have also confirmed a link between these two diseases. They show an increased prevalence of high blood pressure in the asthma community. People with severe asthma had higher rates of hypertension and cardiovascular disease.3,4 They also show that asthmatics with high blood pressure are more likely to have severe asthma.3,4
Also Check: How Long Does An Asthma Attack Last
Sino Nasal Disorder Associated With Asthma
Sino nasal disorders are linked with asthma is supported by the clinical research studies i.e. non asthmatic patients with allergic rhinitis have inflammation and abnormalities in lower airway. This is further supported by the fact that allergic rhinitis have an increase prevalence for the hyper bronchial activity. Another study showed that sinusitis and allergic rhinitis are associated with impaired lung functions which are significantly related to duration and exposure of sino nasal disorder to the risk factors. These findings suggest that patients with sinusitis and allergic rhinitis may have subclinical abnormalities of their intra thoracic airways and may be at risk of developing the clinical disease of asthma .
Progressive gradation of sino nasal disease.
Asthma Is A Complex Condition
Occasionally, people with asthma experience what are known as silent symptoms. This is where the signs of the tightening of the airways dont result in the familiar asthma sounds of wheezing and coughing. If you or someone you live with, work with, or care for experiences silent symptoms, it is important they consult a doctor for an ongoing Asthma Action Plan. People around the person with asthmasuch as co-workers, school teachers or daycare educators should know about the silent symptoms so they can respond if needed. Asthma can start at any age, and can be more of a problem when it starts in older adults. Dont assume if you never had asthma as a child that its not possible to develop symptoms now. Being breathless is not a normal part of getting older, it should always be checked out by a doctor.
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How You Can Tell If You Are Suffering From Anxiety
The easiest way to determine if you are suffering from anxiety-induced chest tightness is by ruling out any cardiac or lung-related disease. Only a physician can rule these out completely.
A few signs can be helpful in determining if your chest tightness is cardiac-related. This is by no means an all-inclusive list. So, when in doubt, please visit your primary care physician. Generally, the following is more likely to be true of anxiety-related chest tightness and/or pressure:
- It is less likely to radiate towards the back, arms, or shoulders.
- It is more likely to occur with other anxiety symptoms.
- It tends to last for less than 10 minutes.
Again, having chest pain that abides by these suggestions does not rule out any cardiac or pulmonary causes. Also, women, diabetics, and the elderly often present with chest pain that is atypical of traditional cardiac chest tightness. So, if you belong to one of these groups and have new-onset chest pressure and/or tightness, it is best to see a physician first.
Anxiety attacks have a peak time, and that tends to be when the chest pressure is at its worst. Cardiac chest pressure, on the other hand, is more likely to last longer than 15 minutes, radiate, not be relieved with the resolution of anxiety, and be associated with shortness of breath etc.
How Do You Monitor Asthma Symptoms
You should keep track of your asthma symptom. Its an important piece of managing the disease. Your healthcare provider may ask to use a peak flow meter. This device measures how fast you can blow air out of your lungs. It can help your provider make adjustments to your medication. It also tells you if your symptoms are getting worse.
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How Can You Tell If You Have Asthma
It can be hard to tell if someone has asthma, especially in children under age 5. Having a doctor check how well your lungs work and check for allergies can help you find out if you have asthma.
During a checkup, a doctor will ask if you cough a lot, especially at night. He or she will also ask whether your breathing problems are worse after physical activity or at certain times of year. The doctor will then ask about chest tightness, wheezing, and colds lasting more than 10 days. He or she will ask whether anyone in your family has or has had asthma, allergies, or other breathing problems. Finally, the doctor will ask questions about your home and whether you have missed school or work or have trouble doing certain things.
The doctor may also do a breathing test, called spirometry, to find out how well your lungs are working by testing how much air you can breathe out after taking a very deep breath before and after you use asthma medicine.
What Other Tools Can I Use For Monitoring Asthma Control
Peak Flow Meter
Sometimes doctors recommend a peak flow meter a handheld device that measures how well air moves out of your lungs. A peak flow meter, when used every day, can spot reduced airflow before you notice the signs and symptoms of an asthma episode.
Peak flow meter readings can help you monitor your asthma control. But they are just one tool. Your peak flow meter reading is not the only indicator of asthma control. Always follow your Asthma Action Plan.
Doctors use pulse oximeters to measure how much oxygen your blood is carrying. Some people with asthma may experience a drop in their oxygen levels in their blood.
Pulse oximeters you can buy online and use at home are not as accurate as medical grade devices. Monitoring your blood oxygen levels with pulse oximeters is not a recommended part of home management of asthma.
Lung Function Tests
Your allergist or pulmonologist may use different lung function tests to assess your asthma control. Learn more about the tests used to diagnose and monitor asthma.
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Signs You Actually Have Severe Asthma
Breathing is just one of those things you take for granted until it feels like every inhale or exhale is a struggle. Unfortunately, people with severe asthma have to deal with breathing issues way more often than anyone should, and it can be completely terrifying.
Asthma is a respiratory condition that affects the airways that extend from your nose and mouth to your lungs, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute . When youre exposed to triggers like animal fur, pollen, mold, exercise, and respiratory infections, these airways can narrow, restricting your airflow. This can then make the muscles surrounding your airways constrict, making it even harder to breathe, and cause your airways to produce more mucus than normal, further compounding the problem. All together, this can lead to asthma symptoms like shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing , and chest tightness or pain, according to the NHLBI.
Like most health conditions, asthma severity runs along a spectrum, Emily Pennington, M.D., a pulmonologist at the Cleveland Clinic, tells SELF. Some people have cases where they experience minor symptoms here and there . Others can have asthma that is basically an ever-present problem and might result in scary asthma attacks, which is when symptoms ramp up in severity and can even become life-threatening.