What Happens During An Asthma Episode
During normal breathing, the airways to the lungs are fully open. This allows air to move in and out of the lungs freely. Asthma causes the airways to change in the following ways:
These changes narrow the airways. Breathing becomes difficult and stressful, like trying to breathe through a straw stuffed with cotton.
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.
Does Asthma Get Worse At Night
Asthma is worse at night than during the day because the body is in a supine position, and you have a higher exposure to allergens than you would when walking around. Exacerbated symptoms make it difficult to sleep and cause coughing, wheezing, and sneezing. We recommend a humidifier, air purifier, and keeping your bedroom clean to reduce indoor allergens.
Don’t Miss: What Does A Nebulizer Do For Asthma
What Is An Asthma Action Plan
Your healthcare provider will work with you to develop an asthma action plan. This plan tells you how and when to use your medicines. It also tells you what to do if your asthma gets worse and when to seek emergency care. Understand the plan and ask your healthcare provider about anything you dont understand.
Does Melatonin Improve Sleep In Asthma
Researchers have revealed that the hormone melatonin plays a vital role in improving the sleep cycle in asthma patients. Melatonin helps in regulating human circadian rhythms and is believed to have sleep-inducing activity. Additionally, melatonin studies suggest that it affects smooth muscle tone and inflammation too. Both of which helps in improving the sleep cycle for asthma patients at night.
You May Like: Is Asthma A Small Airway Disease
What Should I Do If My Friend Is Having An Asthma Attack
What should I do if my friend is having an asthma attack? Zahara*
An asthma flare-up can be scary, both for the person having it and anyone who sees it happening. A friend who knows how to handle the situation can be a big help.
Heres what to do:
- Stay calm and be reassuring. Help your friend relax. If someone who is having a flare-up panics, it can make it even harder to breathe.
- Take your friend away from any possible asthma , like .
- Have your friend sit upright. Lying down might make breathing more difficult.
- If your friend can talk, ask what his or her asthma action plan says to do during a flare-up. If your friend is able to tell you, follow the plan.
- If your friend cant speak or doesnt remember what to do, ask if he or she has an inhaler to use during flare-ups. If so, get the inhaler and help your friend to use it.
- the inhaler doesnt help
- the inhaler helps at first but then your friend gets worse again
- an inhaler is not available
- your friend is having trouble talking or is struggling to breathe
- your friends lips are turning blue
- your friend becomes unconscious
Friends can be the first line of defense for someone who is having an asthma flare-up. So its great that you want to be prepared!
Date reviewed: May 2014
*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.
Note: All information on KidsHealth is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
What Happens During An Asthma Flare
During a flare-up, you might have:
- trouble breathing
- a whistling sound when you breathe
- a cough
Flare-ups happen when the airways in the lungs get more irritated and swollen than usual. Your lungs might make a sticky mucus, which clogs the airways. The muscles around the airways will also tighten up, making them really narrow. This clogging and narrowing make it tough to pull air in and push air out.
Some flare-ups are mild, but others are serious. If the flare-up is severe, a person might:
- struggle to breathe or have fast breathing even when sitting still
- not be able to speak more than a few words at a time without pausing
- have retractions while breathing in
Flare-ups can happen suddenly. They also can build up over time, especially if you haven’t been taking your asthma medicine.
Recommended Reading: Does Weight Gain Make Asthma Worse
There Are Many Different Types Of Asthma Brought On By Many Different Triggers
If youre struggling with asthma symptoms trouble breathing, a persistent cough or tightness in the chest an allergist can help you take control by providing a diagnosis and identifying the underlying causes.
Learn about the triggers and treatment for allergic asthma and how an allergist can help you manage allergy and asthma symptoms.
Know The Early Symptoms Of Asthma
Early warning signs are changes that happen just before or at the very beginning of an asthma attack. These signs may start before the well-known symptoms of asthma and are the earliest signs that your asthma is worsening.
In general, these signs are not severe enough to stop you from going about your daily activities. But by recognizing these signs, you can stop an asthma attack or prevent one from getting worse. Early warning signs of an asthma attack include:
- Frequent cough, especially at night
- Losing your breath easily or shortness of breath
- Feeling very tired or weak when exercising
If you have these warning signs, adjust your medication, as described in your asthma action plan.
Read Also: Can Cold Weather Affect Asthma
How Do I Handle An Asthma Flare
If you feel like a flare-up is about to happen, stay calm. Let people around you know what’s going on. Then remember your asthma action plan. That’s the written plan that tells you what to do next.
Stay calm and focus on what your asthma action plan says. Your doctor probably told you to use your quick-relief medicine, so do that first.
If you can figure out what triggered your symptoms , remove the trigger or yourself from the area. Sometimes that’s all you need to get your asthma under control again.
If a flare-up is more severe, you might need to get help.
Other Exercises Can Help Too
Most asthma experts agree asthmatics should stay active. This is true no matter how severe your asthma is. Some of my asthma friends enjoy walking. Thats fine! Thats great! Sometimes I walk too, others engage in archery and yoga. But if you want to try running, perhaps my tips will help you accomplish your goal.
Also Check: Can You Join The Army If You Have Asthma
Fatigue Can Occur After A Flare
Response from Theresa Cannizzarro, RT:
Yes! While fatigue isnt one of the more common asthma symptoms, it definitely can happen. When your body is working harder to breathe, it makes your body tired. Your body is having to compensate to bring more oxygenated blood from your lungs to the rest of your body so, in turn, you feel overall fatigued. Also, after a significant asthma flare-up, you may feel pretty fatigued for a period of time while your body recovers to its normal healthy state.1,2
Managing Your Asthma Flare
Am Fam Physician. 1998 Jul 1 58:109-113.
See related article on asthma.
To keep your asthma under control, you need to know what to do when you have a flare-up of symptoms . First, you need to know the symptoms that tell you your asthma is getting worse . Second, you need to know how to treat your asthma when it gets worse. Early treatment of flare-ups works the best and will help get your asthma under control quickly.
Also Check: How Can You Tell If You Have Asthma
Video: Asthma And Your Sleep
Transcript for Asthma and your sleep
0:04 We hear from a lot of people on our
0:07 helpline and on social media that asthma does
0:10 interrupt their sleep on a
0:11 regular basis. As a health care
0:13 professional I know that unfortunately,
0:14 this means that your asthma is not quite
0:16 as well controlled as it can be. And it’s
0:18 worth making appointment with your GP or
0:20 your practice nurse to see what we can
0:21 do to help relieve those symptoms and
0:24 actually improve your quality of sleep.
Surprising Signs Of Adult
This post is available in: Spanish
That persistent cough that keeps you up at night may stem from more than just a tickle in the back of your throat. It could be adult-onset asthma.
Many people experience a jolt of disbelief when they are diagnosed with asthma later in life, especially if they have never experienced symptoms before. Asthma? That condition that causes kids to wheeze?
It turns out adult-onset asthma is far more common than many people realize. Asthma is often considered a disease of children, so adults may be surprised when they are diagnosed with asthma, says pulmonologist Javier Pérez-Fernández, M.D., the critical care director at Baptist Hospital of Miami.
The number of people with asthma grows every year. Currently, more than 26 million Americans have asthma, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of those cases, more than 20 million are among adults, with the greatest number of cases among ages 35 and 65.
Asthma is a chronic inflammation of the lung airways that can lead to coughing, chest tightness, shortness of breath or wheezing. Among adults who develop asthma later in life, the symptoms may initially be more subtle than in children, which can cause patients to overlook or ignore the condition. But its important to treat symptoms as soon as possible so they dont become severe, said Dr. Pérez-Fernández, who also serves as director of pulmonology for West Kendall Baptist Hospital.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Rid Of Asthma Without Inhaler
How Do You Monitor Asthma Symptoms
Monitoring your asthma symptoms is an essential piece of managing the disease. Your healthcare provider may have you 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.
What To Do When Asthma Stops You Sleeping
- If you have asthma symptoms, sit up and take your reliever inhaler as prescribed.
- Always make sure your inhaler is beside your bed before you go to sleep, so you dont have to search for it 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. This is better than falling asleep straight away only to wake up soon after with asthma symptoms because your reliever didnt help enough.
- Some people find propping themselves up with extra pillows helps as it keeps the airways open.
You May Like: Asthma Caused By Allergies
Know The Symptoms Of An Asthma Attack
An asthma attack is the episode in which bands of muscle surrounding the airways are triggered to tighten. This tightening is called bronchospasm. During the attack, the lining of the airways becomes swollen or inflamed and the cells lining the airways produce more and thicker mucus than normal.
All of these factors — bronchospasm, inflammation, and mucus production — cause symptoms such as difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and difficulty performing normal daily activities. Other symptoms of an asthma attack include:
- Severe wheezing when breathing both in and out
- Coughing that won’t stop
- Feelings of anxiety or panic
- Pale, sweaty face
- Blue lips or fingernails
The severity of an asthma attack can escalate rapidly, so it’s important to treat these asthma symptoms immediately once you recognize them.
Without immediate treatment, such as with your asthma inhaler or bronchodilator, your breathing will become more labored. If you use a peak flow meter at this time, the reading will probably be less than 50%. Many asthma action plans suggest interventions starting at 80% of normal.
As your lungs continue to tighten, you will be unable to use the peak flow meter at all. Gradually, your lungs will tighten so there is not enough air movement to produce wheezing. You need to be transported to a hospital immediately. Unfortunately, some people interpret the disappearance of wheezing as a sign of improvement and fail to get prompt emergency care.
Chronic Pain And Blood Vessels
Smoking can generate general body painblood vessels
blood flow and circulationmuscles, tendons, and the other spinal structures, like the discs
- Smoking contributes to continued inflammation, which can increase pain
- It can interfere with prescribed medications for pain management/other conditions
- Proper absorption of minerals, nutrients, chemicals, medications, is disrupted
- Damage to the spinal discs and facet joints
neuron stimulation from the nicotine
Read Also: Can You Join The Army If You Have Asthma
What’s An Asthma Flare
An asthma flare-up is when asthma symptoms get worse, making someone wheeze, cough, or be short of breath. An asthma flare-up can happen even when asthma is controlled.
Asthma flare-ups are also called asthma attacks or exacerbations.
How Is An Asthma Cough Diagnosed
It is quite difficult to understand when you need to seek medical opinion for your asthma cough. In most cases, because the only symptom is a chronic cough, people tend to ignore the problem and continue on with their lives. However, if your cough has lasted for more than 8 weeks and you cannot clearly identify any reason behind it, then you should consult your doctor.
Your doctor will begin by prescribing breathing tests that measure your lung capacity and lung function. You will probably be made to have these tests from time to time so that your doctor can understand the effectiveness of your medications. In some cases, allergy testing is also prescribed, particularly if the doctor suspects an allergen trigger behind your asthma cough.
Some doctors may also suggest a methacholine challenge test. In this test, when you inhale methacholine, it triggers a bout of coughing and bronchial spasms. While this trigger is observed in everyone, a person suffering from asthma will have an increased sensitivity to the test.
You May Like: Stopping Wheezing Without Inhaler
Care Advice For Asthma Attack
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 you’re 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 don’t 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 .
Read Also: Allergic Airway Disease
Learn First Aid For Someone Who Is Having An Asthma Attack
1. Help the person sit in a comfortable position and take their inhaler.
When someone has an asthma attack, their airways narrow, making it difficult for them to breathe. An inhaler relaxes the muscles, allowing the airways to expand and ease their breathing.
2. Reassure the person. If the attack becomes severe, or they dont have their inhaler, call 999 as soon as possible.
A mild attack should ease within a few minutes. If it doesnt, they can continue to take their inhaler. You should call 999 if they they dont have their inhaler, their inhaler has no effect, they are becoming worse or they become unable to talk. Do not leave them, in case the attack becomes severe quickly. If you cant call 999, get someone else to do it.