Asthma Symptoms In Children
Children are not always able to express in words that their asthma symptoms are worsening. They may have noticeable coughing and wheezing, but these are not always the first indications of breathing distress. Different children show asthma trouble in different ways.
Some possible indications of the beginning of an asthma episode include:
- Unusual tiredness or restlessness
- Frequent symptoms at night
Why Do I Wheeze More In Cold Weather
Cold weather can cause the blockage of the beta-adrenergic system. Essentially, the cold weather signals your throat to constrict, making it more difficult to breathe. Difficulty breathing in the cold is common and can be treated by dressing warmly or even wearing a scarf over your nose and mouth. Mild forms of asthma may only manifest when irritated, such as by smoke or cold air.
What Causes An Asthma Attack
An asthma attack can happen when you are exposed to asthma triggers. Your asthma triggers can be very different from someone elses asthma triggers. Know your triggers and learn how to avoid them. Watch out for an attack when you cant avoid your triggers. Some of the most common triggers are tobacco smoke, dust mites, outdoor air pollution, cockroach allergen, pets, mold, smoke from burning wood or grass, and infections like flu.
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What Should I Do If I Have A Severe Asthma Attack
A severe asthma attack needs immediate medical care. The first step is your rescue inhaler. A rescue inhaler uses fast-acting medicines to open up your airways. Its different than your normal maintenance inhaler, which you use every day. You should only use the rescue inhaler in an emergency.
If your rescue inhaler doesnt help or you dont have it with you, go to the emergency department if you have:
- Anxiety or panic.
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What To Do During An Asthma Attack Or Flare
An asthma attack can come on gradually or quite quickly .The symptoms to look out for include:
- Increasing wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness and coughing.
- Needing to use a reliever again within three hours of last taking it.
- Waking often at night with asthma symptoms.
An asthma attack can become life threatening if not treated properly, even in someone whose asthma is usually mild or well controlled.
If someone is getting an asthma attack, follow the instructions in their asthma action plan. If they dont have an action plan or you arent sure what to do, follow the four steps of asthma first aid.
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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.
Uncontrolled Or Frequent Symptoms
Uncontrolled asthma is earmarked by daily symptoms, such as shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing. It is associated with respiratory disturbance, sleep disturbance, and nighttime flare-ups, all of which can cause daytime tiredness.
One 2013 on children found that those who had frequent asthmatic symptoms experienced daytime fatigue more often than those with occasional or no symptoms. This finding was independent of each childs sleep quality or the amount of time spent in bed.
Tips To Help Asthmatics Prevent Bronchitis
Nobody is immune to the bacteria and viruses responsible for most respiratory infections, but some people are better at dodging the threat. Smart precautions during cold and flu season are important, but you should also take steps to keep your surroundings clean and free of irritants all year round:
- Dont smoke, and stay away from people who do.
- Get a flu shot every year. The flu is a powerful respiratory illness that can complicate your lung health and asthma symptoms.
- Consider a pneumonia shot, if your age or another health condition puts you at greater risk.
- Drink plenty of fluids to keep your body hydrated, your throat moist, and your mucus thin.
- Avoid asthma and bronchitis triggers. Allergens, chemicals, pollution, and certain medications are known to spark asthma attacks, but can also set the stage for a bronchial infection.
You may not be able to control your work environment or the air quality outside, but try your best to keep a clean home. Use a HEPA filter vacuum and air purifier, dust often, and wash your bed linens regularly in hot water.
When you live with asthma, your top priority should be to help your airways however you can, which involves as much prevention and protection as symptom treatment.
Medical History And Physical Exam
Your doctor will ask about your risk factors for asthma and your . They may ask also about any known allergies. This includes how often symptoms occur, what seems to trigger your symptoms, when or where symptoms occur, and if your symptoms wake you up at night.
During the physical exam, your doctor may:
- Listen to your breathing and look for of asthma
- Look for allergic skin conditions, such as eczema
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Allergies Linked To Asthma
Allergies and asthma often coexist. Indoor allergies are a predictor of who might be at risk for an asthma diagnosis. One nationwide study showed levels of bacterial toxins called endotoxins in house dust were directly related to asthma symptoms.
Sources of other indoor allergens include animal proteins , dust mites, cockroaches, fungi, and mold. Changes that have made houses more “energy-efficient” over the years are thought to increase exposure to these causes of asthma.
Diagnosing The Cause Of Wheezing
Your doctor will ask you questions like:
- How long have you been wheezing?
- Does it happen when you exercise?
- Do you wheeze all the time?
- Do you wheeze more during the day, or at night?
- Does rest help control it?
- Do you wheeze when you breathe in, or out, or both in and out?
- Do you smoke?
- Do certain foods seem to cause your wheezing?
Theyâll listen to your breathing and the sounds your lungs make. They might do tests like:
- X-rays to get a picture of your lungs
- Lung function tests to see how well theyâre working
- Blood test to check your oxygen levels.
If your child is wheezing, their doctor might check to see if theyâve swallowed or inhaled something small.
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What Is An Asthma Trigger
A trigger is anything that irritates your airways. Asthma is caused by two types of triggers.
- Allergic trigger: cause allergic reactions. Allergic triggers include things like dust mites, pollens, moulds, pet dander,
- Non-allergic trigger: are usually irritants. Non-allergic triggers include things like smoke, cold air, certain air pollutants, intense emotions
Learn more about different types of asthma triggers and how to manage them.
Global Alliance Against Chronic Respiratory Diseases
The Global Alliance against Chronic Respiratory Diseases contributes to WHOs work to prevent and control chronic respiratory diseases. GARD is a voluntary alliance of national and international organizations and agencies from many countries committed to the vision of a world where all people breathe freely.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Wheezing
The symptoms of wheezing include a musical or whistling sound and labored breathing, particularly when exhaling sometimes they’re accompanied by a feeling of tightening in the chest. You can hear wheezing more loudly if you plug your ears and exhale rapidly, or by using a stethoscope to listen to breathing over the lungs.
What Organs Does Asthma Affect
Asthma is a respiratory illness that affects the lungs, trachea and bronchial passages. An asthma attack occurs when the respiratory system, collectively known as the airways, constricts and prevents oxygen from flowing freely into the body, according to Dr. Miles Weinberger, professor of pediatrics at University of Iowa Childrens Hospital.
The trachea is a long air tube leading from the neck to the upper chest cavity where it bisects to form the left and right bronchi. Each bronchus forks into several tiny passageways, or bronchioles, that deliver air to small sacs in the lungs known as alveoli. A smooth muscular lining runs throughout the airways and contains a membrane that produces mucus, which normally helps the respiratory system prevent the spread of bacteria in the lungs, says Dr. Weinberger.
During an asthma attack, the muscular lining swells or tightens, causing labored breathing, and the mucus membrane produces excess fluid, filling up the narrow airways, notes the American Lung Association. An asthmatics respiratory organs are sensitive to specific stimuli, such as dust, pet dander, smoke or cold weather. Untreated or incorrectly managed asthma can lead to long-term respiratory damage from repeated inflammation. When the respiratory system is permanently scarred, medications lose their effectiveness and the lungs may not be able to distribute air sufficiently.
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How Is Asthma Diagnosed
To diagnose asthma, a doctor will do a physical exam and ask about the persons medical history, including whether anyone else in the family has asthma.
The doctor might do tests like spirometry or peak flow meter tests. These involve blowing into devices that can measure how well the lungs are working. Allergy tests or exercise tests can tell doctors if asthma is brought on by allergens or physical activity. Doctors may use X-rays to rule out other problems.
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.
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Heres Why Your Asthma Gets Worse At Night
Having your sleep interrupted is annoying at best and, especially if it happens often, meltdown-inducing at worst. But when you wake up in the middle of a coughing fit or because you feel like youre breathing through a straw, the whole experience can take a terrifying turn.
Unfortunately, thats what some people with asthma have to deal with. It is very common for asthma to get worse at night, pulmonologist Ryan Thomas, M.D., director of the Multidisciplinary Severe Asthma Team at Michigan State University, tells SELF. This phenomenon, which experts sometimes refer to as nocturnal asthma, can make it far too difficult to get the amount of rest you need. It can also be a sign that you need to take steps to subdue your asthma before it gets even worse.
Your airways, which extend between your nose and mouth and your lungs, carry air in and out of your body, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute . Pretty key job, huh? But if you have asthma, those airways can get all puffy and inflamed when youre exposed to triggers like animal dander , pollen, mold, cold air, cigarette smoke, exercise, and respiratory infections like the flu, the NHLBI says. That swelling can then cause the muscles around your airways to tighten, and your airways may also expel more mucus than they usually do. The end result is the opposite of breathing easy: You might experience asthma symptoms like wheezing , coughing, shortness of breath, and chest pain or tightness.
Effect Of Obesity On Lung Volumes And Expiratory Flows
Although obesity significantly reduces functional residual capacity and expiratory reserve volume , it has very little effect on residual volume and total lung capacity . Several studies have demonstrated small reductions in TLC with increasing BMI, but TLC is usually well-preserved even in patients with severe obesity . RV is typically within the normal range in people with obesity , and the RV-to-TLC ratio, an indicator of gas trapping, is also normal or slightly increased .
Measurements of static pulmonary volumes combined with measurements of transpulmonary and transdiaphragmatic pressures have provided deeper insights into the effects of obesity on lung mechanics and subsequent lung volumes. A landmark study on the effect of obesity on lung volumes measured in the seated position demonstrated that esophageal and gastric pressure at FRC were significantly elevated in obese subjects as compared to their healthy counterparts who were matched for age, gender and height . Similar results were recorded in the supine position, and BMI correlated with gastric and esophageal pressures.
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How Is It Treated
The goal of treatment is to allow you to live a normal, active life. Proper treatment can reduce your day-to-day asthma problems as well as the chance that you will have a bad asthma attack or more problems in the future. Treatment will probably include prescribed medicines and the removal of obvious allergy-causing substances or irritants from your home.
Three types of medicines are used to control asthma:
- quick-relief medicines
- long-term-control medicines.
Albuterol is the generic name of the most widely used quick-relief medicine. It is a type of medicine called a bronchodilator. Bronchodilators relax the muscles in the airways. When the muscles are relaxed, the airways become larger, so there is more space for air to move in and out. You inhale the medicine by breathing it into your lungs as you spray it into your mouth. You use this medicine when you start to have an asthma attack. In some cases your provider may recommend that you use it on a regular schedule.
You should always carry a bronchodilator with you to use when you begin to wheeze. If you have exercise-induced asthma, you should use the medicine before exercise to prevent wheezing.
Steroid medicines for prolonged, severe attacks
Long-term-control medicines cannot stop attacks of wheezing after you have started wheezing. You must use a quick-relief medicine, such as albuterol, when you are wheezing.
The goals of controller medicines are to:
Explaining Your Symptoms To Your Gp
Its a good idea to start a diary of your symptoms before speaking to your GP. Taking note of when symptoms flare-up may help you to understand your triggers. This diary will then help your GP to understand and properly assess your condition. You could also try filming your symptoms if they are hard to describe.
There are several different tests for asthma – so your GP wont be able to diagnose you straightaway. Our advice on diagnosing asthma explains this process in more detail.
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What Causes Wheezing 10 Possible Reasons
Wheezing is a whistling sound that can be heard while breathing. This sound develops as air moves through narrowed airways and is most noticeable when you exhale though it can also be heard when you breathe in. Sometimes you can produce a kind of whistling sound when your nose gets congested too. This usually happens when you have a cold or nasal allergy. But unlike wheezing breathing will not be tight in this case. And rinsing your nasal passages with saline water can make the sound disappear.1 Wheezing usually points to deeper breathing problems. Lets take a look at some conditions that can cause it:
How Long Will The Effects Last
Asthma is a chronic condition, even though you might not have any symptoms for decades. Asthma is more common in children than adults. People who had asthma as children often have no symptoms once they become adults, but the symptoms may come back later in life. Asthma that develops for the first time in mid- or late life usually continues to be a problem for the rest of your life.
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Do Asthma Symptoms Feel Different At Night
Somewhere between 30 and 70% of people with asthma report symptoms of whats known as nocturnal asthma at least once a month1. Daytime asthma symptoms are no walk in the park, but nighttime asthma symptoms can be especially disruptive.
For one, asthma symptoms can wake you out of a dead sleep. Imagine if someone put a pillow over your face, Dr. Galiatsatos says. If they did it during the day, it would still be uncomfortable, but at night you have the added insult of being awakened out of sleep.
But who are these people with asthma who experience nighttime symptoms?
There are some patients who experience worse breathlessness at night for a variety of reasons, Dr. Galiatsatos explains. Some of it is that the physiological change in body temperature could be enough to set off someones asthma. When Im told asthma is awakening a patient at night I have to think about whats going on in that bedroom.
Some questions to ask yourself are: Do you sleep with your pet? Get in bed without showering off the days pollutants? Slumber with the windows open? If you answered yes to any of these things, one simple solution is to address those behaviors. Simply having your pet sleep in another room, showering before bed, or closing the windows to keep irritants out of the room may be enough to reduce the discomfort.