How Is Asthma Prevented And Treated
There is no cure for asthma. Control symptoms by taking asthma medicines and avoiding your triggers. With proper;treatment;and an;asthma management plan, you can reduce your symptoms and enjoy a better quality of life.
Talk to your health care provider about your asthma symptoms and be sure to discuss any changes in your asthma management or status.
How Asthma Is Treated
While there is no cure for asthma, there are a number of treatments that can help control the condition.
Treatment is based on two important goals, which are:
- relieving symptoms;
- preventing future symptoms and attacks
For most people, this will involve the occasional or, more commonly, daily use of medications, usually taken using an inhaler. However, identifying and avoiding possible triggers is also important.
You should have a personal asthma action plan agreed with your doctor or nurse that includes information about the medicines you need to take, how to recognise when your symptoms are getting worse, and what steps to take when they do so.
These symptoms are often worse at night and early in the morning, particularly if the condition is not well controlled. They may also develop or become worse in response to a certain trigger, such as exercise or exposure to an allergen.
Read our page on the;causes of asthma for more information about potential triggers.
Speak to your GP if you think you or your child may have asthma. You should also talk to your doctor or asthma nurse if you have been diagnosed with asthma and you are finding it difficult to control the symptoms.
What Are The Signs Of A Severe Asthma Attack
Asthma may lead to a medical emergency.
Rescue inhalers can help you: otc inhalers
Seek medical help immediately for:
- Fast breathing with chest retractions
- Cyanosis which is tissue color changes on mucus membranes and fingertips or nail beds – the color appears grayish or whitish on darker skin tones and bluish on lighter skin tones
- Rapid movement of nostrils
- Ribs or stomach moving in and out deeply and rapidly
- Expanded chest that does not deflate when you exhale
- Infants with asthma who fail to respond to or recognize parents
Recommended Reading: What Is The Safest Inhaler For Asthma
Q: What Happens To The Lungs During A More Severe Case Of Covid
Dr. Connolly: For some people, the infection becomes more serious and the lung tissue itself becomes swollen and filled with fluid and debris from dead cells which is clinically referred to as pneumonia.
This fluid build-up can affect a persons oxygen levels, and pneumonia can be mild, moderate, severe or even life-threatening, depending on how impaired gas transfer becomes and how difficult it is to breathe.
If the transfer of oxygen into the blood stream is reduced, a person will often need supplemental oxygen and very close monitoring in a hospital setting.
In very serious cases, a person may need to be placed on ventilator support in the ICU.
Early on during the pandemic, there were a lot of unknowns about how contagious the virus could become during various medical interventions. Time and experience has taught us a lot about this virus, and now were able to more safely use several noninvasive breathing and oxygen devices, as well as techniques such as prone positioning before we have to resort to full life support with a ventilator.
Pain In The Right Side Under Ribs
The main reasons for painful aches or sharp jabbing pains in your right rib cage are some kind of chest injury such as pulled muscle or rib injury. Damaging any of your right-hand ribs will feel sore when you press on the injured rib. Sometimes the injury can cause inflammation in your ribs and breastbone which may cause the rib pain to worsen.
Your liver, right lung, right kidney, and gallbladder are all located under your right rib cage. Disease, inflammation, or damage to any of these organs can cause pain in your right side under the chest wall that may feel like rib cage pain.
You May Like: Can Asthma Cause Back Pain
When To See A Doctor
Whether you have been diagnosed with asthma or not, it is important that you get medical help for your chest tightness.
Consider going to an emergency room if:
- The discomfort is severe.
- You have associated chest pain, tachypnea , nausea, sweating, dizziness, or fainting.
- The sensation is localized to a specific area of your chest.
- Your chest tightness is associated with physical activity or progressively worsens.
- You have a feeling of impending doom or that something is horribly wrong.
- You experience mild chest tightness at the same time every day or when your asthma medicine is wearing off.
- You only experience chest tightness along with your other asthma symptoms.
- You started having occasional chest tightness when you had a change in your asthma medication.
- Your chest tightness improves when you use your asthma rescue treatment, but is recurrent.
What Is Asthmatic Bronchitis
Asthmatic bronchitis refers to the incidence of acute bronchitis in a person with asthma. Acute bronchitis is a respiratory disease that causes inflammation in the bronchi, the passageways that move air into and out of the lungs. This inflammation results in respiratory congestion and shortness of breath. Asthma is a disorder that causes inflammation of the airways, leading to shortness of breath, chronic cough, chest tightness, and wheezing.
Acute bronchitis is a common respiratory disorder in the United States. Infants, young children, and elderly people have the highest risk of developing acute bronchitis. Acute bronchitis is commonly caused by upper respiratory viral infections. If you have asthma, your risk of acute bronchitis is increased because of an increased sensitivity to airway irritation and inflammation. Your risk of acute bronchitis is also increased if you smoke or are exposed to air pollution.
The signs and symptoms of asthmatic bronchitis vary among individuals, depending on the severity of the infection. Treatment for asthmatic bronchitis includes antibiotics, bronchodilators, anti-inflammatory drugs, and pulmonary hygiene techniques such as chest percussion and postural drainage .
Healthy lifestyle practices, including good hand washing, drinking plenty of fluids, following a well-balanced diet, getting plenty of rest, and avoid smoking, can help prevent or improve asthmatic bronchitis.
Also Check: How To Stop Allergy Induced Asthma
What Causes Asthmatic Bronchitis
Asthmatic bronchitis refers to the occurrence of acute bronchitis in conjunction with asthma . Acute bronchitis is a respiratory disease that causes inflammation in the bronchi, the passageways that move air into and out of the lungs. The inflammation results in respiratory congestion and shortness of breath. The most common cause of asthmatic bronchitis is an upper viral respiratory infection.
Frightening Symptoms Of Anxiety
Chest tightness is an anxiety symptom that often causes a severe amount of distress. That is because chest tightness has a negative connotation that links it to severe health conditions. This can be very daunting for individuals who do not know much about the physical effects of stress and anxiety in their lives.
Read Also: Can An Asthma Attack Kill You
Acid Reflux And Headaches
While there are no studies showing that gastrointestinal disorders can lead to headaches, there are publications that illustrate how gastric problems, in particular acid reflux, can coincide with headaches.;
A study involving 43,782 patients studies the possible prevalence of headaches in patients with gastrointestinal problems. Compared to diarrhea and constipation, patients with acid reflux symptoms report higher prevalence of headaches.;
Another study involving 1,832 migraine patients were tested for heartburn and GERD symptoms. Of the group, 22% reported GERD diagnosis, 11.6% reported heartburn, and another 15.8% reported previously undiagnosed reflux symptoms.;
These studies show that patients with acid reflux problems also tend to experience headaches, although there are no clear reasons why. Although unclear, doctors confirm that treating gastrointestinal problems also alleviates headache symptoms, which is how acid reflux-related headaches are treated.;
How Is It Evaluated
If chest discomfort is your main symptom, the first step is to rule out a life-threatening problem.2 Your provider will focus on questions such as:4
- When did the pain or discomfort start?
- How has it changed?
- Where do you feel the pain?
- How would you describe the pain?
- What factors make it better or worse?
Your initial evaluation may include an electrocardiogram and chest x-ray, unless there is an obvious and non-threatening cause of chest discomfort.4 Your provider probably will not even consider asthma until he or she is sure that you do not have an immediately threatening condition.2
Recommended Reading: Why Are Asthma And Eczema Related
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.
What Types Of Asthma Are There
Healthcare providers identify asthma as intermittent or persistent . Persistent asthma can be mild, moderate or severe. Healthcare providers base asthma severity on how often you have attacks. They also consider how well you can do things during an attack.
Asthma can be:
- Allergic: Some peoples allergies can cause an asthma attack. Molds, pollens and other allergens can cause an attack.
- Non-allergic: Outside factors can cause asthma to flare up. Exercise, stress, illness and weather may cause a flare.
Don’t Miss: Can You Die In Your Sleep From Asthma
Ways To Reduce Chest Pressure
When you are experiencing chest pressure and/or tightness, the key is to try to figure out the potential causes. Once you deem anxiety to be the cause of the symptom, the next goal is to stop it. See the following examples:
- Hyperventilation: Try to get your breathing under control by taking slower, deeper breaths and not trying to over-breathe or breathe too fast. When youre experiencing hyperventilation, you may feel as though youre not getting enough air, but hyperventilation occurs when you have expelled more CO2 than you make. So breathing more slowly helps to rebuild those CO2 levels.;
- Bloating/Heartburn: If you can potentially reduce/prevent any gas, do so. You may also want to consider taking an antacid or drinking water, which may help with bloating or heartburn. Heartburn can be improved by eating more slowly, decreasing the amounts of spicy foods you consume, and staying upright for at least 30 minutes after eating. Also, avoid heartburn-inducing foods like peppermint, chocolate, coffee or caffeinated beverages, tomatoes, alcohol, and citrus fruits;
- Muscle Strain: Be mindful of lifting or carrying items that are too heavy. Make sure to stretch and warm up your muscles before doing any strenuous activities.;
These are only temporary fixes. Remember that your chest pressure and/or tightness is often related to some type of anxiety issue or anxiety disorder. That means that the only way to prevent the chest pressure from returning is to learn to manage your anxiety.
Arm Pain: Heartburn Or Something Else
Heart attack survivors often recount their first symptom as a heartburn-like sensation. Many patients explicitly use the word heartburn when recounting their cardiac experience. Patients often realize that their heartburn is in fact not reflux-related but heart-related when:
- There is a pain radiating up the arm, specifically the left arm
- They have no history of acid reflux
- There is a burning sensation in the chest
- They have not eaten anything prior to the pain;
- The pain doesnt go away with antacid;
If your heartburn symptoms dont go away after taking an antacid, and are accompanied by arm pain and back pain, we suggest going to an emergency facility immediately to get medical help.;
Don’t Miss: Can Asthma Symptoms Last For Weeks
What Causes Muscle Spasms In The Chest
A spasm is an involuntary contraction of a muscle, and it can occur anywhere in the body. However, when that spasm occurs in the chest, its cause for alarm.
Some conditions, like thyroid disease, anemia, diabetes, heart issues, and nervous system glitches can cause these uncomfortable spasms.
Though, anything that is chest related needs to be evaluated by a physician to make sure its not heart-related.
Personal Asthma Action Plan
As part of your initial assessment, you should be encouraged to draw up a personal asthma action plan with your GP or asthma nurse.
If you’ve been admitted to hospital because of an asthma attack, you should be offered an action plan before you go home.
The action plan should include information about your asthma medicines, and will help you recognise when your symptoms are getting worse and what steps to take. You should also be given information about what to do if you have an asthma attack.
Your personal asthma action plan should be reviewed with your GP or asthma nurse at least once a year, or more frequently if your symptoms are severe.
As part of your asthma plan, you may be given a peak flow meter. This will give you another way of monitoring your asthma, rather than relying only on symptoms, so you can recognise deterioration earlier and take appropriate steps.
Want to know more?
Quit Smoking Therapy And Medication
Answer our clinicians’ questions to get medication to help you stop smoking for $25 and skip the doctor’s office.
Only available in: CA, NY, TX, FL, IL, NC, PA, OH, MI, and WA
Having chest pain can be a frightening experience that causes much unwanted anxiety. Of course, theres no way to have a relaxed episode of chest pain. Chest pain scares everyone and it’s helpful to be as informed as well. If you have time, besides the comprehensive list below, please also check out our interview with a renowned Harvard professor on ways to differentiate heart attack or normal tightness in chest.
The good news is that most causes of chest pain are not nearly as serious as the pain might suggest. Often, chest pains are a cause of an unresolved anxiety or panic attack disorder, heartburn or gastric distress, GERD, IBS, and other issues.
However, sudden chest pain that comes out of nowhere, when you havent eaten recently and have not experienced some type of great physical or mental traumaespecially if the pain is sudden, sharp, recurring and fading, or is accompanied by any numbing of the limbsthen, please, take no chances! Get help!
The following list of chest pain and its possible causes will explain whats normal and whats not in terms of chest pain.
Another Doctors Take On Angina Symptoms Vs Asthma From Exercise
Angina is a pain in the chest that may spread to the shoulders, arms or neck, says Walter Gaman, MD, FABFM, board certified in family medicine and the author of several award-winning books including Age to Perfection: How to Thrive to 100, Happy, Healthy, and Wise.
So right off the bat, if chest pain is accompanied by shoulder, arm or neck pain, this points heavily to angina.
But not all angina episodes involve the shoulder, arms or neck. Sometimes theres just the chest pain.
Its caused when the heart is not supplied with an adequate amount of blood, says Dr. Gaman.
The heart needs oxygen to work properly, and oxygen gets to the heart through the blood. This pain is associated with underlying coronary artery disease where the vessels of the heart have narrowing.
Angina is generally relieved with nitroglycerin and does not usually present with shortness of breath.
But that doesnt mean shortness of breath is not impossible with clogged arteries.
Sometimes, coronary artery disease will make itself known via feeling you cant get enough oxygen.
For example, a walk to the corner mailbox suddenly feels like you just walked up several flights of stairs: Youre uncharacteristically short of breath.
Many patients mistake angina for indigestion, adds Dr. Gaman. Because the heart requires more oxygen and more blood during exercise, angina may present during exercise or times of stress.
Read Also: How Long Can An Asthma Attack Last
Rare Symptoms Of Acid Reflux: When You Should Be Worried
Acid reflux may be a common gastrointestinal problem, but it turns out its symptoms are not always that common. From headaches to nerve pain, there are uncommon acid reflux symptoms that can cause alarm and panic to patients.;
So, what are rare acid reflux symptoms? Headaches, dizziness, asthma symptoms, and nerve pain are among those considered to be uncommon but safe acid reflux symptoms. On the other hand, fever and intense pain accompanied by left arm pain are just two examples of potential medical emergencies for reflux patients.
Read on to learn more about the lesser known acid reflux symptoms, and whether or not they pose a health risk.
Asthma And Chest Pain
If you have asthma, your immune system can cause your airways to become inflamed and swollen when youre around certain irritants. This can lead to chest tightness, pressure, or pain.
Studies show that chest pain, along with other non-respiratory symptoms, frequently occur before or during an asthma attack. If you experience chest pain after an asthma attack, it could be because youre sore from the coughing, deep breathing, or other symptoms you experienced.
Coughing, deep breathing, and changing positions can all worsen chest pain in people with asthma.
Read Also: Is Asthma A Type Of Copd
How Is Asthmatic Bronchitis Treated
Treatment for asthmatic bronchitis begins with seeking medical care from your health care provider. The goal of treatment for asthmatic bronchitis is to reduce asthma-related bronchospasm and reduce congestion caused by the acute bronchitis. Asthma medications include long-term asthma control medications to prevent asthma attacks, which is especially important in the case of acute bronchitis. Short-term asthma medications are given in the event of an asthma attack. Acute bronchitis is not normally treated with antibiotics, since the most common cause is a viral infection. Expectorants can help thin mucus in the airways, making it easier to cough up mucus.