Care Advice For Asthma Attack
Coughing Up Mucus Is Not Normal And It Should Raise The Alarm That Something Is Wrong
– Irina Petrache, MD, Chief of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at National Jewish Health.
If you are experiencing excess mucus production, there are steps you can take to help prevent and clear the mucus in your lungs. Discuss these options with your healthcare provider to find a strategy that works for you, and together you and your healthcare provider can monitor the results.
It is important to have a frank and open conversation with your healthcare provider about your mucus production and any other symptoms of your chronic lung disease. It can help to write down your questions before your appointment and hand them over. You may also find it useful to print out Getting Ready for Your Next Office Visit to jot down your questions in a more formal way.
Living with a chronic lung disease can be challenging. The American Lung Association has a wealth of resources available to help you. You can attend a Better Breathers Club meeting to get support from others also dealing with similar issues. By joining the Better Breathers Network, you have access to information that may help you better manage your lung disease. And you could also join an online support community on Inspire to connect with others at all hours.
The American Lung Association HelpLine is staffed by medical professionals who can answer questions you have about symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and management of your chronic lung disease.
Blog last updated: July 14, 2021
Know The Asthma Symptoms In Children
Asthma affects as many as 10% to 12% of children in the United States and is the leading cause of chronic illness in children. For unknown reasons, the incidence of asthma in children is steadily increasing. While asthma symptoms can begin at any age, most children have their first asthma symptoms by age 5.
For more detail, see WebMDÃ¢s Asthma in Children.
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Can Allergies Cause A Sore Throat
So, the short answer here is yes, Evan Li, MD, an allergist and assistant professor of medicine specializing in immunology, allergy and rheumatology at Baylor College of Medicine, tells Health. A sore throat can be from a direct inflammatory effect of allergens on the back of your throat, from mucus draining down into your throat, or from the irritating effect of coughing.
Sneezing, congestion, itchy eyes and nose, and runny nose are the most common symptoms associated with seasonal allergies, Kelly Simpson, MD, an allergist at Austin Regional Clinic in Austin, Texas, tells Health. But sore throat can also be added to that list, often caused by whats referred to as postnasal drip. This is when increased mucus in the nasal passages drips down the back of the throat. As it drips down, it irritates the throat.
Postnasal drip, other than causing sore throat, can also cause the sensation of something getting stuck in your throat, tickling or itching in the back of your throat and also irritation that leads to cough, Dr. Li says.
No one allergen is more prone to causing sore throat than others, but the more potent the allergen, the more likely it is to cause symptoms of allergies overall, Dr. Li says. Some of the most potent allergens are grasses, ragweed, dust mites and cat dander.
History And Physical Examination
Your physical examination will include checking your vital signs, such as your temperature, pulse, and breathing rate. A fever can be an indication of an infection. Rapid breathing or a rapid heart rate can be a sign of a severe infection or an impending asthma attack.
Your healthcare provider will listen to your breathing sounds with a stethoscope, which will help determine whether your congestion is on one side of the lungs or both.
- Generally, with asthma and allergies, congestion affects both lungs.
- Congestion can be limited to one lung or one section of a lung when there is another cause, such as an infection.
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Do You Have An Asthma Cough
Asthma cough can be challenging.
It can be embarrassing or awkward to have an ongoing cough, especially amid increased anxiety over health during COVID-19 times.
When we released a blog last year on COVID-19 and asthma coughing, it had a huge response. People with asthma told us about the stigma and social isolation they were feeling about their coughing during the pandemic.
A cough is a way the body attempts to expel irritants in the lungs. But when the cough is due to inflammation of the lungs in asthma, and exposure to triggers, then the cough can continue.
Here is what you need to know about asthma cough.
In asthma, the airways are inflamed and overly responsive to triggers, such as cold and dry air, colds and flu, smoke, dust, and pollens. For some people, the coughing can start after exercise.
The amount and severity of cough can change depending on the weather and the season.
Taking your preventer medication as prescribed, and in line with your , may improve the cough symptoms by reducing the inflammation in the airways.
We encourage you if you are experiencing any asthma symptoms, to speak with your doctor as it may indicate that you are due for an asthma review.
What Types Of Asthma Are There
Asthma is broken down into types based on the cause and the severity of symptoms. Healthcare providers identify asthma as:
- Intermittent: This type of asthma comes and goes so you can feel normal in between asthma flares.
- Persistent: Persistent asthma means you have symptoms much of the time. Symptoms can be mild, moderate or severe. Healthcare providers base asthma severity on how often you have symptoms. They also consider how well you can do things during an attack.
Asthma has multiple causes:
- Allergic: Some peoples allergies can cause an asthma attack. Allergens include things like molds, pollens and pet dander.
- Non-allergic: Outside factors can cause asthma to flare up. Exercise, stress, illness and weather may cause a flare.
Asthma can also be:
- Adult-onset: This type of asthma starts after the age of 18.
- Pediatric: Also called childhood asthma, this type of asthma often begins before the age of 5, and can occur in infants and toddlers. Children may outgrow asthma. You should make sure that you discuss it with your provider before you decide whether your child needs to have an inhaler available in case they have an asthma attack. Your childs healthcare provider can help you understand the risks.
In addition, there are these types of asthma:
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2- Watson S. The Truth About Mucus. WebMD. Apr 10, 2014. Accessed Apr 27, 2021. https://www.webmd.com/allergies/features/the-truth-about-mucus#:~:text=Even%20when%20you%27re%20healthy%2C%20your%20body%20is%20a,of%20it%2C%20but%20because%20its%20consistency%20has%20changed.
3- Martinucci I, de Bortoli N, Savarino E, et al. Optimal treatment of laryngopharyngeal reflux disease. Ther Adv Chronic Dis. 2013 4:287-301. doi:10.1177/2040622313503485
4- Mayo Clinic Staff. Asthma. Mayo Clinic. Aug 11, 2020. Accessed Apr 27, 2021. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/asthma/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20369660
5- Leonie JT, Balter JA, Aldred S, Drayson MT, Jet JCS, van Zanten V, Higgs S, Raymond JE, Mazaheri A. Selective effects of acute low-grade inflammation on human visual attention,
NeuroImage, Volume 202, 2019, 116098, ISSN 1053-8119, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2019.116098.
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Symptoms Associated With Asthma Cough
A cough is a very common asthma symptom. In some people, cough is sometimes the only noticeable symptom of the condition.
When figuring out whether your cough is due to asthma or not, it may be helpful to assess any other related symptoms you have.
Other possible asthma symptoms include:
- chest tightness
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You Experience Shortness Of Breath
Another annoying symptom of cat allergies is feeling like you just cant catch your breath. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America says, Many airborne particles are small enough to get into the lungs. For some, this exposure can cause severe breathing problems. Highly sensitive people can begin coughing, wheezing and have shortness of breath within 15 to 30 minutes of inhaling allergens.
What Are The Manifestations Of Coughing
Asthma cough reflex and throat clearing are common phenomenons. Usually, they go away on their own. Most people self treat and dont seek medical attention. However, sometimes these symptoms become chronic, which is defined as coughing or throat clearing that persists for 8 or more weeks. This is usually when people seek help. The best path to finding the best treatment options begins by seeing a doctor and getting a proper diagnosis.
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How Do I Get Rid Of Mucus In My Lungs
Use your stomach muscles to forcefully expel the air. Avoid a hacking cough or merely clearing the throat. A deep cough is less tiring and more effective in clearing mucus out of the lungs. Huff Coughing: Huff coughing, or huffing, is an alternative to deep coughing if you have trouble clearing your mucus.
7 Causes Of Increased Mucus In Your Lungs
The Connection Between Lungs And Heart
The lungs and the heart work very closely and are heavily dependent on each other. One of the primary functions of the heart is to supply oxygen to other parts of the body. And oxygen enters the body through lungs. So if theres any issue with the health of your lungs, the heart has to work harder to circulate oxygen throughout the body. All of this means that healthy lungs play a critical role in heart health.
What Are The Signs Of An Asthma Flare
Asthma flare-ups can vary in strength and length. They can happen without warning, causing sudden coughing, shortness of breath, and wheezing.
Flare-ups should be treated right away. So its important to know their early warning signs, including:
- restless sleep or coughing that prevents sleep
- mild chest tightness or wheezing
If the flare-up is severe, a kid might:
- struggle to breathe or have fast breathing even when sitting still
- be unable to speak more than a few words at a time without pausing
- have retractions while breathing in
Because they can be life-threatening, flare-ups demand attention. Your child might need to take quick-relief medicine , visit the doctor, or even go to the hospital.
When To Talk With Your Doctor
Most of the time, mucus is a mild annoyance or a frustrating symptom. However, in certain situations, you may want to bring up mucus with your doctor. The color of your mucus can indicate if there is a bigger issue at hand. If your mucus is clear to slightly white color, this is considered normal. If your mucus is green, this can signal an infection. If it is streaked with red, this could mean that there is an infection in your chest, and you should see your doctor.1
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Foods That Relieve Or Cause Throat Mucus
Nutrition can play a role in throat mucus, too. Some foods can actually contribute to throat mucus and other foods can help relieve it. Although every person is different and may have their own unique triggers, here are some of the common foods to avoid with mucus in the throat, and foods to enjoy as they can help reduce mucus.
Foods that cause excessive mucus production:
- Dairy products like milk, ice cream, yogurt, and cheese
- High-fat red meat and processed meat
- Gluten products especially in people with a gluten allergy
- Caffeine particularly the variety found in soda
- Fruits and vegetables, like bananas, cabbage, and potatoes
Foods that relieve mucus:
- Fruits and vegetables like garlic, celery, onions, parsley, winter squash, berries, oranges, greens, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and peppers
What You Can Do At Home
To control or loosen mucus at home, you can try the following remedies:
Humidify. Try a cool mist humidifier or hop into a steamy shower to keep your airways moisturized.
Try a teaspoon of honey. Though honey doesnt get rid of mucus, it can calm your cough temporarily.
Check air filters. Other irritants in the air can make mucus production worse, so make sure your heating and cooling system filters are clean and up to date.
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Is All Asthma The Same
Asthma is quite variable. Symptoms can range from trivial and infrequent in some to severe, unrelenting, and dangerous in others. Even when severe, however, the airway obstruction is usually fully reversible, either spontaneously or as a result of treatment. This means that symptoms can be relieved, airway obstruction can be reversed, and pulmonary function can be made normal.
There are different patterns of asthma. Some people have only an intermittent pattern of disease. They have self-limited episodes of varying severity followed by extended symptom-free periods. The individual episodes are frequently triggered by viral respiratory infections . This is particularly common in young children in whom viral respiratory infections are frequent . Others have these intermittent symptomatic periods brought on by vigorous exertion, cold air, or specific environmental exposures. This pattern is intermittent asthma.
More prolonged periods of symptoms occur in people who have asthma from seasonal outdoor inhalant allergens. This may be from grass pollen on the West Coast or mold spores from molds that grow on decaying vegetation in the Midwest. Through a knowledge of the aerobiology in your area and allergy skin testing, your physician can attempt to identify whether the symptoms fit into this pattern of disease. This pattern is seasonal allergic asthma.
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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to suggest diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. Lung Health Institute operates in compliance with CFR Title 21 Part 1271.15 Regulation.
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Mucus Hypersecretion In Airflow Obstruction And Airway Hyperresponsiveness
Autopsy studies in Germany in the 1880s first identified widespread airway mucus plugging as a central cause of death from asthma . These findings have been repeatedly confirmed , and a recent quantitative study of fatal asthma found more than 98% of airways occluded to some extent by mucus . However, the contribution of mucus hypersecretion to airflow obstruction in nonfatal asthma relative to other contributors to airway closure such as extravasated plasma and to airway narrowing from smooth muscle contraction and wall thickening remains to be determined . The increase in baseline airway and lung tissue resistance in Foxa2 knockout mice with spontaneous Muc5ac overproduction supports a substantial role for mucus .