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?
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 Is The Prognosis And Life Expectancy For A Person Copd Vs Asthma
The prognosis for COPD ranges from fair to poor and depends on how rapidly COPD advances over time. In general, individuals with COPD have a decrease in their lifespan according to research.
If you have asthma, the prognosis for most people ranges from fair to excellent, depending upon how well you can identify what triggers your attacks, and your response to medication.
You May Like: Chihuahua Cures Asthma
Possible Complication Of Bronchitis: Adult
Serologic evidence of previous infection with C. pneumoniae has been found in some adults with new-onset asthma.36 Consequently, considerable attention has been focused on whether adult-onset asthma is frequently preceded by a chlamydial respiratory infection.11,12 Both Chlamydia trachomatis37 and C. pneumoniae38 have been cultured from the sputum of children with asthma. However, no prevalence studies have assessed the frequency with which patients who have respiratory illnesses such as bronchitis are infected with Chlamydia species and the percentage of these patients who progress to asthma.
The reversibility of bronchial inflammation when chlamydial infections are treated is uncertain. In one small open-label study of patients in a single practice,39 bronchial obstruction was reversed in about one half of the patients who received antibiotic therapy. The patients who responded to antibiotics tended to have serologic evidence of acute infection or infection for a shorter period of time compared with the patients who did not respond to antibiotic therapy. While this evidence is still preliminary, it suggests that early treatment of persistent wheezing with agents effective against Chlamydia species may prevent the development of asthmatic symptoms in adults. Further studies that confirm the effectiveness of antichlamydial therapy would be useful in guiding treatment decisions.
Read the full article.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
You might make more mucus than normal when you have COPD. Your airways and air sacs can also stop working the right way. Thatâs because they get hurt or inflamed.
Other than a âsmokerâs cough,â there are other signs to watch for:
- Itâs easy to run out of breath.
- Doing something active makes you winded.
- Your lungs whistle or squeak.
- Your symptoms get worse with time.
Treatment can help ease your symptoms. But thereâs no cure for COPD. If you smoke, quit. You may also need to take medicine to help you breathe. Lifestyle changes might help, as well. Talk with your doctor if you think you may have COPD.
Read Also: How Can U Get Asthma
Side Effects Of Steroid Tablets
Oral steroids carry a risk if they are taken for more than three months or if they are taken frequently . Side effects can include:
- easy bruising ;
- muscle weakness
With the exception of increased appetite, which is very commonly experienced by people taking oral steroids, most of these unwanted effects are uncommon.
However, it is a good idea to keep an eye out for them regularly, especially side effects that are not immediately obvious, such as high blood pressure, thinning of the bones, diabetes and glaucoma.
You will need regular appointments to check for these.
Want to know more?
Asthma And Copd: The Similarities And Differences
They are both lung diseases and affect the airways, and they have similar symptoms, including cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, and chest tightening, said David A. Beuther, MD, chief medical information officer at National Jewish Health in Denver and an assistant professor in the division of pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine.
Asthma and COPD are both diagnosed with a simple lung function test known as spirometry, and the treatments are also similar. But the severity of your breathing problems and how responsive they are to treatment remain the best ways to determine whether it is asthma or COPD that is causing your symptoms.
The main difference is that the lung function decline with asthma is more reversible, Dr. Beuther said. There are much more severe lung function abnormalities in the COPD crowd than the asthma crowd. People with COPD have more chronic symptoms. They cough up mucus and phlegm even on a good day, where an asthmatic may have periods of time where they feel fine and then experience a flare.
The reasons for flares may also differ. Asthma attacks may occur in response to known triggers, such as allergens or exercise. COPD exacerbations usually follow respiratory ills, such as the flu or the common cold.
Don’t Miss: Can You Be Born With Asthma
What Are The Symptoms Of Asthma
Asthma also has other symptoms in common with colds and allergies, but signs that set asthma apart include:
- A worsening cough at night, or when you are laughing or physically active.
- Difficulty breathing.
- Children with asthma may experience skin tightening around their ribs as they breathe rapidly.
- Children may also experience colds much more frequently than expected or may find that it takes much longer to recover.;
How To Know If Your Seemingly Harmless Cough Is Actually Asthma
Having a cough is a clear sign that something just isnt right in your lungs. It can be easy to chalk it up to something like a lingering cold, your partners smoking habit, or another obvious culprit, but sometimes a cough can actually point to a sneaky health condition like asthma.
For the record, you dont just have to live with a constant cough, even if it feels like yours has been with you since birth. I have patients who come in and say, I dont have any problems, but I have a cough, Raymond Casciari, M.D., a pulmonologist at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, California, tells SELF. But a cough is never normal.
If youre coughing, it means your lungs are trying to eject irritants or goopy fluids like mucus, the Mayo Clinic explains. With that in mind, it makes perfect sense that coughing happens to be a hallmark of asthma, which messes with the tubes that carry air in and out of your body. Under normal circumstances, these airways do their job with no trouble. But if you have asthma, your airways overreact to triggering substances by tightening, swelling, and pumping out too much mucus. All that adds up to having more trouble breathing than usual. You may also experience symptoms like wheezing , chest pain or tightness, and yup, a cough, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute .
So, how do you know if your hacking might indicate that you have asthma? Here are signs to keep in mind.
Don’t Miss: How To Know If You Have Copd Or Asthma
What Is An Asthma Cough
An asthma cough is commonly known as cough variant asthma. In fact, it surprises many people to learn that cough variant asthma is also a type of asthma which is only marked by the presence of a dry and nonproductive cough. Most types of asthma have the patient suffering from some kind of breathing problem, typically shortness of breath and wheezing. However, in an asthma cough, the individual presents with no traditional asthma symptoms and therefore, this condition often fails to be diagnosed correctly.
In spite of the fact that an asthma cough does not have any of the traditional asthma symptoms, it does have an impact on the body. This includes:
- An asthma cough increases your risk of catching other allergic conditions
- It increases the bodys sensitivity to allergens, particularly the sensitivity of the airways
- An asthma cough can cause swelling and narrowing of the airways, thus causing disruption in air flow
Cough variant asthma is often also known as a chronic cough because doctors use this term to refer to a cough that lasts for over 6 to 8 weeks. If you have an asthma cough, you will be coughing either during the day or during the night. In particular, nighttime asthma cough is considered to be worse, as it often causes disturbed sleep. Asthma a cough also becomes worse with exercise. This condition is then referred to as exercise-induced asthma. Dust, strong perfumes, cold air, or any allergy-triggering factors can increase asthma coughing.
Cough Reflex Is Common
As you may have already noticed, a cough reflex in those of us with asthma is common. However, treating cough may not be as simple. First, things first, is the cough related to uncontrolled asthma? Would be a reassessment of symptoms and treatment be warranted? Remember those pesky triggers? Could they be at work here? I know that I reviewed if I had come into another type of trigger. The seasons were changing and with that was a lot more tree allergens floating around. I wondered if my allergies were changing.
Have you experienced bouts of significant cough? What was your experience and how did you get through that patch? I would love to hear your tips and tricks! Share in the comments below.
Recommended Reading: What Happens To The Alveoli During An Asthma Attack
Chapter : When Should I Take A Cough Syrup And What Kind Of Cough Syrup Should I Use
Over-the-counter cough remedies are most appropriate for symptomatic relief during upper respiratory tract infections . They can provide relief from troublesome cough during self-limited, non-serious illnesses. A cough suppressant can be particularly helpful at bedtime to minimize sleep disturbance due to cough. Cough remedies are not appropriate for suppression of coughs that are of long duration or uncertain cause or that complicate serious underlying lung diseases, unless a medical evaluation is performed .
Cough may also be a manifestation of asthma. If you are coughing because asthma has caused narrowing of your bronchial tubes , then the best treatments are medications that help your asthma, not over-the-counter cough remedies.
Most over-the-counter cough remedies contain guaifenesin and/or dextromethorphan to suppress cough. Different preparations add an antihistamine , a decongestant , and/or acetaminophen for control of other symptoms of a cold. Cough lozenges usually contain menthol to soothe the throat and perhaps decrease the cough reflex. Some cough syrups contain as much as 10% alcohol. Persons with asthma and aspirin sensitivity should carefully read the labels of cold remedies to ensure that no aspirin is contained in the product.
Let us know your thoughts on Breath of Fresh Air! Partners Asthma Center
What Are The Causes Of Each
Viruses, such as those that cause the common cold, can cause bronchitis as well.
People coming in contact with viruses is how these germs are spread. This can happen when someone else coughs nearby or if they touch an infected persons hands.
People who also have gastroesophageal reflux disease can get acute bronchitis if stomach acid refluxes up and into their airways.
Doctors do not know exactly why people develop asthma. They do know that people with a family history of asthma or allergies are more likely to have the condition.
Being exposed at an early age to viruses that cause respiratory infections may also contribute.
People with bronchitis should drink plenty of fluids.
There is no cure for bronchitis because a virus is the cause of the condition.
A person should instead engage in actions and behaviors that will support their immune system and give it time to fight off the virus.
Methods to treat bronchitis include:
- drinking plenty of fluids
- getting plenty of rest
- taking over-the-counter cough medicines
A doctor may sometimes prescribe an inhaler with a medication designed to help the airways open more if a person is experiencing significant wheezing related to their bronchitis.
An example of this treatment is an albuterol inhaler. This is the same medication doctors also use to treat asthma.
Avoiding asthma triggers, such as smoke, allergens, or other irritants, can also help.
You May Like: How To Calm Down Asthma Symptoms
What Is A Wet Cough
A wet cough is a common symptom of respiratory infection, , and heart conditions. The medical term for a wet cough is productive cough. A wet cough results from the presence of mucus or other fluid within the upper or lower respiratory tract. It may occur in conditions affecting one or both lungs, the bronchi, the larynx, or the pharynx. It may also be associated with more generalized conditions, such as a cold, , or the flu.
Specific causes of a wet cough include infection and inflammation of the lungs and bronchi . Other specific causes include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease , bronchiectasis , cystic fibrosis, and tuberculosis. of the lung is a common cause of a wet cough that may bring up bloody sputum . Allergies involving the lungs can also cause a wet cough.
Heart conditions can lead to a wet ; serious causes include fluid buildup in the lungs due to an acute episode of congestive heart failure. Elevation of the head during rest may improve wet cough symptoms.
In some cases, a wet cough may be a sign of a serious or-life threatening condition. Seek immediate medical care if you, or someone you are with, have serious symptoms, such as severe difficulty breathing and sharp chest , which may be accompanied by high fever , pale or , change in level of consciousness or alertness, or rapid heart rate.
Seek prompt medical care if you are being treated for a wet cough but mild symptoms recur or are persistent.
What Exactly Is A Cough
A cough is a defensive reflex.;It protects the airways from foreign matter. Generally, a cough is considered important in protecting the airways. It is also a method of making secretion clearance easier.1
Fun fact: a cough can become excessive and unproductive. I know this is especially true because I have certainly felt it! It may also be detrimental to airway mucosa.
Recommended Reading: Does Asthma Affect Travel Insurance
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.
- Bluish fingernails, bluish lips or gray or whitish lips or gums .
- Chest pain or pressure.
Whats An Asthma Attack
When you breathe normally, muscles around your airways are relaxed, letting air move easily. During an asthma attack, three things can happen:
- Bronchospasm: The muscles around the airways constrict . When they tighten, it makes the airways narrow. Air cannot flow freely through constricted airways.
- Inflammation: The airway linings become swollen. Swollen airways dont let as much air in or out of the lungs.
- Mucus production: During the attack, your body creates more mucus. This thick mucus clogs airways.
Read Also: Is Chocolate Good For Asthma