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.
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.
Find The Right Activity For You
There are no bad activities for people with asthma. And you dont have to sign up for a marathon taking a daily walk, playing more vigorously with your kids or grandchildren, or doing some gardening all count.
Even just sitting down a little less during your day has major health benefits.
People with asthma tell us they enjoy:
- Walking, especially with a walking group, because of the other benefits like being outside and meeting people
- Yoga and tai chi because they let you set the pace and relax, as well as helping with breathing control
- Some people with asthma say swimming really helps, but others report that the chlorine makes their symptoms flare up
- NHS programmes like Couch to 5K and Strength and Flex are free, can be done at home, and are designed for absolute beginners
- Walking netball or chair yoga are great for building up your confidence there are lots of other modified sports you could try search for inclusive sports groups in your area
What has helped me is to learn exercise can be done in one minute blocks and incorporated into my daily life. Asthma UK Readers Panel member
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What Happens During Asthma
There are two phases in asthma the early reaction and the late reaction. The early reaction is caused by an inhaled allergen triggering the immune system. The allergen interacts with IgE, a chemical involved with the immune system. IgE triggers mast cells, which are a type of white blood cell also involved with immunity. These mast cells make histamine and a few other chemicals which causes the symptoms of asthma. Histamine causes the muscles surrounding the airways to contract, thus narrowing the airways and causing a wheeze and shortness of breath. The airways also produce more mucus. Blood vessels in the walls of the airways can become leaky, and fluid can leak into the walls of the airways this can also further narrow the airways. This reaction is short lived, and can last from a few minutes to an hour or a little more.
In the late reaction, different types of white blood cell arrive and cause further inflammation and further symptoms. This reaction lasts longer than the early reaction, lasting up to several hours.
Persistent Asthma Linked To Increased Risk For Heart Rhythm Disorder
People with persistent asthma could be at 1.5 times higher risk of developing a heart rhythm disorder called atrial fibrillation than those without asthma, new research shows.
The study used data collected on 6,615 people in six areas around the country who were followed for nearly 13 years. When the study started, none of the participants had heart disease. Researchers concluded that the 150 participants with persistent asthma those who required medication daily to control their condition were more likely to be diagnosed with AFib than those without asthma.
Inflammation is a risk factor for both asthma and AFib, and the study found people with persistent asthma had the highest levels of inflammation. But the research also suggests there may be more than inflammation connecting asthma to an irregular heartbeat.
“We initially suspected that the link between asthma and atrial fibrillation may be explained by high levels of common inflammation markers in the blood at the baseline of the study,” said study author Dr. Matthew Tattersall, an assistant professor of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. “These inflammation markers are higher in asthmatics and independently predict atrial fibrillation.”
Previous studies done in other countries also have found a link between asthma and AFib. One study in Norway, with 54,567 adults, found having asthma was associated with a 38% increased risk of AFib.
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Does Heart Rate Increase During An Asthma Attack
According to new research, active asthma can double the risk of a cardiovascular event like a heart attack, stroke, or related condition, and taking daily medication for asthma can increase the risk of a cardiovascular event by 60 percent over 10 years. An inhaler, it turns out, can both rescue and endanger.
Secondly, how Does asthma affect vital signs? Vital signs in acute, severe asthma are: respiratory rate usually > 30 breaths/min heart rate > 120 beats/min wheezing throughout both the inspiration and the expiration use of accessory respiratory muscles evidence of suprasternal retractions and pulsus paradoxus > 12 mmHg.
Furthermore, why does the respiratory rate increase during an asthma attack?
It was developed based on the theory that asthmatic bronchospasm is caused by hyperventilation, leading to a low PaCO2 and therefore all asthmatic symptoms are due to this. The narrowed airways induce an air hunger causing a switch to mouth-breathing and an increased respiratory rate leading to hyperinflation.
Does exercise induced asthma increase heart rate?
Other symptoms include an accelerated heart rate, coughing and chest tightness occurring five to ten minutes after exercise. Nasal blockage worsens exercise related asthma because the inspired air is not humidified and warmed in the nose.
Activity Is Good For Your Asthma
If your asthma is stopping you doing the activities you love, youre not alone. Physical activity can be more challenging when you have asthma.
You might be worried that getting breathless means an asthma attack is on the way, or feel down and frustrated that asthma is stopping you getting fit.
It might help to know that getting your heart rate up can actually improve your asthma symptoms. Heres how:
- Raising your heart rate regularly boosts your lung power, increasing stamina and reducing breathlessness
- It supports your immune system and helps fight colds and viruses a major trigger for over 80% of people with asthma
- Activity helps you stay a healthy weight, in turn cutting your risk of an asthma attack
- It releases feel-good chemicals in your brain studies show that if youre stressed, or depressed, youre at higher risk of asthma symptoms
If you have severe asthma, please use this exercise advice.
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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.
Etiology And Risk Factors
The predominant precipitant for acute asthma symptoms is viral infection, detected in 80% to 85% of cases. Other causes include exercise, allergen exposure , cold weather, and poor air quality. Children younger than 5 years with lower respiratory tract infection or foreign body aspiration can present with asthma-like symptoms. Some young children with acute wheezing have a diagnosis of asthma or viral-induced wheezing, but in the acute setting both should be treated in the same manner. Risk factors for asthma admissions include not having or not adhering to a written crisis management plan, taking inappropriate preventive treatment or poor compliance, and a delay of more than 24 hours in seeking advice.
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Asthma Attacks In Infants And Children
Infants with severe wheezing should be seen by a doctor.1 Infants have a higher risk of respiratory failure due to an asthma attack. Respiratory failure happens when too little oxygen passes from the lungs to the blood. Viruses cause most asthma attacks in infants, so the child may also have a fever.
It can be difficult to tell how severe an attack is in young children and infants.1 The Table lists signs and symptoms of mild, moderate, and severe attacks.1 Some of these are the same signs as in adults. However, children have higher normal heart and breathing rates.
Complications Of Acute Severe Asthma
Pneumothorax eventually associated with pneumomediastinum, subcutaneous emphysema ,2), pneumopericardium and tracheoesofageal fistula 3) are rare but potentially severe complications of acute, severe asthma. Myocardial ischemia should be considered in older patients with coronary artery disease. Mucus plugging and atelectasis are not rare and usually respond to effective treatment. Other complications to consider include theophylline toxicity, lactic acidosis, electrolyte disturbances , myopathy and ultimately anoxemic brain injury .
Pneumomediastinum-bilateral pneumothorax in an intubated patient in status asthmaticus. Radiolucent stripes along the soft tissues of the mediastinum, and the continuous diaphragm sign indicate the presence of pneumomediastinum. Bilateral pneumothorax is also seen . Subcutaneous emphysema is also seen on the left of the figure.
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Effects Of Asthma On The Cardiovascular System
Acute, severe asthma alters profoundly the cardiovascular status and function . In expiration, because of the effects of dynamic hyperinflation, the systemic venous return decreases significantly, and again rapidly increases in the next respiratory phase. Rapid right ventricular filling in inspiration, by shifting the interventricular septum toward the left ventricle, may lead to left ventricular diastolic dysfunction and incomplete filling. The large negative intrathoracic pressure generated during inspiration increases left ventricular after-load by impairing systolic emptying. Pulmonary artery pressure may also be increased due to lung hyperinflation, thereby resulting in increased right ventricular afterload. These events in acute, severe asthma may accentuate the normal inspiratory reduction in left ventricular stroke volume and systolic pressure, leading to the appearance of pulsus paradoxus . A variation greater than 12 mmHg in systolic blood pressure between inspiration and expiration represents a sign of severity in asthmatic crisis. In advanced stages, when ventilatory muscle fatigue ensues, pulsus paradoxus will decrease or disappear as force generation declines. Such status harbingers impeding respiratory arrest.
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Prognosis Of Patients In Status Asthmaticus
Status asthmaticus carries a significant mortality, ranging between 1 and 10% . Among patients in status asthmaticus admitted to an intensive care unit, between 10 and 30% required mechanical ventilation . In recent years the mortality rate of patients in status asthmaticus requiring mechanical ventilation has decreased significantly . This decrease may reflect earlier diagnosis, aggressive medical treatment, and improvements in mechanical ventilation . Death from asthma in mechanically ventilated patients appears to be further decreased after the application of the ‘permissive hypercapnia technique’.
Why Does Heart Rate Increase With Deep Breathing
When you take a deep breath You will activate your chest and neck muscles, trigger the sympathetic system, strain your neck muscles, accelerate your heart, and activate a state of increased arousal. The vagal brake is switched off and you can compromise both muscle and brain function as CO2 falls.
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Why Do Asthma Attacks Happen
An attack is usually triggered by something such as a viral infection, allergen, or irritant.2 Children are especially vulnerable to asthma attacks in damp environments and when they are exposed to secondhand smoke.3
Speak with your health care provider about what to do if you have symptoms of an asthma attack. Your provider can give you a written asthma action plan that describes how to treat your asthma based on your symptoms.1
Why Would Pulse And Respiratory Rate Increased During A Severe Asthma Attack
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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.
The Role Of Treatments
Itâs important to know why medications for high blood pressure and asthma donât always work together. If you know what you and your doctor should avoid, it can help you feel better.
Some drugs used to lower high blood pressure can make asthma symptoms flare up.
Beta blockers lower your blood pressure because they cause your heart to beat slower and with less force. They also open your arteries and veins to help your blood flow.
Beta blockers can make asthma worse. If not used properly, they can cause problems in your airways and make your asthma treatments less effective.
Medicines this can happen with include:
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How Can Asthma Be Managed
You have to realise that a large part of managing your asthma is going to be your responsibility. Your doctor will explain to you the nature of asthma and how to deal with asthma. You or your child’s asthma and lung function will also need monitoring regularly, either by peak flow or by spirometry. Peak flow measurements are quick and easy to do, and you can do it at home. Spirometry might require you to see your doctor.
It is important that you avoid any factors that make your symptoms worse. This might involve avoiding animals or pets, or avoiding dusty places or places with lots of air pollution. Asthma can be triggered by a mould or house dust mite allergy as well both of these organisms can be removed by reducing the humidity of your house and cleaning regularly. If your child suffers from asthma when he or she is doing exercise, you might need to explain this to school so they can have special provisions made. Avoiding the cold weather is difficult wear lots of layers during the cold months. Central heating can encourage growth of moulds and house dust mite colonies, so this might not be a great idea if you or your child has a mould allergy or a house dust mite allergy.
There are also medications available to help you out. Inhalers are given out by prescription by your doctor.
Care Advice For Asthma Attack
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