When Should You Have A Spirometry Test
Children older than age five, and adults of any age, who have asthma-like symptoms should have a spirometry test. The healthcare provider should also do a physical exam and a full medical history. If the test shows that you have asthma, your doctor should prescribe asthma medicine. Then you should be retested four to six weeks later. If your test results improve, your treatment is working. You may even be able to take less medicine. If your symptoms get worse, you should have another spirometry test. If your symptoms are controlled, you should have a test at least once every year or two.
This report is for you to use when talking with your healthcare provider. It is not a substitute for medical advice and treatment. Use of this report is at your own risk.
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Hows It Different From Regular Asthma
More and more, doctors are coming to see that thereâs really no such thing as regular asthma. But something like classic, childhood asthma may look like this:
- Comes on when youre a kid
- Often gets triggered by an allergen, like pet dander or dust mites
- Causes swelling in the airways, and symptoms like wheezing and trouble breathing
- Responds well to treatment with inhaled corticosteroids
When you look at eosinophilic asthma, it:
- Tends to come on in adults
- Isnt usually caused by allergies â people who get it tend not to have allergies
- Causes swelling in your entire respiratory system
- May not seem like asthma at first because the main symptom may involve shortness of breath rather than wheezing
- Doesnt respond well to inhaled corticosteroids, even at high doses
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Can Chest Xray Show Asthma
Chest X-ray cannot always show the presence of asthma. You may see a white area in the lungs, indicating a bone disease. You may see a heart defect on the chest X-ray, or a pneumothorax . Chest X-ray is effective for the detection of a collapsed lung it is the only effective imaging diagnostic test for pneumothorax. Chest X-ray may be helpful in diagnosing a variety of conditions, including pneumonia, tuberculosis, lung abscess, and pulmonary emboli..
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Are There Any Special Considerations For Adults Who Develop Asthma
People with multiple medical conditions need to be aware of how their illnesses and the medications they use may affect one another.
If you take more than one medication, talk with your physician about ways to simplify your medication program. Explore the possibility of combining medications or using alternate ones that will have the same desired effect. Be sure to discuss potential drug interactions with anything you take including vitamins or herbal supplements.
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What Causes Allergic Asthma
The cause of asthma isnt known. However, for those with allergic asthma, the reason symptoms start is related to allergens. This is the main difference between allergic asthma and other types of asthma allergens are inhaled and trigger asthma symptoms. When you experience severe asthma symptoms, its called an asthma attack.
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Question : Do You Keep Getting Chest Infections
You answered yes.
You answered no.
- People with asthma have sensitive airways so are at a higher risk of developing chest infections.
- Often following a cold or a bout of the flu, a chest infection can considerably worsen asthma symptoms.
- If you have a chest infection which isnt clearing up, or you keep getting them again and again, consult your doctor, as this may be an indication that you have asthma.
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Spacers And Asthma Medication
For all people with asthma, it is recommended that a spacer device is used when asthma medication is delivered via a puffer . A spacer is a specially designed container that attaches to a puffer and has its own mouthpiece to breathe through.
Using a spacer helps the medication to go where it is supposed to into the small airways in the lungs rather than ending up coating your childs mouth, tongue and throat. It is much more effective than using a puffer on its own. Using a spacer with a puffer can reduce or prevent side effects from inhaled medication.
Babies and young children may need a spacer with a special face mask attached to inhale asthma medicines effectively. These fit tightly around your childs mouth and nose to make sure none of the medicine leaks out. Talk to your pharmacist for advice and to have your technique checked.
Watch this Asthma Australia video which shows you how to use a spacer with a face mask.
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What Are The Complications Of Asthma
Poorly-controlled asthma can have a negative effect on your quality of life. Complications may include:
- being less productive at work or while studying
- an inability to exercise and be physically active
- reduced lung function
- poor mental health
Taking your medications exactly as prescribed is important. If you feel that your asthma is affecting your quality of life, contact your doctor for a medicines review.
Question : Are Your Symptoms Worse When You Are At Work
You answered yes.
You answered no.
- Someone who works in an environment where they are exposed to dust, fumes, certain chemicals or animals, and finds their symptoms flare up at work, may have what is known as occupational asthma, which affects around one in ten people who first develop asthma in adulthood.
- Bakers, vets, nurses, hairdressers, engineers and woodworkers are just some of the jobs that can lead to occupational asthma.
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Anxiety And Hyperventilation Syndrome
Both anxiety and hyperventilation syndrome may cause shortness of breath and rapid breathing during flare-ups.
While such breathing difficulties may be mistaken with asthma, these arent caused by airway constriction. Wheezing and coughing also arent typical with these two conditions.
See a doctor for any chronic coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath that doesnt seem to have an underlying cause, such as a URTI.
A doctor may also refer you to a specialist, such as an allergist, immunologist, or pulmonologist.
Seek emergency medical help if youre experiencing significant breathing difficulties or the symptoms of a severe asthma attack, such as:
- rapid breathing
Can Asthma Be Prevented
Asthma cant be prevented entirely, but there are some practical ways to reduce the risk of an asthma attack and live well with asthma.
- Get vaccinated for influenza: flu and other respiratory viruses are common triggers for asthma.
- Manage any allergies: asthma and allergies are closely linked, so treating allergic rhinitis and avoiding or managing any allergy triggers will help with your asthma.
- Live smoke-free: quit smoking if you smoke, and avoid any second-hand smoke .
- Eat well: a balanced diet helps you to maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese makes asthma harder to manage.
- Care for yourself: mental health and asthma are linked, so let a trusted friend or your doctor know if you have been feeling sad or anxious, or dont enjoy things as much as before.
- See your doctor regularly: asthma needs to be regularly assessed and managed, and your medication needs may change over time. Ensure your asthma action plan is up to date by checking in with your doctor regularly.
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How Can I Be Better Prepared To Manage Asthma What Is An Asthma Management Plan
Unfortunately, asthma cannot be cured. This makes it crucial to have your doctor create an asthma action plan to help you stay in control of your asthma.
Your asthma action plan will outline:
- What medication do I need?
- How can I tell if your asthma is getting worse?
- What should I do if my symptoms get worse?
- What can I have an asthma attack?
If your doctor develops an asthma action plan for you, its important to follow your asthma action plan closely. Make sure you carry and take your medications, such as an asthma inhaler.
What Should I Do If I Think I Have Asthma
If you think that you have asthma, the best thing you can do is see your healthcare provider as soon as possible for proper testing and diagnosis. Many people normalize their symptoms, without ever realizing that a symptom-free life could be possible. Its crucial to never ignore or downplay your asthma symptoms, you never know when something could trigger a potentially fatal asthma attack.
The sooner that you get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan, the sooner you can take control of your asthma and live life to the fullest.
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Asthma Symptoms In Children
Most children with asthma have symptoms before they turn 5. In very young children, it may be hard for parents, and even doctors, to recognize that the symptoms are due to asthma. The bronchial tubes in infants, toddlers and preschoolers are already small and narrow, and head colds, chest colds and other illnesses can iname these airways, making them even smaller and more irritated.
The symptoms of pediatric asthma can range from a nagging cough that lingers for days or weeks to sudden and scary breathing emergencies.
Common symptoms to watch for include:
- Coughing, especially at night
- A wheezing or whistling sound when breathing, especially when exhaling
- Trouble breathing or fast breathing that causes the skin around the ribs or neck to pull in tightly
- Frequent colds that settle in the chest
Your child might have only one of these symptoms or several of them. You may think its just a cold or bronchitis. If the symptoms recur, thats a clue that your child might have asthma. In addition, symptoms may worsen when your child is around asthma triggers, such as irritants in the air or allergens like pollen, pet dander and dust mites.
Is It Hard To Diagnose Asthma
It is not hard to diagnose asthma. You will have to get a physical examination done by your doctor and some tests to confirm that you are suffering from asthma. You might have to undergo some investigations like x-rays, CT scan, broncho-alveolar lavage, lung function tests and allergy tests, if your doctor suspects that you may be suffering from other associated conditions like allergies. If your doctor suspects that you might be suffering from asthma, you will have to undergo some blood investigations like FEV1, PEFR, FVC, eosinophil count etc..
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Diagnosing Asthma In Children
A child is more likely to have asthma if:
- A parent has asthma
- The child has allergies, including the allergic skin condition eczema
- Exposed to tobacco smoke during pregnancy or throughout childhood
- Exposed to indoor and outdoor air pollutants
- The child wheezes with viral infection
- The child is obese
To help your child’s healthcare provider make a correct diagnosis, be prepared to provide information about family history of asthma or allergies, the child’s overall behavior, breathing patterns and responses to foods or possible allergy triggers. Lung function tests are often used to make an asthma diagnosis, but they are very hard to do with young children. The doctor may use a 4- to 6-week trial of asthma medicines to see if they make a difference in your child’s symptoms.
How Do Triggers Make Asthma Worse
When you have asthma, your airways are always inflamed and sensitive. They react to a variety of external triggers. Contact with these triggers is what causes asthma symptoms. Your airways tighten and get more inflamed, mucus blocks them, and your symptoms get worse. An asthma attack can start right after exposure to a trigger or several days or even weeks later.
Reactions to asthma triggers are different for each person and vary from time to time. Something may bother you but not others with asthma. You might have many triggers while they have none. And while avoiding triggers is a good way to control asthma, the best way is to take medications and follow treatments exactly as prescribed by your doctor in your asthma action plan.
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What Causes Asthma Attacks
Exposure to certain irritants and substances can trigger signs of asthma attack. The most common asthma triggers are airborne substances, such as pollen, dust mites, pet dander, mould spores or particles.
An asthma attack can begin abruptly or slowly. A mild asthma attack may seem to go away and return a couple of hours later. In cases like this, the second attack is often much worse than the first.
Do I Have Allergies Or Asthma
Allergic rhinitis is the technical term for sneezing and runny nose. Allergic rhinitis is a reaction to allergens such as dust mites, animal dander, mold, or pollen. Allergic rhinitis is a common form of allergic disease it accounts for about 30 percent to 50 percent of all allergies. Allergic rhinitis is considered a type IV hypersensitivity reaction. It is a reaction to common airborne substances that triggers the release of inflammatory mediators. If a person has allergic rhinitis, the immune system makes antibodies called immunoglobulin E antibodies. The bodys immune system produces IgE antibodies to defend itself against foreign invaders, such as bacteria or viruses. When you are exposed to an allergen, the body releases histamine, which causes inflammation. __% of adults have allergies to some degree almost 20 percent of adults in America will have asthma at some point in their lifetime..
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How Are Most Mild To Moderate Asthma Attacks Treated
Traditional long-term controller medications, such as inhaled corticosteroids, are designed to help prevent the onset of an asthma attack. Thats why its important to take these as prescribed.
But its still possible to have an asthma attack, especially if you have more severe asthma or if youre exposed to one of your triggers.
For all people with severe symptoms of asthma, use a rescue inhaler quickly, such as albuterol.
If your response to rescue inhaler therapy isnt enough to treat your symptoms, continue to follow your asthma action plan or talk with a doctor for specific instructions.
At this point, youll likely be given oral glucocorticoids. Be sure to discuss the possible side effects of oral glucocorticoids with a doctor before taking them. They include:
- sleep disturbance
- certain workplaces, with manufacturing jobs reporting high rates of asthma attacks
While its not always possible to avoid asthma triggers, try these tips to manage your asthma:
How To Tell You Have Asthma
Asthma is a complex disease to diagnose, and only a healthcare professional is able to make a proper diagnosis.
If you are concerned that you may have asthma, contact your healthcare provider. In order to confirm an asthma diagnosis, your healthcare provider will take into account your medical and family history, allergies, and conduct lung function testing such as spirometry.
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If Your Asthma Symptoms Are Caused By Allergies Take Steps To Control Knownor Potential Triggers In Your Environment
Allergy-proof your house for dust, mold, cockroaches, and other common indoor allergens to which you are allergic.
Reduce your outdoor activities when the pollen count or ozone level is high.
Choose foods that dont contribute to your asthma or allergy symptoms.
Evaluate your workplace for possible allergens and take the necessary steps to reduce your exposure to them.
In order to determine relevant triggers, you may want to seek consultation with an allergist who can further define these triggers.
In addition, anyone with asthma should consider getting an annual flu shot. Older adults also should talk with their internist about getting a pneumonia vaccination.
How Is Asthma Diagnosed
If you or your child experience symptoms such as wheezing, frequent cough, shortness of breath or chest tightness, it is important to see a healthcare provider to determine if the symptoms point to asthma.
To diagnose asthma, a doctor will evaluate these symptoms, ask for complete health history, conduct a physical exam and look at test results.
At the initial visit, your asthma care provider will determine your level of severity and create a treatment plan. At each follow-up visit, they will assess your asthma control and adjust your treatment plan as needed.
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Upper Respiratory Tract Infection
But having a URTI doesnt automatically mean you have asthma. While both conditions may lead to coughing, a URTI can also result in the following symptoms:
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Asthma
Asthma is a lung condition that causes shortness of breath and difficulty breathing. It can be triggered by several things, including airborne allergens and physical exertion. Signs and symptoms of asthma include the following:
- Low tolerance for physical exercise
Many of these symptoms can be caused by other ailments , but you should consider being tested by a doctor regardless. Allergies often act as asthma triggers, making it a dual problem.
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How Do Healthcare Providers Diagnose Asthma
Your healthcare provider will review your medical history, including information about your parents and siblings. Your provider will also ask you about your symptoms. Your provider will need to know any history of allergies, eczema and other lung diseases.