What Is The Prognosis For Asthma
The prognosis for asthma is generally favorable. Children experience complete remission more often than adults. Although adults with asthma experience a greater rate of loss in their lung function as compared to age-controlled counterparts, this decline is usually not as severe as seen in other conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or emphysema. Asthma in the absence of other comorbidities does not appear to shorten life expectancy. Risk factors for poor prognosis from asthma include
- a history of hospitalizations, especially ICU admissions or intubation,
- frequent reliance on systemic steroids,
- significant medical comorbidities.
The airway narrowing in asthma may become fixed over time and can resemble COPD or emphysema. The other main complication of asthma is due to side effects from oral steroid use, which can include bone loss , weight gain, and glucose intolerance.
Know When To Get Help
Symptoms that place you in the “red zone” of your asthma action plan are serious. If you experience any of these, follow the instructions in your plan and get emergency care right away:
- Wheezing when you inhale and exhale
- Nonstop coughing
Immediately call 911 or your local emergency number if:
- You can’t talk in full sentences.
- Your lips or fingernails turn blue .
- You begin breathing rapidly .
- You aren’t able to breathe in or out fully.
- You feel confused or agitated.
- Your rescue inhaler doesn’t relieve your symptoms.
Create An Asthma Action Plan
For anyone who has asthma, an asthma action plan is essential for preventing symptoms that can progress to a full-on asthma attack. This is a written document you and your asthma doctor will develop together based on your asthma triggers, usual symptoms,;peak flow readings, and;what you should do at different stages of progressively worsening symptoms.
A typical asthma action plan uses the color coding of a traffic light and is divided into three zones.
|;Green||Your asthma is under control, your peak flow readings are within your healthy range, and you feel well.|
|;Yellow||Your symptoms are worsening and/or your peak flow readings are declining.|
|;Red||Your symptoms are dangerously severe and you should get emergency help right away.|
In terms of prevention, the action plan will identify all of your known triggers and ways to avoid them. It also will list your medications and how you should be taking them.
Why Is Asthma An Important Public Health Issue
|The negative impact on asthmatics from direct or second-hand smoke is significant.|
The incidence of asthma has been increasing in the last few decades in the developed world,especially amongst children. Asthma is now a serious chronic condition in Ontario and in Canada.Asthma impacts the quality of life of those affected with the disease, as well as their families.According to the 1996-97 National Population Health Survey, more than 2.2 million Canadians hadbeen diagnosed with asthma by a physician at some time in their lives . The same survey found that approximately 10 per cent ofCanadian children and five per cent of adults had asthma at the time of the survey .
The prevalence of asthma in Canadian children aged 0-14 years increased from 141,000 childrenin 1978/79, to 167,000 children in 1983/84, and then to 672,000 children in 1994/95. This is adramatic increase from 2.5 per cent to 11.2 per cent of children under 14 years, over a periodof 18 years.
Asthma is also becoming more prevalent among low-income adults over the age of 35 years. It is notclear at this time whether that higher prevalence can be attributed to lifestyle , residential status, occupation or other factors.
Yet, despite these statistics, 35 per cent of people with asthma were regularly exposed to smoke inside their home. Thus, it is evident that a change in attitudes and behaviors around smoking is especially important for asthma sufferers.
* age standardized to 1991 population
Scuba Diving And Asthma
Scuba diving if you have uncontrolled asthma can be life-threatening. In fact, it is one of the few sports that is not recommended for some people with asthma.;
The risk is that you may breathe in air at a certain pressure at a certain depth, then have that higher pressure air become trapped in your lungs due to asthma closing the air passages in your lungs. As you rise to the surface , that trapped air will expand and may cause injury to your lung. This is called barotrauma , and can be very dangerous.;
Only people with mild and well-controlled asthma should consider scuba diving and only with careful medical clearance. Diving regulations vary from country to country so if you have asthma and are keen to dive, its best to check on the local requirements and have a thoughtful discussion with your doctor.
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Tips To Reduce Exposure To Pollen
The season for pollen allergies can last for several months and occurs when plants are flowering. The timing of your own personal allergy season will depend upon which plants you are allergic to, and when they flower.
A direct way to manage pollen allergies is to reduce your exposure to pollens. Pollen counts are published in the media and can help you to plan to avoid exposure.
To reduce your exposure to pollen during peak times:
- Stay indoors in the morning, if possible grass pollens mainly circulate in the morning.
- Avoid mowing the grass, or wear a mask when you mow if someone else is doing the mowing, stay indoors while they do so.
- Keep windows closed in your home and car.
- Avoid picnics in parks or in the country during the pollen season.
- Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes.
- Plant a low-allergy garden around your home, especially near the windows of your home.
How Is Asthma Diagnosed
A doctor visit is in order if you have asthma symptoms.
Asthma is diagnosed based on:
- Your medical and family history of asthma and allergies
- A physical exam
- Asthma test results.
The doctor will use a stethoscope to listen to your lungs and look for signs of asthma such as wheezing, swollen nasal passages, and runny nose.
Asthma tests may include a lung function test called spirometry that measures how much and how fast you can blow air in and out. Your doctor might recommend allergy testing, too.
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Invest In A Peak Air Flow Meter
A peak air flow meter can tell you how well youre able to breath out. Knowing the quality of your breath can help you predict when there is an impending asthma attack. This information can give you more time to initiate your asthma plan, control your symptoms, avoid the need for further medication, and potentially stop the attack before it starts.
When To Seek Medical Help
Often, a rescue inhaler is enough to treat an asthma attack.
If youre unable to get your asthma attack under control, you may need to seek emergency medical attention. Go to the nearest ER if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- extreme shortness of breath or wheezing, especially in the morning or at night
- needing to strain your chest muscles to breathe
- symptoms not subsiding after youve used a rescue inhaler
- having difficulty speaking
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Beat The Heat: 9 Tips For Managing Your Asthma In The Summer
Theres beautiful weather, and then theres melt your ice cream, instant sunburn kind of weather. Changes in temperature like heat waves are known to trigger asthma symptoms in some people.
Knowing how to manage your asthma in these conditions will help you avoid asthma symptoms and enjoy even the hottest summer days. Here are some tips to get you through even the worst summer scorchers.
1. Plan Ahead
Dont let the heat catch you off guard. There are many ways you can get ahead of the hot weather, such as by checking the Pollen Count and your local Air Quality Health Index before venturing out and starting your day. If there is poor air quality or a high pollen count, it may be best to stick to indoor activities.
2. Be Prepared
When temperatures soar and you find yourself experiencing asthma symptoms, you want to have your reliever medication on hand. No matter the weather, keep your asthma reliever with you. You never know when asthma symptoms may strike, especially in extreme heat.
3. Be Smart
If you know youre going to be outside when its stifling out its best to be smart about it. Keep your asthma medications out of direct sunlight and out of places known to get too hot, such as the glove compartment of your car. Your medication should stay close by and cool.
4. Stay Cool
6. Have an Action Plan
7. Be Early
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What’s An Asthma Flare
During a flare-up, you might have:
- trouble breathing
- a tight or painful feeling in the chest
- a whistling sound when you breathe
- a cough
Some flare-ups are mild, but others are serious. If the flare-up is severe, a kid might:
- struggle to breathe or have fast breathing even when sitting still
- not be able speak more than a few words at a time without pausing
- have sucking in of muscles in the neck and chest while breathing in
Flare-ups happen because the airways in your lungs become more irritated and swollen than usual. The lungs might make sticky mucus, which clogs the airways. And the muscles around the airways tighten up, making the airways really narrow. These problems make it hard for the lungs to pull air in and push air out.
You can learn to handle asthma flare-ups. Here are three ways to be prepared:
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Asthma And Blood Oxygen Levels
What causes blood oxygen levels to become low?
Blood oxygen levels can get low due to any of the problems that include:
- Low air oxygen levels: Atmospheric oxygen becomes extremely low at high altitudes such as mountainous regions.
- Other conditions include anemia, sleep apnea, and smoking
Asthma may not be the same in different affected individuals. Asthma specialists currently use a variety of clinical data to categorize a patient’s asthma. This data includes the age of asthma onset, the presence or absence of environmental allergies, the presence or absence of elevated blood or sputum levels of eosinophils , lung function testing , obesity, and cigarette smoke exposure.
Types: T2 high or non T2
Non T2 asthma, or T2 low asthma, comprises a smaller yet difficult to treat proportion of asthma that is not associated with allergies or eosinophils. This type of asthma is sometimes called “neutrophilic asthma” and may be associated with obesity.
Managing And Controlling Your Asthma
Asthma is defined as a chronic condition, which means that you need to continuously monitor and manage your asthma throughout your lifetime. While there is currently no cure for asthma, with proper treatmentand management you can effectively control your asthma and live symptom-free.
Asthma treatment is successful if you learn all you can about your asthma including: symptoms,triggers,medications and ongoing asthma management to achieve control. You and you alone know how you feel and how your asthma is affecting you and you need to be responsible for acting when your asthma is not in good control.
Many people with asthma believe that their asthma is controlled but in fact, surveys have shown that most people accept levels of asthma control that fall far short of the standards described in the Canadian Consensus Asthma Guidelines. In order to control your asthma it is very important that you actually understand what good asthma control means.
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If You Have Asthma Your Healthcare Team Will:
- Explain how you can keep your asthma under control by avoiding your personal triggers
- Prescribe medication that will help minimize your symptoms
- Show you how to take your medication properly, checking your inhaler technique
- Work with you so you have a written;Asthma Action Plan
- Recommend that you visit on a regular basis so that your symptoms can be monitored and your treatments adjusted if necessary
Treatment Options For Managing Cat Asthma
There are two types of medications used to treat cat asthma: corticosteroids and bronchodilators.;Corticosteroids;are used daily to manage asthma. These medications help improve symptoms and prevent asthma attacks by reducing the inflammation in the lungs.
If your cat is in distress ,;bronchodilators;help open the airways so they can breathe. Bronchodilators are often referred to as rescue medications because they provide quick relief and are only used when needed.
Both of these medications are most effective when;administered by an inhaler;and a spacer device rather than taken orally or by injection. Inhaled medications directly target the lungs and significantly reduce the risk of side effects because they dont affect other organs in the body.
Over-the-counter medications may be indicated under the direction of your vet, such as antihistamines, but are not to be used in place of corticosteroids and bronchodilators.
There are several natural remedies for feline asthma you can implement at home that may help manage your cats condition and could reduce asthma attack triggers.
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How Do You Know If You Are Having An Asthma Attack
An asthma attack happens when the body is exposed to a triggerlike pollen or smokethat causes the airways to become inflamed and swollen.
Asthma attacks are uncomfortable to experience and can be frightening, especially for children. If you or someone you know is having any of the following symptoms, they may be having an asthma attack:
- Difficulty breathing;
- Chest tightness or pain;
- Coughing or wheezing
An asthma attack may go away after a few minutes with proper treatment, but symptoms can last longer and become life-threatening if untreated. Seek medical attention immediately if you or someone you know is having a severe asthma attack with one or more of the following symptoms:
- A feeling of panic about the asthma attack
- Pale and sweaty face
- Lips or fingernails that are turning blue
- No improvement in symptoms after using an inhaler
Tips To Reduce The Risk Of Exercise
Exercise;is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and can help to control asthma symptoms. Many top athletes, including Olympic medallists, have asthma.
Tips to reduce the risk of asthma symptoms during exercise;include:
- Manage and control your asthma with preventer medication;so you are less likely to have symptoms.
- Always carrying your reliever medication;with you.
- Warm up as usual before exercising your doctor may recommend taking reliever medication 15 minutes before exercising.
- Cool down after exercising asthma symptoms can appear up to 30 minutes after exercising.
- If symptoms appear, start asthma first aid;and return to exercise only if you can breathe freely. If symptoms appear a second time, start asthma first aid and do not return to exercise. Visit your doctor for a review of your asthma symptoms.
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What Are The Different Types Of Asthma Medicines And Treatments
There are four types of asthma medicines and treatments:;
The difference between these asthma treatments can be confusing. It is important to understand what each treatment does and how they help your asthma. Learning how to use each correctly can you help keep your asthma well-controlled. Always take your medicines as directed by your doctor and follow your Asthma Action Plan.;
Do Asthma Medicines Have Side Effects
Yes. All medicines have side effects. Tell your doctor how you are responding to the treatment and if you have any side effects. Follow up often with your doctor so you can control your asthma with the least amount of medicines and with the fewest side effects.;
Medical Review: June 2021 by S. Allan Bock, MD; Maureen George, PhD, RN, AEC, FAAN; and Sumita Khatri, MD, MS
References1. Bonds, R., Asawa, A. and Ghazi, A. . Misuse of medical devices: a persistent problem in self-management of asthma and allergic disease. Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, 114, pp.74-76.e2.
Asthma Action Plan
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Visit A Complete Care Er Immediately If You Are Experiencing A Severe Asthma Attack
Despite having a better understanding of how to prevent an asthma attack, its not always possible to avoid triggers. If youre experiencing a severe asthma attack dont wait to seek medical attention. Visit one of our 24 hr emergency walk-in clinics equipped with hospital-grade technology and friendly medical staff.;
We have convenient ER locations in both Texas and Colorado. Head into one of our facilities or give us a call today!
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