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How Did I Get Asthma

Does Asthma Ever Go Away

How does asthma work? – Christopher E. Gaw

Yup! A lot of kids find their asthma goes away or becomes less serious as they get older. Some doctors think this happens because the airways grow wider as a kid grows up and gets bigger. With more room in the airways, the air has an easier time getting in and out.

Some people do have asthma as adults, but it doesnt have to slow them down. Some top athletes manage their asthma while still competing at professional and Olympic levels.

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.

Your provider may order spirometry. This test measures airflow through your lungs and is used to diagnose and monitor your progress with treatment. Your healthcare provider may order a chest X-ray, blood test or skin test.

How To Reduce Your Risk Of Complications

In general, working with your doctor can help you find the appropriate treatment to control your asthma symptoms and reduce your risk for these complications. And once you find a treatment that works for you, its important to stick with it.

Most people with asthma know the importance of staying on prescribed treatment, Rosenstreich says. Because if they dont, they know theyll see an increase in their symptoms. But your doctor will remind you that symptoms are only the start. These complications are, in most cases, rare and totally avoidable simply by staying with your treatment.

If you have trouble controlling your symptoms despite following your treatment plan, you may have a more severe form of asthma. Let your doctor know about your struggles so he or she can help find a more appropriate treatment.

With additional reporting by Markham Heid.

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Asthma Symptoms In Adults

Shortness of breath that occurs when you are performing a simple exercise such as walking to the mailbox or climbing the stairs: If its an everyday occurrence, the symptom is known as dyspnea on exertion. It shouldnt be confused with shortness of breath following an illness or strenuous exercise.

A persistent cough from asthma is a dry cough that occurs in response to asthma triggers such as a cold, allergies or smoke. The cough is more likely to happen at night. Chest tightness and cold symptoms that hang in the chest for an extended period of time are also sometimes symptoms of asthma.

Wheezing or a whistling sound when you exhale is another asthma symptom. Having difficulty breathing is a common complaint from many asthma patients.

Factors that affect adult-onset asthma include:

  • Exposure to environmental elements either at work or home that cause allergy-like symptoms
  • Medical history of allergies

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Adult Vs Childhood Asthma

How Can I Get Tested for Allergic Asthma?

Its common for children to have asthma symptoms that come and go, for example triggered by allergy or a respiratory infection. Adult-onset asthma tends to have persistent symptoms that are often not associated with allergic triggers.

About one in ten adults with asthma have uncontrolled symptoms and exacerbations despite treatment. Such difficult-to-treat asthma can reduce quality of life and also lead to more deaths than we see with childhood asthma. We dont know why adult asthma doesnt respond as well to treatment as childhood asthma. It may be because adult lungs can be stiff and function less well than a childs lungs. Also the bodys immune response may change as we get older.

Its reassuring to remember that death from asthma in adulthood is still uncommon.

Adults also tend to have other illnesses that are affected by asthma and allergy medications. For example oral steroids can worsen the symptoms of glaucoma, cataracts and osteoporosis.

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What Can I Do To Reduce Asthma Symptoms

  • Learn your childs triggers.
  • Allergens like dust mites, pets, pests, molds and pollen can play a role in some childrens asthma. Discuss with your health care provider whether an evaluation by an allergist may be helpful.
  • Follow your asthma management plan and give the medicines prescribed by your childs doctor.
  • Avoid smoking near your child.

Which Children Are At Risk For Asthma

Certain factors raise the risk of asthma in children:

  • Being exposed to secondhand smoke when their mother is pregnant with them or when they are small children
  • Genetics and family history. Children are more likely to have asthma if one of their parents has it, especially if its the mother.
  • Race or ethnicity. Black and African Americans and Puerto Ricans are at higher risk of asthma than people of other races or ethnicities.
  • Having other medical conditions such as allergies and obesity
  • Often having viral respiratory infections as young children
  • Sex. In children, asthma is more common in boys. In teens, it is more common in girls.

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Can Asthma Reappear In Adults After Disappearing Years Ago

Asthma is usually diagnosed in childhood. In many patients however, the symptoms will disappear or are significantly reduced after puberty. After age 20, symptoms may begin to reappear.

Researchers have tracked this tendency for reappearing asthma and found that people with childhood asthma tend to experience reappearing symptoms through their 30s and 40s at various levels of severity.

Regardless of whether your asthma is active, you should continue to avoid your known triggers and keep your rescue medications or prescriptions up-to-date and handy in case you need them.

Asthma Signs & Symptoms

Why Do People Get Asthma and Allergies?

People with asthma experience symptoms due to inflammation in the airways. They might only occur when you encounter an asthma trigger. Common symptoms that can lead to a diagnosis of asthma include:

  • Persistent or recurring coughing: which often occurs at night or early in the morning, although it can happen at any time. Coughing is a major feature of asthma, especially in children and can sometimes be the only sign of asthma.
  • Wheezing: is difficulty breathing accompanied by a whistling sound coming from your airways
  • Shortness of breath: gives you the feeling that you cant get enough air into your lungs, and may even find it difficult to eat, sleep or speak
  • Chest tightness: an unpleasant sensation of heaviness or pressure in the chest that can make it hard to breathe
  • Increased mucus production: is characterized by high levels of thick fluid or phlegm accumulating in your airways
  • Difficulty breathing while exercising: having trouble breathing while performing physical activities can be a sign of asthma
  • Losing Sleep: Being unable to sleep through the night because of breathing troubles

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Upper Respiratory Tract Infection

Seasonal colds and cases of the flu may increase your risk of developing a URTI. People with asthma are also more prone to these types of infections.

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:

  • fever
  • fatigue

What Are The Symptoms Of Asthma

Wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath are among the most common asthma symptoms. In severe flare-ups, you may also feel tightness in your chest.

Unlike other respiratory conditions, asthma symptoms tend to flare up when youre exposed to triggers, such as:

  • allergens that irritate the airways and cause inflammation
  • exercise that can put stress on the airways and lead to inflammation
  • cold weather conditions that constrict the airways

Symptoms also tend to get worse when youre trying to sleep at night.

Asthma refers to airway constriction and inflammation, but there are also different subtypes to consider.

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What Causes Asthma In Infants And Toddlers

We still do not know what causes some people to get asthma. If a child has a family history of asthma or allergies, a specific allergy or had a mother who smoked during pregnancy, they have a higher chance of getting asthma early in life.

A respiratory virus, an illness that occurs in the lungs, is one of the most common causes of asthma symptoms in children 5 years old and younger. Although both adults and children experience respiratory infections, children have more of them. Some preschool children get viral infections often. At least half of children with asthma show some sign of it before the age of 5. Viruses are the most common cause of acute asthma episodes in infants 6 months old or younger.

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Bronchiolitis And Croup In Babies And Young Children

How to Get Rid of Asthma Permanently

Bronchiolitis

If your child has had a few episodes of bronchiolitis, they could be more at risk of getting asthma as they get older.

Bronchiolitis is caused by a virus, usually the respiratory syncytial virus . Its mostly babies and young children under two years old who get bronchiolitis. It leads to swelling in the lungs and airways, cough, and wheeze.

Your baby is more at risk of bronchiolitis if you smoke.

Find out more about bronchiolitis at our sister charity the British Lung Foundation.

Croup

Children with a history of croup may also be more at risk of developing asthma. Like asthma, croup has symptoms like coughing and feeling breathless.

Sometimes asthma gets missed because parents think its croup. But croup is very rare after the age of five, so if your child is still being treated for croup after this age, your GP should check to see if they have asthma.

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What Should I Do If I Have A Severe Asthma Attack

If you have a severe asthma attack, you need to get immediate medical care.

The first thing you should do is use your rescue inhaler. A rescue inhaler uses fast-acting medicines to open up your airways. Its different than a maintenance inhaler, which you use every day. You should use the rescue inhaler when symptoms are bothering you and you can use it more frequently if your flare is severe.

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.
  • Very quick or rapid breathing.

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

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How Long Does Post

It really depends on whats causing it, Dr. Scangas says.The best way to make it go away is to try and differentiate which underlying causes are at the root of the problem, and then either treating the acid reflux, chronic sinusitis, or allergic rhinitis, he says.

While the timeline can vary, if your post-nasal drip is caused by allergieswhich it often isit can lastas long as the ongoing exposure to pollen is present, says Aaron Clark, D.O., a family medicine physician at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. For colds, youre usually looking at anywhere from seven to 10 days, he says.

Ask the Allergist, News

Q: My teenage son has allergies and asthma. He is constantly clearing his throat. Why is this? How can he clear out the mucus?

Many people with asthma have allergies, so treating the nose for allergic rhinitis is just as important as treating the lungs.

The nose and lungs are at opposite ends of the respiratory tract. The mucus that youre describing is coming from his nose and/or sinuses and dripping down his throat, causing him to constantly clear it.

We treat allergic rhinitis and asthma similarly. The first line of treatment is to identify the relevant triggers and avoid whatever is practical to avoid. A board-certified allergist can help you with this.

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Your Chest Constantly Feels Tight

How do I know if I have asthma?

Minor chest tightness is common for people with asthma. But frequent and intense chest tightness can mean your severe asthma is getting worse.

Chest tightness is often the result of the muscles surrounding your airways contracting in reaction to asthma triggers. It may feel as though theres something squeezing or sitting on top of your chest. If you experience unusually intense chest tightness, particularly while sitting still, speak with your doctor.

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Can Persistent Cough Be A Symptom Of Covid

A persistent cough can be a symptom of covid-19 along with loss of smell, fever and body pain. Cough can affect more than 46% of adults with covid-19 and is less common in children. The cough is usually dry. However, if you develop an underlying lung condition, you may cough mucus or phlegm. If you have already Tested Positive Covid-19 and is coughing green or yellow phlegm, it may be a sign of secondary bacterial infection in your lungs that requires proper treatment.

If you cough more than normal and without apparent explanation, better get tested for covid-19, self-isolate yourself and follow covid-19 protocol.

Is Magnesium Sulfate Effective

The scientific evidence supporting the use of magnesium sulfate in the treatment of severe asthma is mixed.

Authors of a 2013 study recruited 508 children from British hospitals who had severe flare-ups of asthma that had not responded to standard inhaled treatment.

The researchers randomly assigned the children to receive either nebulized magnesium sulfate or a placebo, in addition to standard asthma medications.

They concluded that nebulized magnesium sulfate in combination with standard treatment did not produce a clinically significant improvement in the childrens asthma symptoms.

However, the authors noted that children with more severe asthma symptoms showed the most significant response to magnesium treatment.

In 2014, another large British trial set out to establish how effectively magnesium sulfate could reduce asthma symptoms.

The authors recruited 1,109 adults with severe acute asthma and randomly assigned participants to receive either IV magnesium, nebulized magnesium, or standard therapy alone.

The researchers were reportedly unable to demonstrate a clinically worthwhile benefit of magnesium sulfate treatment. However, they found some weak evidence that IV magnesium sulfate could reduce the number of hospitalizations due to asthma attacks.

The findings of a systematic review, published in the same year, were more positive. The researchers analyzed data from 14 trials that had compared IV magnesium sulfate treatment to placebos in adults with acute asthma.

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Can Asthma Be Cured

There is currently no known cure for asthma, but with proper diagnosis and asthma management it is fully possible for people with asthma to live healthy, active and symptom-free lives.

There is still much research that needs to be done to fully understand how to prevent, treat and cure asthma. Asthma Canadas National Research Program is committed to supporting leading asthma researchers and graduate student researchers working to expand our knowledge and one day, unlock a cure.

What Are The Different Types Of Asthma

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Asthma is a broad term describing the inflammatory process that causes asthma symptoms. However, there are different types of asthma and treatment may vary depending on the type of asthma you have. These types of asthma are often referred to as phenotypes. There are two main types of asthma:

  • Non-allergic asthma

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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.

How Is A Spirometry Test Performed

  • You will sit upright.
  • You will be given a clip to place on your nose.
  • You will be given a plastic mouthpiece connected to a spirometer.
  • You will place the mouthpiece in your mouth and create a tight seal with your lips.
  • You will take a deep breath in and then blow out as hard and fast as you can until you cant blow out any more.
  • You will do the test several times, until the best result is recorded.
  • You will take some puffs of a bronchodilator medication.
  • After 15 minutes, you will do the test again, to see if the medication helps your breathing. If your results are much better after taking the medication, you may have asthma.
  • Your healthcare provider will explain your results.

    Some people who have asthma will have a normal spirometry test. If this is the case, you may be asked to take another test to confirm the diagnosis of asthma, like a methacholine challenge or exercise test.

    *Infants and small children under 5-6 years old usually cannot do the spirometry test. Young childrens asthma is typically diagnosed based on signs and symptoms , family history, history of allergies, and their response to asthma medications.

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    What Is An Asthma Attack

    When you breathe normally, muscles around your airways are relaxed, letting air move easily and quietly. During an asthma attack, three things can happen:

    • Bronchospasm: The muscles around the airways constrict . When they tighten, it makes your airways narrow. Air cannot flow freely through constricted airways.
    • Inflammation: The lining of your airways becomes swollen. Swollen airways dont let as much air in or out of your lungs.
    • Mucus production: During the attack, your body creates more mucus. This thick mucus clogs airways.

    When your airways get tighter, you make a sound called wheezing when you breathe, a noise your airways make when you breathe out. You might also hear an asthma attack called an exacerbation or a flare-up. Its the term for when your asthma isnt controlled.

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