What To Do If You Are Having An Asthma Attack
If someone is having a mild asthma attack, they may be able to treat it with asthma medication, such as a quick-acting inhaler. Some mild asthma attacks may even resolve on their own.
It is important that people with asthma talk with their healthcare team about an asthma action plan. This is a plan that guides people through how to treat their asthma, depending on the symptoms they are experiencing, and what to do in case of an asthma attack.
A person will need to carry a reliever inhaler with them, which may contain asthma medication to relax the muscles around the airways. These medications include short-acting, rapid onset beta-2 agonist and anticholinergic bronchodilators.
A person can first try dealing with an asthma attack by:
- staying calm
- using quick-relief medications, usually through a blue inhaler, and following their asthma action plan
In the case of a severe asthma attack, it is essential to seek medical help or call 911 immediately. While waiting for help, a person should continue to take their inhaler medication as the manufacturer outlines.
After an asthma attack, regardless of whether medical help was necessary, the following steps are important:
According to the American Lung Association, people will need to see their doctor at least once a year if they have asthma and more frequently if they have symptoms.
A person should contact their doctor straight away if they:
Anyone who experiences any of the following needs emergency medical help:
Question : Do Your Symptoms Get Worse When You Go Out In The Garden Or Are Near Pets
You answered yes.
You answered no.
- A worsening of asthma symptoms is known as an asthma exacerbation, or more commonly, as an asthma attack. These are induced by triggers stimulus that cause increased severity of symptoms.
- Triggers are often something airborne that inflame the bronchi when they come into contact with them.
- Common triggers include allergens such as pollen, pet hair, or dust, but an asthma attack can also be triggered by non-allergic reactions, such as to cigarette smoke, exhaust fumes, certain foods or medicines, or an abrupt change in the weather.
- An attack can even be brought on by stress a number of changes in the body take place when were under pressure, which can lead to increased chest tightness and heavy breathing.
- The body also releases chemicals in periods of stress, such as leukotrienes and histamines, which can cause inflammation of the airways.
Vaping And Lung Damage
- Talk with your teen about the dangers of vaping.
- Vaping can cause severe lung damage. It can become permanent.
- Vaping can even cause death .
- Vaping tobacco also causes nicotine addiction.
- For these reasons, the legal age to purchase vaping products is 21 in the US.
- Encourage your teen to not start vaping or to give it up.
- Warning: home-made or street-purchased vaping solutions are the most dangerous.
Recommended Reading: Does Weight Gain Make Asthma Worse
What Causes Adults To Develop Asthma
At least 30% of adult asthma cases are triggered by allergies. People who are allergic to cats may have an increased risk for developing adult onset asthma. Exposure to allergens or irritants such as cigarette smoke, chemicals, mold, dust, or other substances commonly found in the persons environment might trigger the first asthma symptoms in an adult.
Prolonged exposure to certain workplace materials may set off asthma symptoms in adults.
Hormonal fluctuations in women may play a role in adult onset asthma. Some women first develop asthma symptoms during or after a pregnancy. Women going through menopause can develop asthma symptoms for the first time.
Different illnesses, viruses, or infections can be a factor in adult onset asthma. A bad cold or a bout with the flu is often a factor in adult onset asthma.
Smoking does not cause adult onset asthma however, if you smoke or if you are exposed to cigarette smoke , it may provoke asthma symptoms.
How To Tell You Have Asthma
In this section: Diagnosis and Lung Testing | How To Tell You Have Asthma | Your Healthcare Team
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.
Also Check: Albuterol Adverse Reactions
Advice For Friends And Family
It’s important that your friends and family know how to help in an emergency.
It can be useful to make copies of your personal asthma action plan and share it with others who may need to know what to do when you have an attack.
You can photocopy your existing plan, or you could download a blank personal asthma action plan from Asthma UK and fill it in for anyone who might need a copy.
Or you could take a photo of your action plan on your phone, so you can show or send it to others easily.
Page last reviewed: 19 April 2021 Next review due: 19 April 2024
How Can Adult Onset Asthma Be Managed
If you manage your asthma, you can expect to lead a normal lifestyle. Basically, there are four key steps to managing asthma successfully:
1. Learn about asthma and stay up-to-date on new developments.
2. Take prescribed medications. Dont make any changes until you check with your physician. Dont use over- the-counter medications unless prescribed by your physician!
3. Check your lungs daily at home by using a peak flow meter. Asthma patients often can detect lung changes with a peak flow meter before they actually experience any changes. Visit your physician regularly for further in-office tests. Lung testing is painless and provides valuable data that helps your physician make adjustments in your medication.
4. Make an asthma management plan with your physician. A plan establishes guidelines that tell you what to do if your asthma symptoms get worse.
Read Also: Does Walmart Sell Over The Counter Inhalers
Breathing Problems During Exercise
If you have chest tightness, cough, wheeze or shortness of breath during exercise, your doctor may perform extra tests to see if you have a type of asthma called, exercise-induced asthma or exercise-induced bronchospasm. For some people, they will only have asthma symptoms during exercise. There are many benefits to exercise, so work with your doctor to find the best management steps and treatment options for you.
Do You Know The ‘hidden’ Signs Of Asthma
Fewer than half aware that chest pain, trouble sleeping may indicate adult breathing trouble, survey finds
WEDNESDAY, May 11, 2016 — While most people know that wheezing is a sign of asthma, far fewer realize that trouble sleeping or a persistent cough may also be symptoms of the airway disease, a new survey shows.
Those findings may help explain why many adults don’t realize they have the disease and don’t seek treatment, the researchers said. But, one in every 200 U.S. adults is diagnosed every year with asthma, a condition called adult-onset asthma, the researchers said.
“A lot of people have asthma and don’t know it. Many adults do not have the traditional asthma symptoms, or they don’t have all of the symptoms,” said Dr. David Beuther. He is a pulmonologist at National Jewish Health in Denver, a hospital that specializes in respiratory diseases.
The hospital commissioned the national survey. It included more than 1,000 people who were aged 18 and older. They were asked about the symptoms of asthma.
Many knew the common signs of asthma, such as shortness of breath and wheezing , the survey found.
But, when it came to more unusual symptoms, fewer people knew there was a connection between these problems and possible asthma. Just 65 percent knew that a persistent cough could be a sign of asthma. And only about half knew that chest pain and trouble sleeping could also be symptoms of asthma, the survey revealed.
You May Like: Can You Join The Army If You Have Asthma
Does An Asthma Attack Trigged By Allergies Feel Different Than A Typical Asthma Attack
When you have an asthma attack thats triggered by your allergies, it is a severe flair up of your asthma symptoms. During an asthma attack, your airways will tighten, making it difficult to breathe. You may also feel chest pressure, wheeze and cough. The symptoms of an allergic asthma attack are the same as an asthma attack caused by something else. The difference between the two is the cause of the asthma attack. When you experience severe asthma symptoms after breathing in an allergen, this is typically allergic asthma.
Whos Likely To Have Asthma Copd Or Aco
People who smoke or breathe in pollution or chemicals at work for many years have higher chances of having COPD. That’s why the condition often starts in middle age or later in life.
Asthma is sometimes caused by gene changes that are passed down through families. If one of your parents has the disease, you’re more likely to have it.
Symptoms of asthma often start in childhood, and the condition is one of the most widespread long-term illnesses in kids. It affects about 1 in 10 children.
Besides a family history of the condition, a few things can raise your chances of asthma:
- Being around chemicals or other irritants in the air
People who get ACO tend to be over 40 but younger than people with just COPD, and they have allergies .
Don’t Miss: Does Weight Gain Make Asthma Worse
Know The Early Symptoms Of Asthma
Early warning signs are changes that happen just before or at the very beginning of an asthma attack. These signs may start before the well-known symptoms of asthma and are the earliest signs that your asthma is worsening.
In general, these signs are not severe enough to stop you from going about your daily activities. But by recognizing these signs, you can stop an asthma attack or prevent one from getting worse. Early warning signs of an asthma attack include:
- Frequent cough, especially at night
- Losing your breath easily or shortness of breath
- Feeling very tired or weak when exercising
If you have these warning signs, adjust your medication, as described in your asthma action plan.
The Basics Of Diagnosing Asthma
Your doctor will probably start your examination by delving into your past medical history and asking whether any of your relatives have allergies or asthma. Youll also be asked to describe your symptoms, their severity, and what, if anything, is triggering them.
Triggers could include cold air, dust, hairsprays, perfumes, household cleaner vapors, cigarette or cigar smoke, and air pollution, Asciuto says.
Doctors also try to narrow down the list of culprits by asking these additional questions:
- Is your cough worse at night?
- Do you have more symptoms when youre at home or at work?
- Do you have other health problems that could be causing these symptoms, such as a sinus infection or acid reflux?
Next, your doctor will listen to your breathing with a stethoscope and may order one or more of these diagnostic tests:
Its also important to note that you can have asthma without experiencing any of the hallmark symptoms. Theres no single patient profile for asthma, says Dr. Fineman. Some will have more coughing, some more wheezing, and some have more problems breathing with exercise, he says.
Also Check: Does Ibuprofen Make Asthma Worse
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?
What Kind Of Physician Treats Adult Onset Asthma
Many older patients are treated for asthma by their internist or family physician however, if your asthma symptoms are not under control within three to six months, or if you have severe persistent asthma, or if you are having asthma episodes that need emergency treatment, it may be time to see an asthma specialist. Allergists/Immunologists or pulmonologists are specialists who treat asthma. Those who have completed training in those specialties are usually called board-certified or board-eligible.
Don’t Miss: Can You Go To The Military With Asthma
Quiz: Do I Have Asthma Symptoms
If you think you are having an asthma attack you should seek immediate medical attention.
Asthma is a very common condition, affecting 5 million people in the UK. However, despite being so prevalent, some people with the condition may not necessarily realise they have it.
As with other conditions, recognising symptoms when they occur and getting a doctors advice are the first steps towards getting asthma under control.
If you suspect that you could have asthma weve developed a short quiz to help you get a clearer idea of whether you should approach your doctor for further advice.
This quiz should in no way be considered as a replacement for medical consultation with a healthcare professional.
However, if you find yourself answering yes to one or more of the below, we recommend that you speak to your GP so that they can provide guidance on what you should do next.
When It Gets Worse
Signs of worsening asthma include:
- Feeling panicky
- Wheezing when you breathe both in and out
- Inability to stop coughing
- Having trouble talking or walking
- Getting a tight neck and chest muscles
- Having a pale, sweaty face
Follow the “Red Zone” or emergency instructions in your asthma action plan. Call 911 or get to the hospital. You need medical attention right away.
Also Check: Smoking Pot With Asthma
How Will The Doctor Determine Which Type Of Asthma I Have
In general, a doctor will establish your type of asthma by:
- Examining your medical history, including your family history
- Performing a physical examination to inspect your upper airway for signs of allergic rhinitis, check your chest for deformity, or determine the presence of polyps
- Measuring the amount of air you can breathe in and out of your lungs with a spirometry or lung function test
- Determining the age of onset
- Discovering the types of cells involved in inflammation
- Looking at the results of allergy tests
- Examining the characteristics of your lung and tissue
- Observing your responses to past medications
What To Do If You Have An Asthma Attack
If you think you’re having an asthma attack, you should:
Never be frightened of calling for help in an emergency.
Try to take the details of your medicines with you to hospital if possible.
If your symptoms improve and you do not need to call 999, get an urgent same-day appointment to see a GP or asthma nurse.
This advice is not for people on SMART or MART treatment. If this applies to you, ask a GP or asthma nurse what to do if you have an asthma attack.
You May Like: Does Weight Gain Make Asthma Worse
Asthma Is A Chronic Lung Condition That Is Characterized By Difficulty In Breathing Wheezing And Mucus Accumulation People With Asthma Have Extra
Daniel Dec 19, 2021 01:42
Asthma is a chronic lung condition that is characterized by difficulty in breathing, wheezing, and mucus accumulation. People with asthma have extra sensitive or hyper-responsive airways. During an asthma attack, the airways become irritated and react by narrowing and constructing, causing increased resistance to airflow, and obstructing the flow of the air passages to and from the lungs.
Some research indicates that the symptoms of asthma may get worse when you have heartburn or acid reflux. Acid reflux occurs when your undigested stomach content moves back up into your esophagus.
Acid reflux can cause painful heartburn which you can relieve with antacid medicines or natural remedies. Antacids simply neutralize your stomach’s acid, which reduces the burning sensation in your esophagus tube. It is best to use natural remedies first because neutralising stomach acid is a temporary method and only serves to suppress the cause of acid reflux.
For acid reflux, it is best to use digestive enzymes. Take a good digestive enzyme with every meal you eat. The next step would be to learn how to eat so you don’t get acid reflux or heartburn.
Acid reflux happens mostly in people who are older and overweight. But sometimes it can happen in children and in all types of people.
In some studies, researchers have injected acid into the esophageus of people with asthma, and it had a significant impact on their asthma and increased their asthma symptoms.
When To Get Medical Advice
See a GP if you have persistent symptoms of COPD, particularly if youre over 35 and smoke or used to smoke.
There are several conditions that cause similar symptoms, such as asthma, bronchiectasis, anaemia and heart failure. A simple breathing test can help determine if you have COPD.
Find out more about tests for COPD.
While theres currently no cure for COPD, the sooner treatment begins, the less chance there is of severe lung damage.
Find out more about how COPD is treated.
Page last reviewed: 20 September 2019 Next review due: 20 September 2022
Also Check: Does Weight Gain Make Asthma Worse