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How Does Asthma Affect Health

Always Call An Ambulance In An Asthma Emergency

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In an emergency, always call triple zero and ask for an ambulance. Tell the operator that someone is having an asthma attack. The signs of an asthma emergency include when the person:

  • Finds it very difficult to breathe.
  • Is unable to speak comfortably or if their lips are turning blue.
  • Has symptoms that get worse very quickly.
  • Is getting little or no relief from their reliever inhaler.

While waiting for the ambulance, continue to follow the 4 steps of asthma first aid and give 4 puffs of reliever medication every 4 minutes.

Concern About Medicines And Growth

Some parents worry that children who use inhaled steroid medicines may not grow as tall as other children. A very small difference in height and growth was found in children using inhaled steroid medicines compared to children not using them.footnote 11 And one study showed a very small difference in height in adults who used inhaled steroid medicines as children compared to adults who did not use these medicines.footnote 12 But the use of inhaled steroid medicine has important health benefits for children who have asthma. If you are worried about the effects of asthma medicines on your child, talk with your doctor.

The Feelings That Can Come With Asthma

Asthma doesnt just take a physical toll on those who suffer from it but also an emotional and social one.

Difficulty breathing can be an upsetting experience, especially during an asthma attack. It is common for people to become afraid of dying during these attacks and for them to fear future episodes.

Asthma attacks are also an unpredictable event for many people. And for all people, unpredictable events are usually more stressful than ones you can plan and prepare for. The feeling that an attack can happen at any time can make people with asthma feel like theyre always in danger.

Asthma and stress can work in a cycle. This WebMD article explores this relationship. Asthma is triggered by many things, and one of them is stress, says Pramod Kelkar, M.D.

Kelkar, a fellow with the American Academy of Asthma Allergy and Immunology and a physician at Allergy and Asthma Care in Maple Grove, Minnesota, says in this article that stress can worsen the physical symptoms those with asthma already suffer from. Uncontrolled emotions can work the nerves and cause constriction of muscles, like the smooth muscles of the airways in the lungs. They tighten up and constrict, which can worsen wheezing, coughing, and chest tightness in people with asthma.

And because each persons experience is different, stress isnt the only emotional reaction. Many feel:

  • Fear and anxiety
  • Embarrassment
  • Confusion

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Know What To Do If Asthma Gets Worse

If your childs asthma is not improving, talk with your doctor and:

  • Review your childs asthma diary to see if he or she has a new or previously unidentified trigger, such as animal dander. Talk to your doctor about how best to avoid triggers.
  • Review your childs medicines to be sure he or she is using the right ones and using them correctly.
  • Review your childs asthma action plan to be sure it is still right for his or her condition.
  • Find out whether your child has a condition with symptoms similar to asthma, such as sinusitis.

If your childs medicine is not working to control airway inflammation, your doctor will first check to see whether your child is using the inhaler correctly. If your child is using it correctly, your doctor may increase the dosage, switch to another medicine, or add a medicine to the existing treatment.

If your childs asthma does not improve with treatment, he or she may require more treatment, including larger doses of medicines. An asthma specialist typically prescribes these medicines.

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Asthma Symptoms In Children

Effects of Asthma on Your Quality of Life

Children are not always able to express in words that their asthma symptoms are worsening. They may have noticeable coughing and wheezing, but these are not always the first indications of breathing distress. Different children show asthma trouble in different ways.

Some possible indications of the beginning of an asthma episode include:

  • Unusual tiredness or restlessness
  • Frequent symptoms at night

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Create An Asthma Action Plan

Both adults and children need to create an asthma action plan to outline what type of medicine they should take and when. It will also provide details for what to do when a persons asthma is dangerously out of control. These instructions will help you, your child, friends and relatives know when its time to change treatments or seek emergency care.

To make this plan, discuss your treatment options with your doctor. Plan what you should do in the event of an asthma flare-up. Define at what point you need to increase treatment measures to prevent or reduce an attack.

List what triggers can be avoided and the best ways to avoid them. Share this plan with friends, relatives, and any caregivers your children may have. Together, you will be able to successfully treat your or your childs asthma and avoid future complications.

How Does Asthma Affect People

Asthma is a condition that currently afflicts more than 16 million adults in America and an added seven million children, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This disorder is a condition of the respiratory system where inflammation and constriction of lungs takes place. Typically affecting children, it is known to have several side effects on the overall health and development of human beings.

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How Does Asthma Affect The Body

Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition that causes your airways in the lungs to become narrow, resulting in inflammation and difficulty breathing. It also causes symptoms like wheezing, coughing, breathlessness, and chest tightness. Sometimes, it can even be life-threatening. There is no cure for asthma you can only try to reduce the frequency of asthma attacks and alleviate the symptoms.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Asthma In Children

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Signs and symptoms of asthma in children include:

  • Frequent coughing spells, which may occur while the child is playing, laughing, or at night or right after waking. Coughing may be the only symptom.
  • Less energy during play.
  • Complaint of chest tightness or the chest hurting.
  • Whistling sound when the child is breathing in or out.
  • Retractions in the chest from difficulty breathing.
  • Shortness of breath or loss of breath.
  • Tightened neck and chest muscles.
  • Feelings of weakness or tiredness.

Not all children have the same asthma symptoms. Symptoms can vary from episode to episode in the same child. In addition, not all wheezing or coughing is caused by asthma.

If your child has problems breathing, take him or her to the pediatrician for an evaluation. Your child may be referred to a specialist, such as a pediatric pulmonary provider or a pediatric allergist.

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Data Analysis And Presentation

Immediately after each session, the audiotapes were transcribed and analyzed by the researchers, thus providing the opportunity to detect gaps, reveal unclear comments, and facilitate the rolling interview guide for the upcoming session of the same focus group. This approach provided the moderators with essential information from the previous sessions and recommendations for the upcoming session. Two reviewers independently coded all statements of the children concerning components of HRQL. Some statements were coded twice, because they provided information on more than one component. When a child emphasized a particular component for the second time, this statement was coded again. Consequently, we were able to calculate the total number of statements per code. In case of discordance between the two reviewers, a third reviewer was consulted.

The outcome of the NGT was used to weigh the importance of the finally identified components. The components that had been labeled as the most important for the children received 3 points, the second-most important component received 2 points, and the third-most important component received 1 point. A total score per component was calculated.

How Long Asthma Lasts For

Asthma is a long-term condition for many people, particularly if it first develops when you’re an adult.

In children, it sometimes goes away or improves during the teenage years, but can come back later in life.

The symptoms can usually be controlled with treatment. Most people will have normal, active lives, although some people with more severe asthma may have ongoing problems.

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Wood Smoke & Asthma Videos

During the wintertime, residential wood smoke is a main contributor to fine particle pollution and is responsible for poor air quality days in many areas across the United States. The following videos highlight the health effects related to PM exposure from residential wood smoke.

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Whats An Asthma Attack

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

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

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Causes And Triggers Of Asthma

Asthma is caused by swelling of the breathing tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs. This makes the tubes highly sensitive, so they temporarily narrow.

It may happen randomly or after exposure to a trigger.

Common asthma triggers include:

  • infections like colds or flu

Identifying and avoiding your asthma triggers can help you keep your symptoms under control.

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When To See A Gp

See a GP if you think you or your child may have asthma.

Several conditions can cause similar symptoms, so its important to get a proper diagnosis and correct treatment.

The GP will usually be able to diagnose asthma by asking about symptoms and carrying out some simple tests.

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Emotional And Mental Impact

The children emphasized that they felt different from peers. Medication use was a negative aspect of asthmatic disease that was frequently mentioned. However, the interviewed children were thinking rather positively about the future. They expected that improved medication might become available in the future, that bullying would develop to be less frequent at high school, and hoped that they would outgrow the disease like they had heard from some people. The most frequently mentioned cognitive complaint was the lack of concentration in school. Coughing, in particular, was found to disturb their concentration.

Illustrative quotes regarding emotional and mental impact

No, because when I get out of bed like that, and then I have to take medicine and then Im like, yeah then I sometime, I really dont want to, but I do have to. And that takes a while. And when I have to, I say to myself , only when I dont have to, then Id be happy. Because sometimes in class, I have to cough, but not often, but its not nice. Uh yeah.

Well sometimes I feel a bit different when I suddenly have trouble with my lungs.

Yes and when they bully you now, WHEN, the pushing when you cant run so fast, when youre older it wont be like that.

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How Do You Monitor Asthma Symptoms

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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.

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How Many School Days Does Asthma Affect

A study from Johns Hopkins Advanced Studies in Medicine found that asthma impairs patients well-being and can significantly interfere with the ability to undertake normal daily activities. In 2002 in the United States, adults missed 11.8 million workdays and children 5 to 17 years old missed 14.7 million school days because of their asthma.

How Does Asthma Affect The Body Systems

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Can You Outgrow Asthma

Some children with asthma stop having symptoms when they mature. By adolescence, 16% to 60% of children diagnosed with asthma seem to be in remission.

However, doctors don’t usually consider asthma “cured” since, even after years of living symptom-free, you could suffer an asthma attack at any time.

The wide range of remission statistics shows that studies have been inconsistent in their design, and more research is needed to fully understand how and why some children seem to “get over” asthma.

In some studies, children who were more likely to go into remission had asthma characterized as:

Male children are also more likely to go into remission.

If your childhood asthma appears to have gone away, it may still be a good idea to avoid triggers, especially allergy triggers, as they could cause symptoms to reappear.

Little to no research has followed adults who appear to have outgrown their childhood asthma, so there’s no clear picture of whether or not this reduces the risk of long-term health effects.

Asthma As A Global Disease

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Asthma has clearly shown to be a global disease, however in last two decades was defined as a real public health problem affecting countries from all over the world and population of all age groups . However, there are differences among countries, with rates significantly above the average, for example, in some native English-speaking countries and, in contrast, much lower-than-average prevalence rates in some African and Asian countries .

Upon the first epidemiological publications on asthma, it was noted that asthma prevalence was higher in social classes with a high or very high annual income and that asthma severity was higher among the most disadvantaged. However, the latest epidemiological data from Africa, Latin America and Asia, showed that, in areas with low economic development, asthma prevalence has been increasing . Although there could be several explanations, the development of larger cities, with consequent reduction of rural areas, may have played a role. With most the world population living in urban areas, the environmental conditions as the lifestyle changes have certainly influenced the asthma prevalence rate increase .

Consequently, it can be said that asthma, worldwide, is globalized and affect all countries as a public health problem.

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Can Air Pollution Cause Asthma

Research shows that high levels of air pollution can cause asthma in both children and adults.

Children living in areas with high pollution are more at risk. And if youre exposed to high levels of pollution when youre pregnant, whether you have asthma yourself or not, your baby could be more likely to develop asthma.

Can Asthma Be Cured

Here at Asthma UK we’re striving to find a cure, but currently there is no cure for asthma.

The good news, though, is that there are lots of safe and effective treatments available to manage the symptoms.

You just need to work with your GP or asthma nurse to find the ones that work well for you, and get into good habits so you take them exactly as prescribed, so you can get the benefits.

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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.

Asthma Attack And Respiratory Failure


People with severe asthma also have an increased risk for respiratory failure. Respiratory failure occurs when not enough oxygen travels from your lungs to your blood. Life-threatening asthma is rare, but tends to cause symptoms that get progressively worse over several days. Ask your doctor more about your treatment options and how to manage your condition, if you believe you may have asthma that is life-threatening.

If respiratory failure isnt treated immediately, it can lead to death. The estimates that nine Americans die from asthma every day. There are more than 4,000 asthma-related deaths a year in America. But many of these deaths are preventable with proper symptom and emergency care.

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Wildfires Health Risks And Chronic Lung Disease

The air we breathe is essential for not only living but also living well. Breathing keeps us alive. What and how we breathe affects how well we function and enjoy daily life.

Wildfires and other air hazards could pose greater risks for people with chronic lung illnesses. Those with asthma already have trouble breathing. Wildfires that affect air quality can make routine actions such as breathing, speaking, and walking harder to do.

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Physical exercise also has important health benefits for people with asthma who know how to deal with asthma attacks â and how to use medication in order to prevent their symptoms from getting worse â can still do sports. You have to know your own limits, though.

Research suggests that sports and exercise reduce asthma symptoms in the long term. But it’s important to choose activities that match your level of fitness. This may mean, for example, taking a break or doing something less strenuous if you notice signs of breathing difficulties. Warming up before doing sports, and gradually increasing the intensity of physical exertion, can help too. Studies also suggest that interval training can prevent exercise-induced asthma. In interval training, high-energy exercise is alternated with periods of rest.

It’s important to keep a reliever medication on hand so you can react quickly if you have an asthma attack. Sometimes it may help to use reliever medication before doing exercise. You can ask your doctor for more information and advice.

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