Asthma Allergies And Covid
Throughout the pandemic, having asthma was considered a risk factor for severe COVID-19. But new data show that people with asthma are relatively protected from severe COVID-19, said Geoffrey Chupp, MD, professor of medicine in the Section of Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine at Yale School of Medicine .
We looked at 8,000 hospital admissions of patients with COVID-19, and we found that the patients who were diagnosed with asthma about 10% of the patients were more likely to survive compared to those people who didnt have asthma, Chupp said. He emphasized that the patients had asthma, not smoking-related lung diseases such as emphysema and COPD.
Its possible that some of the medications used for asthma helped to reduce the inflammation that COVID-19 causes, Chupp said. Its also likely that the type of immune response most asthmatics have, the allergic response, protected them from severe lung damage, he added.
However, after these patients recovered from COVID-19, their asthma became reactivated. As they healed, their natural immune response came back with more activity, explained Chupp. Were seeing a fair amount of post-COVID uncontrolled asthma. Most people do well but some have this persistence, a kind of long-hauler problem, although most of them will get better with time.
Asthma, Allergies & Pollen
Signs And Symptoms Of Flare Up
Mild to Moderate
What can you do to prevent this happening again?
If you have had an asthma attack or ended up in a hospital or an emergency department, it means that your asthma is not under your control.
When youve had an asthma flare-up you need to see your doctor within 3 days to review your asthma and update your Asthma Action Plan to discuss:
- What is your current level of asthma control how do we improve it?
- How well are your asthma medicines working can we improve their use?
- What triggered your asthma attack can you avoid the trigger, or how to respond better to the trigger next time to avoid an asthma attack?
- Are there any other factors that might be affecting your asthma control how do we reduce their impact on your asthma?
For more support about managing asthma, talk to us. 1800 ASTHMA is a no-charge service open Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm. You can get in touch with us through phone, or by booking in a call-back.
To help get back on track after your visit to the emergency department or hospital after an asthma attack visit our after hospital page.
What Happens During An Asthma Attack
When you breathe normally, your airways are fully open, which allows air to move freely into and out of your lungs. Asthma changes airways in several different ways. First, they become overly reactive and more sensitive to your asthma triggers. When this occurs, the lining of the bronchial tubes and lungs well become inflamed. Mucus clogs the airways, and at the same time, the muscles around it tighten, causing bronchospasms. Lungs begin to have difficulty, with moving air out particularly difficult. Breathing not only becomes difficult but stressful too because airways have narrowed significantly.
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How Asthma Is Treated
While there is no cure for asthma, there are a number of treatments that can help control the condition.
Treatment is based on two important goals, which are:
- relieving symptoms
- preventing future symptoms and attacks
For most people, this will involve the occasional or, more commonly, daily use of medications, usually taken using an inhaler. However, identifying and avoiding possible triggers is also important.
You should have a personal asthma action plan agreed with your doctor or nurse that includes information about the medicines you need to take, how to recognise when your symptoms are getting worse, and what steps to take when they do so.
These symptoms are often worse at night and early in the morning, particularly if the condition is not well controlled. They may also develop or become worse in response to a certain trigger, such as exercise or exposure to an allergen.
Read our page on the causes of asthma for more information about potential triggers.
Speak to your GP if you think you or your child may have asthma. You should also talk to your doctor or asthma nurse if you have been diagnosed with asthma and you are finding it difficult to control the symptoms.
So What Are The Symptoms You Should Watch Out For
Which signs of asthma you might experience differs from person to person and some are more common than others, Raymond Casciari, M.D., a pulmonologist at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, California, tells SELF. Its possible that youll have such a mild reaction to one of your personal asthma triggers that you dont take much note of it. But if the effects get worse, they can turn into an asthma attack, which is a potentially life-threatening exacerbation of asthma symptoms. Thats why its so important to know the common signs of asthma, including the more subtle ones.
These are classic asthma signs you should know:
Shortness of breath: This is an obvious complication that happens when you cant get enough oxygen due to the way your airways and their surrounding muscles are reacting to asthma triggers, Sadia Benzaquen, M.D., a pulmonologist and associate professor in the department of internal medicine at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, tells SELF.
Cough: When an irritant gets into your throat or airways, it stimulates nerves that prompt your brain to make the muscles in your chest and abdomen expel air from your lungs with a cough, according to the Mayo Clinic. Since a sensitivity to irritants can cause asthma symptoms, coughing is a hallmark sign of this condition, says Dr. Benzaquen. In fact, its the most common sign of asthma Dr. Parikh has seen people ignore.
Some people may have these less common signs of asthma:
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What To Do After An Asthma Attack:
One in six people who receive treatment at the hospital needs emergency treatment again within two weeks. Asthma attacks are not normal and you should not tolerate them.
Take the following key steps to prevent you having another attack in the future:
- Book an urgent appointment with your healthcare provider
- Keep taking your asthma medication as prescribed
- Take the rest of the day to recover after the attack
It is important to know that the majority of severe asthma episodes can be avoided by having good asthma control.
How To Avoid Asthma Triggers
If you know what your asthma triggers are, then where possible, its beneficial to try to avoid them.
If theres a particular allergen culprit you know of, then keeping your home clean and dust-free can help. For example, you could consider swapping carpets for wooden floors to reduce the amount of dust build-up or hiring a cleaner so youre not personally exposed to dust when cleaning.
It can be more difficult to avoid asthma triggers completely when youre at work, especially if your asthma is occupational and linked to your working environment. In an ideal world, you could simply change jobs to something more suitable for your health, but in reality this isnt always feasible.
Let your employer or the HR department know about your asthma. You should be able to discuss the options available for optimising your work environment to be more suitable to your needs.
Keeping on top of your asthma management plan, working alongside your doctor or asthma nurse and making sure you take your inhalers or other asthma medications should help to control your symptoms. Making practical lifestyle choices is important too, like eating healthily, exercising and not smoking.
It can also be beneficial to learn an asthma breathing technique. There are various breathing techniques that can help asthma and knowing how to breathe properly could help if something unexpectedly triggers an attack.
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What Is An Asthma Flare Up Symptoms & Treatments
According to the CDC, over 19 million people have asthma. But because not everyone presents with traditional asthma symptoms, some people have asthma and dont even know it until they experience a severe flare up. To keep asthma under control, its important to be able to recognize flare up symptoms when they occur so you can work with your doctor to make necessary changes to medication. Even if you are a long-term asthma patient, your condition can always get progressively worse, so learning what is an asthma flare up is necessary for early treatment. Keep reading to learn more about asthma symptoms and how to recognize a flare up.
What Are The Signs Of An Asthma Flare
Asthma flare-ups can vary in strength and length. They can happen without warning, causing sudden coughing, shortness of breath, and wheezing.
Flare-ups should be treated right away. So it’s important to know their early warning signs, including:
- restless sleep or coughing that prevents sleep
- mild chest tightness or wheezing
- shortness of breath
If the flare-up is severe, a kid might:
- struggle to breathe or have fast breathing even when sitting still
- be unable to speak more than a few words at a time without pausing
- have retractions while breathing in
Because they can be life-threatening, flare-ups demand attention. Your child might need to take quick-relief medicine , visit the doctor, or even go to the hospital.
Following the instructions in your child’s asthma action plan can help you know what to do when a flare-up happens.
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What Are The Symptoms Of An Asthma Attack
Warning signs of a possible asthma attack include a cough that gets worse, shortness of breath, particularly if it occurs at night, a diminished exercise tolerance, and an increased need for rescue medication. Common asthma symptoms include:
Wheezing, which sounds like whistling or squeaky sounds while breathing
Shortness of breath
Low peak expiratory flow readings
Failure to respond to use of a rescue inhaler
Note that symptoms vary and that one persons symptoms may vary markedly from yours. For some people, a cough is the only symptom. Many people with mild to moderate asthma have no symptoms in between attacks. Working with your doctor will help identify your asthma attack symptoms.
Severe asthma attacks have more symptoms, in addition to the common ones listed above. These include:
Extreme shortness of breath
Flared nostrils and pursed lips
Bluish lips and fingernails
A need to sit upright
Severe asthma attacks can lead to medical emergencies. Anyone experiencing fast breathing where the skin sucks in between the chest plate and/or the rib bones, stomach or ribs moving in and out deeply and rapidly, an expanded chest that doesnt deflate when exhaling or cyanosis, should seek immediate medical attention. If you take medication and your symptoms dont improve or worsen, you may also require emergency treatment.
How Emotions Can Contribute To Asthma Flare
Home& gt& gtHow emotions can contribute to asthma flare-ups
In light of our Back-to-School campaign, we wanted to touch on the subject of emotions and asthma and how attending school doesnt come as easily for some children.
It is an exciting time returning to school after the long holidays. There are old friends to see and new friends to meet. But for some kids, this can be an emotional time and the realities may not sink in until after the first week. Some of you may not know, but emotions can be a trigger for asthma, leading to increased symptoms and flare ups.
Were not just talking about stress, anxiety or depression were also talking about crying and laughter! In fact, heightened emotions in general can contribute to an asthma episode.
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When Should I Go To Hospital For Asthma
Asthma is one of the most common respiratory diseases. It causes recurrent wheezing and breathlessness. It can be triggered by severe or prolonged asthma attacks or by exposure to a respiratory irritant. If you have asthma, controlling your symptoms and occasional flareups is important. However, asthma symptoms can become severe and you might have a serious flareup. When should you go to hospital for asthma? When should I go to hospital for asthma?.
Why Has My Asthma Suddenly Got Worse
Breathing in the wide variety of pollens found in grassy meadows, trees, and shrubs causes the airways to spasm and swell. When the airways are narrowed, its harder for the lungs to do their job, which makes it hard to breathe. There are two types of pollen grass pollen and tree pollen. Trees release pollen in the spring, while grass pollen is released in the summer. Grass pollen is the worst type of pollen to have severe effects as it has a high concentration of allergenic proteins, which causes severe allergic reactions in the body, while tree pollen is less severe. Some studies show that using a neti pot with saline solution can help loosen the mucus in the sinuses and thus help reduce the number of attacks. Also, there are many medications available in the market that helps to alleviate the symptoms caused by the asthma..
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When To Call 999
Dont delay getting help if you have an asthma attack. Call 999 if your reliever isnt helping, or lasting four hours, or youre worried at any time.
An asthma attack is a real emergency, and could be life-threatening, says Asthma + Lung UKs in-house GP, Dr Andy Whittamore.
Getting help when you need it is so important, to make sure youre treated quickly. Never think youre wasting anyones time.
Asthma: 10 Common Questions Answered
For most parents and kids, spring means sunny warm weather, outdoor sports and more outside playtime. For many others, spring also means more asthma flare-ups more time outside means more exposure to asthma triggers, and more sports means more exercise-induced asthma.
Although childhood asthma is common, many people really dont know much about it. So we thought wed answer some common questions about what asthma is and how its treated.
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How To Help When Emotions Trigger Asthma
Emotions and stressors are much less likely to trigger asthma when it is well-managed.
Effective and ongoing management means taking your preventer medication in the way it is prescribed this could be daily or twice daily and keeping your reliever with you.
Having an up-to-date written Asthma Action Plan and following it as symptoms increase or decrease is critical, especially for children.
We recommend combining psychological and medical care, medical monitoring, individualised asthma education and adequate community support, if needed.
Pleasant and unpleasant emotions are part of life. Laughter, crying, stress or surprise can spur us on to do more, to take charge or have more fun.
Find out more about the links between asthma and emotions here
Visit our website for more information and resources about asthma in children.
Bird Healthcare and Flo are campaign partners of Asthma Australia and have not been involved in the development of this web page/content.
Know The Four Steps Of Asthma First Aid
Its important for everyone in the community to know the four steps of asthma first aid.:
If you are not sure if someone is having an asthma attack, you can still use blue reliever medication because it is unlikely to cause harm.
- the person is not breathing
- their asthma suddenly becomes worse
- the person is having an asthma attack and theres no blue reliever medication available.
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Give Yourself Some Time To Recover
After an asthma attack it’s important to try and rest as much as you need to. Lots of people feel physically and emotionally tired. Everyone’s different so it’s important to do what’s right for you.
- rest and relax as much as possible
- get signed off work by your doctor dont go back to work until youre fully better
- ask friends and family to help with children or housework and shopping
- have a good sleep routine trouble sleeping is common after an asthma attack
- postpone social events until youre well enough
- call the Asthma UK Helpline on 0300 222 5800 for reassurance and support if youre frightened or stressed after your asthma attack. Or you can WhatsApp them on 07378 606 728.
book another appointment with your GP as soon as possible,
What Is An Asthma Attack
During an asthma attack, the bronchial tubes, which are the passages that allow air to enter and leave the lungs, become narrow and inflamed. Mucus produced by inflammation fills the narrowed airways, making it difficult to breathe. Some patients experience wheezing and rattling in the chest.
During an asthma attack, the airways become inflamed. They narrow as the muscles surrounding them constrict. Mucus produced by the inflammation fills the narrowed passageways. Airflow becomes partially or even completely blocked. Asthma affects the lungs larger and smaller airways and has a genetic component, meaning that if one or both of your parents has allergies or asthma, you have a good chance of suffering from it too.
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