When Should I See My Healthcare Provider About Eib
If you or your child has symptoms of exercise or sports-induced asthma, call your provider. Several conditions have symptoms that are similar to EIB. Its essential to get evaluated.
If you or your child has severe shortness of breath or trouble breathing, seek immediate medical attention. Call 911 or go directly to the emergency room.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Many people with exercise-induced asthma play sports, enjoy a range of activities and live an active lifestyle. People of all fitness levels, including Olympic athletes and marathon runners, manage asthma and excel at their sports. If you or your child has EIB, be sure to include a warmup routine before exercise. Keep an eye on pollen counts and air quality before you head outside. Talk to your provider about medications that can help you breathe easier. With lifestyle changes and prior planning, you can stay active and exercise safely.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/17/2021.
Contact Doctor During Office Hours
- Don’t have written asthma action plan from your doctor
- Use an inhaler, but don’t have a spacer
- Miss more than 1 day of school per month for asthma
- Asthma limits exercise or sports
- Asthma attacks wake child up from sleep
- Use more than 1 inhaler per month
- No asthma check-up in more than 1 year
- You have other questions or concerns
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.
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
Chest Tightness In Asthma Symptoms
When you have chest tightness due to your asthma, you may feel like you can’t easily push air in and out of your chest. With asthma, mild chest tightness can be present all or most of the time, but it may worsen in response to asthma triggers and in the hours or minutes before an asthma exacerbation.
Not all people who have asthma experience chest tightness. But there is a type of asthma described as chest tightness variant asthma in which this symptom is especially frequent.
Symptoms of chest tightness include:
- A feeling that your chest is constricted, as if there’s a band around it
- A sense that you’re trying to push against your chest from the inside as you breathe
- A struggle to fully exhale
- Difficulty inhaling
When the feeling of chest tightness triggers anxiety, your sense of not being able to move air through your lungs can worsen.
Should I Be Extra Cautious About Coronavirus If I Have Asthma
Yes. The CDC has released new guidelines for people with asthma, which include the following:
- Stock up on supplies in case you need to self-isolate .
- Stay at home and practice social distancing from those you do not live with .
- Avoid people who are sick, and wash your hands often.
- Avoid crowds.
- Avoid non-essential travel.
- Clean and disinfect your home and car regularly, especially items you touch often like doorknobs, light switches, cell phones, keyboards, faucets, car door handles, and steering wheels.
- If someone in your home is sick, stay away from them.
- Avoid sharing personal household items such as cups and towels.
The best way to protect yourself is to keep on top of your asthma and asthma symptoms. Follow these simple asthma management steps:
Medical History And Physical Exam
Your doctor will ask about your risk factors for asthma and your . They may ask also about any known allergies. This includes how often symptoms occur, what seems to trigger your symptoms, when or where symptoms occur, and if your symptoms wake you up at night.
During the physical exam, your doctor may:
- Listen to your breathing and look for of asthma
- Look for allergic skin conditions, such as eczema
What Do I Do If I Have An Asthma Attack
If you or a loved one is having an asthma attack and the symptoms donât get better quickly after following the asthma action plan, follow the “red zone” or emergency instructions and contact your doctor or right away. You need urgent medical attention.
1. Give asthma first aid.
If the person doesn’t have an plan:
- Sit them upright comfortably and loosen tight clothing.
- If the person has asthma medication, such as an inhaler, help them take it.
- If the person doesnât have an inhaler, use one from a first aid kit. Do not borrow someone elseâs. The medicine in it may be different than the needed rescue medicine. Also, using someone else’s inhaler has a slight risk of passing on an infection.
2. Use an inhaler with a spacer, if possible.
- Remove the cap and shake the inhaler well.
- Insert the inhaler into the spacer.
- Have the person breathe out completely and put their mouth tightly around the spacer mouthpiece.
- Press the inhaler once to deliver a puff.
- Have the person breathe in slowly through their and hold their breath for 10 seconds.
- Give a total of four puffs, waiting about a minute between each puff.
3. Use an inhaler without a spacer, if necessary.
4. Continue using the inhaler if breathing is still a problem.
5. Monitor the person until help arrives.
- Do not mistake drowsiness as a sign of improvement; it could mean asthma is getting worse.
- Do not assume that the personâs asthma is improving if you no longer hear wheezing.
6. Follow up.
Why Have Your Asthma Symptoms Got Worse
Before your appointment, have a think about your symptoms and why you think theyve got worse. Itll help you and your GP to work out whats going on with your asthma.
Ask yourself these questions to help you:
Have I been taking my preventer inhaler every day?
Preventer medicines stop inflammation building up in your airways. But they can only do this if you take them every day.
If you stop taking them you wont have full protection. And your symptoms will come back.
Have you been taking yours every day? Or have you found it hard to get into a good routine?
Do I know the best way to take my inhalers?
Even if youve been taking an inhaler for years, its easy to slip into bad habits. If you havent been taking your inhaler correctly you will have been missing out on the full dose of asthma medicine.
Are you confident youre taking your inhalers in the right way? Watch our inhaler videos to see if youre doing it right. And ask your GP or asthma nurse to check it at your appointment.
Have I been around more of my usual asthma triggers?
Maybe youve caught a cold, or its pollen season and your hay fevers bad. Think about your usual triggers and if they might be affecting you more.
Have I come across a new trigger?
Have you been around an animal or pet? Did you start a new job, or go on holiday? Tell your doctor if youve spotted a new trigger. They can help you deal with it.
What else has been going on in my life lately?
Have I noticed hormonal changes?
How Do You Get Asthma
- Doctors know, however, that asthma can sometimes run in families.
- Asthma attacks can be set off by many different things, these are called triggers. Examples include cold air, vigorous exercise and .
- These triggers may also include ‘allergens’. These are present in the environment and contain chemicals that trigger allergic reactions.
- Allergens include, for example, pollen, animal danders, house dust, pollution, some foods, perfumes and cigarette smoke.
- Allergens cause the lining of the airways to become swollen and inflamed. It produces extra mucus and the muscles of the airways tighten. There is then less room for the air to pass in and out.
- Attacks may be more frequent or severe in people who have a chest infection.
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:
Video: Signs That Your Asthma Is Getting Worse
Transcript for Signs that your asthma is getting worse
0:00 Asthma attacks rarely happen out of the blue.
0:03 They often take a few days to build up.
0:07 Asthma is different for everybody.
0:10 By learning how to recognise when your asthma symptoms are getting worse,
0:14 itll help you to stay in control.
0:18 So, signs that your asthma is getting worse are variable.
0:23 The most common sort of signs are you may feel some wheezing,
0:26 you may have a cough, you may find a tightness in your chest.
0:32 If you keep a peak flow diary, you may find that your peak flow scores are reducing a bit.
0:45 If your symptoms continue to be worse and youre using your blue inhaler a lot,
0:56 especially if youre not sure what to do next.
0:59 We can discuss whats been going on with you
1:01 and make a plan for a way forward.
1:05 If you are using your preventer inhaler as prescribed,
1:09 every day, even when youre well and using really good inhaler technique,
1:14 and despite this, your asthma symptoms are getting worse,
1:18 its a good idea to see your GP.
Adult action plan
Using an asthma action plan will help you to stay well. Download and fill in with your GP.
What Are The Different Types Of Asthmatic Bronchitis
Asthmatic is the swelling of small airways inside the lung causing cough and breathlessness. Bronchial is separated into allergic and nonallergic asthma according to its respective triggers.
- Allergic asthma: Symptoms are triggered by an allergic reaction, which means that the of the affected person reacts more intensely than necessary often to a harmless substance. Allergic asthma often initially presents in early childhood and adolescence and is often due to a hereditary predisposition.
- Intrinsic asthma: Initially presents at the age of 30-40 years and is caused by different factors. Triggers may include respiratory tract infections, genetic incompatibility with certain medications, or chemical or toxic substances from the environment
- As with special forms of bronchial asthma, asthma is also prevalent in severely women. Specific characteristics also are associated with asthma in smokers.
Depending on severity:
Are People With Asthma At Higher Risk Of Poor Outcomes From Covid
Despite the lack of hard data, the WHO, the CDC, and lung disease specialists are in agreement: People with asthma have a higher risk of severe illness and death with respiratory infections in general. Because of this, any child or adult with moderate to severe asthma should consider themselves at risk for severe COVID-19 disease and take extra precautions with their health.
This is especially true for anyone who has been admitted to the hospital for asthma in the last 12 months, or who has ever been admitted to an intensive care unit for their asthma.
Why is this recommendation in place when there is no hard evidence? Heres why.
Any infection in the lung can trigger an asthma attack, causing the smallest airways in the lung to tighten up and let very little air in and out. The symptoms are sudden and severe: shortness of breath, wheezing, and cough. If the infection is mild, for example with a common cold, asthma symptoms can usually be managed at home. Most people with asthma have an asthma action plan that tells them how to manage their symptoms when they get worse, and when to seek medical attention.
If the infection is more serious, a person with an asthma attack may need emergency treatment in the hospital with oxygen, nebulizers, and corticosteroids. Usually things improve pretty quickly. Antibiotics help to treat a bacterial lung infection if there is one, and flu treatments like can help shorten symptoms if the infection is caused by the flu.
How Do You Stop An Asthma Attack Without An Inhaler
If you are diagnosed with asthma, you should make sure you have an inhaler with you at all times. However, if a worst case scenario occurs and you experience when you dont have a reliever inhaler with you, there are practical steps you can take to ease your symptoms.
- Stay as calm as you can find a way to reduce any anxiety, such as holding someones hand or playing music
- Sit upright this will help keep your airways open
- Breathe slowly and deeply slowing down your breathing can reduce the risk of hyperventilating
- If something appears to have triggered your asthma, such as breathing in cold air or being exposed to smoke, move away from the trigger
- Try breathing exercises the pursed lip breathing technique can help you deal with shortness of breath
- Have a drink containing caffeine there is some to suggest that caffeine can help improve airway function for up to four hours.
Asthma can be a life-threatening condition, so at the very least, aim to keep a spare reliever inhaler in your handbag, locker at work or coat pocket.
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
How Do I Know If A Flare
Here’s a good way to see how bad a flare-up is: measure your peak expiratory flow using a peak flow meter. Your doctor can show you how to use a peak flow meter to keep track of your asthma. A peak flow meter costs less than $30, and you only have to buy it one time. First, you find out your personal best peak flow. This is the highest reading you can get on the meter over a two-week period when your asthma is under good control.
Here are some general guidelines you can use to find out how serious an asthma flare-up is:
During mild flare-ups, you may notice shortness of breath when you walk or exercise, but when you sit still, you feel okay. You can usually breathe well enough to talk in complete sentences. You may hear some wheezing, mostly at the end of exhaling . Your peak flow readings will be 80 to 100 percent of your personal best.
During moderate flare-ups, you may feel short of breath when you talk or lie down, but if you sit quietly, you feel better. You may talk in a few words rather than using whole sentences because you’re short of breath. You may feel anxious or tense. You may be using your neck muscles to help you take deeper breaths. You may hear loud wheezing, especially when you breathe out. Your peak flow readings will be about 50 percent to less than 80 percent of your personal best.
Eat To Beat Inflammation
No particular diet can prevent asthma symptoms, but eating healthy foods can help you feel better overall. If youre overweight, losing a few pounds will give your lungs more room to expand.
At mealtimes, load up on fruits and vegetables. Plant-based foods are high in antioxidants like beta carotene and vitamins A and E, which may help combat inflammation in the lungs.
Also increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids, found in cold-water fish like salmon and tuna, as well as in nuts and seeds. There is some evidence these foods might help cut down on asthma symptoms.
If you have sensitivities or allergies to particular foods, try to avoid them. Allergic reactions to food can trigger asthma symptoms.
Identifying An Asthma Cough
The purpose of a cough is to remove foreign particles and bacteria to prevent a possible infection. There are two types of coughs: productive and nonproductive. When a cough is productive, it means that a noticeable amount of phlegm expelled. This enables the lungs to get rid of harmful substances.
Coughing in people with asthma can be helpful because its one of the bodys natural defense mechanisms. A productive asthmatic cough will expel phlegm and mucus from the lungs. In most cases of asthma, the cough is considered nonproductive. A nonproductive cough is a dry cough. Its a response to an irritant that forces the bronchial tubes to spasm . Swelling and constriction of the airways, which prompts this type of nonproductive cough, characterize asthma.
An asthma cough is also often accompanied by wheezing. This is a high-pitched whistling sound caused by a constricted airway.
When To See A Doctor
Whether you have been diagnosed with asthma or not, it is important that you get medical help for your chest tightness.
Consider going to an emergency room if:
- The discomfort is severe.
- You have associated chest pain, , nausea, sweating, dizziness, or fainting.
- The sensation is localized to a specific area of your chest.
- Your chest tightness is associated with physical activity or progressively worsens.
- You have a feeling of impending doom or that something is horribly wrong.
- You experience mild chest tightness at the same time every day or when your asthma medicine is wearing off.
- You only experience chest tightness along with your other asthma symptoms.
- You started having occasional chest tightness when you had a change in your asthma medication.
- Your chest tightness improves when you use your asthma rescue treatment, but is recurrent.
Asthma Attack Causes And Symptoms
Asthma affects about 235m people worldwide, including both adults and children. The symptoms of asthma can be well controlled by regular medications and lifestyle choices, but sometimes an Asthma Attack occurs where the symptoms suddenly get worse.
Read on to discover the facts about asthma attacks, what causes them, the symptoms to look out for and common asthma attack triggers.
How Can I Be Better Prepared To Manage Asthma What Is An Asthma Management Plan
Unfortunately, asthma cannot be cured. This makes it crucial to have your doctor create an asthma action plan to help you stay in control of your asthma.
Your asthma action plan will outline:
- What medication do I need?
- How can I tell if your asthma is getting worse?
- What should I do if my symptoms get worse?
- What can I have an asthma attack?
If your doctor develops an asthma action plan for you, its important to follow your asthma action plan closely. Make sure you carry and take your medications, such as an asthma inhaler.
What We Know About Asthma And Covid
is a pre-existing lung condition affecting 1 in 13 people in the U.S. It can cause wheezing, chest tightness, coughing, and shortness of breath. Asthma can be by taking medications and avoiding triggers.
is a respiratory disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The virus affects cells in the airways, from the nose and throat down to the deepest parts of the lungs. In the nose and throat it might cause symptoms of a cold. In the upper airways, it might cause some breathlessness and cough. When the coronavirus lodges itself deep in the lungs, this is when things can start to get serious. Here, the coronavirus commonly causes a double lung infection, or bilateral pneumonia.
Interestingly, research so far does not suggest any link between having asthma and getting a more severe COVID-19 illness, or between asthma and coronavirus deaths.
Whether this is because the SARS-CoV-2 virus doesnt affect people with asthma in the same way as other respiratory viruses, or because there simply isnt enough data yet, remains to be seen.
The Respiratory System: How It Should Work
Respiration is the process by which our bodies inhale oxygen and express carbon dioxide. This process becomes more difficult during an asthmatic attack.
When you inhale, air passes through your windpipe . Meanwhile your diaphragm contracts and moves downward creating air space in your chest cavity. The air enters your lungs, passing through the bronchial tubes and finally into tiny air sacs .
Oxygen from the air passes from the alveoli and into the bloodstream through tiny blood vessels called capillaries. Capillaries deliver this oxygen-rich blood to pulmonary veins, which pass it to the left side of your heart. The heart then pumps the oxygen-rich blood to the rest of your body.
When you exhale, air that is rich in carbon dioxide passes out of your lungs, through your windpipe, and out your body through your nose and/or mouth.
What To Do When Having An Asthma Attack
If you have asthma, then its important that you know what to do and not do if you have an asthma attack.
Its hard to predict exactly when an asthma attack will occur, so its also important to discuss your condition with your family, friends and employer. Its essential that they all become better acquainted with what happens and how to react and help if you have an asthma attack.