Too Much Time To Heal
The frustration of why it is taking so long to heal and feel better is the part that I struggle with the most. Why was this happening, and why was I not yet better? Even with medications, physiotherapy massage, chiropractic care and rest, I was slowly on the mend, but it was taking forever. I set small goals for myself at each step of the way and approach it like a checklist, item by item. Each interval is a step to getting better.
What have you done to get yourself through healing from asthma-related exacerbation or injury?
The Bumpy Road To Recovering From An Asthma Attack
Its been a few weeks since the onset. I am going to try to walk around the block today. I may not get far, but Ill make the effort. Yesterday, out of sheer boredom, I baked cookies. It was exhausting. Sounds silly but it is very true.
I have asthma. I also had a flu-like virus, a bacterial infection, a high fever, and now a head cold. That combination is so draining, it makes me weary just telling you about it.
As all people with asthma can attest to, the road to recovery from an attack is a difficult one to navigate. It is long and winding and filled with delays. We have to be patient with our selves and our uncooperative bodies. The spirit is willing to try that walk around the block but my body–more specifically, my lungs–not so much.
Study Population And Design
We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 113 patients who were admitted for the management of asthma exacerbations at our institution, a single university hospital, between October 2009 and December of 2014. Of the study subjects, we included only 89 who underwent pulmonary function tests serially during hospitalization and after discharge until they recovered from their asthma exacerbations. Hospitalization was defined as at least 1 day of hospital stay. The recovery time of pulmonary function was defined as the time lapse from the admission and initial administration of medications to the date the patient reached the best FEV1% predicted value after an asthma exacerbation.
The PFT was performed according to the American Thoracic Society Guidelines. Standard instructions were given prior to the examination which was conducted by an experienced technician. The PFT was serially performed for all study subjects from the time of admission until they reached the best FEV1% predicted. The PFT was performed at least twice a week during hospitalization and was performed every week after discharge until the patient reached the best FEV1% predicted. The full recovery time was defined as the time when the value of FEV1% predicted was in the range of ±10% of the patient’s best value was reached.
When To Seek Medical Help
You should seek medical help for an asthma attack if you experience any of the following:
- You have had symptoms of a mild asthma attack for more than 24 hours, especially if you are using asthma medications.
- You have a fever for more than three days.
- You have a fever that disappears, only to return more than 24 hours later.
After recovery from a severe asthma attack at home or after hospitalization, it’s recommended that you book an appointment with your healthcare provider to make sure your asthma action plan is adequate and you are not at risk for another attack.
You should call 911 or go to the emergency room if any of the following occurs:
- Your breathing difficulty, including wheezing, continues to worsen despite using a rescue inhaler.
- You cannot talk normally due to shortness of breath, and it does not immediately begin to subside with a rescue inhaler.
- You have bluish skin on your lips, face, fingertips, or around the eyes from cyanosis.
- You cannot stop coughing.
- You are using rescue medications more frequently than once every four hours.
- You have a fever over 104 degrees.
- You are experiencing moderate or severe symptoms and you do not have a rescue inhaler.
If you experience worrisome symptoms that are not on this list, consult a healthcare provider as soon as possible.
Other Asthma First Aid Directions
Not everyone with asthma uses the same reliever medication.
Some people use a different blue reliever called Bricanyl which comes in a different type of inhaler called a Turbuhaler.
Other people use a dual-purpose reliever. A dual-purpose reliever contains budesonide and formoterol together, and is used as-needed.
The combination of budesonide and formoterol in the dual-purpose reliever, when used as-needed, relieves symptoms and reduces risk of experiencing serious asthma flare-ups. It does this by relaxing tight airway muscles and treating inflammation in the airways.
Note: you may also be prescribed these medicines as a preventer. Always follow your doctors instructions on your asthma action plan about what to use in an asthma flare-up or asthma attack.
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 its important to know their early warning signs, including:
- restless sleep or coughing that prevents sleep
- mild chest tightness or wheezing
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.
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Waiting Time With Chest Pain Before Going To The Emergency Room
Chest pain in a person with risk factors for cardiovascular disease should be promptly evaluated, says Hanifin.
People with a history of high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol or a family history of heart diseases need to be educated regarding the warning signs of heart attack.
Another red flag for chest pain is the presence of associated symptoms. The presence of shortness of breath, nausea, sweating or lightheadedness can signal a potentially life-threatening problem and merit prompt evaluation.
Finally, different types of pathology are frequently characterized by different types of pain.
Heart attacks and angina are usually associated with a pressure sensation.
Aortic dissection is associated with a tearing sensation, and inflammation around the heart pericarditis is associated with a sharp pain. All of these should be urgently evaluated.
This means dont make up some time limit rule. Just get out the door .
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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.
Asthma Causes And Triggers
Nobody knows what exactly causes asthma. What we do know is that it is a chronic condition that causes inflammation of the airways and gets worse when youre exposed to certain lung irritants. These are referred to as triggers and cause the airways to swell up, constrict, and fill up with mucus. Triggers vary from person to person, as well as in their severity.
Allergies play a major role in triggering asthma attacks, as do genetics. However, the most important thing to do would be to understand your triggers and take the necessary steps to avoid them at all costs. This will result in fewer and less severe asthma flare-ups.
Some of the most common asthma triggers you need to wary of include:
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How Do I Know If My Asthma Is Not Well
A good way to know if your asthma is not well-controlled is by answering these questions:
- Do you have asthma symptoms more than two times a week?
- Do you take your quick-relief medicine more than two times a week?
- Do you wake up from asthma more than two times a month?
- Do you use oral corticosteroids more than two times a year?
If you answer yes to any of these questions, talk with your doctor.
If your asthma is not well-controlled, your daily activities may be limited. You may miss work or school. You may increase your chances of having complications from a respiratory infection. And you may be at greater risk for going to the emergency room, staying in the hospital, or even dying from asthma.
What Other Tools Can I Use For Monitoring Asthma Control
Peak Flow Meter
Sometimes doctors recommend a peak flow meter a handheld device that measures how well air moves out of your lungs. A peak flow meter, when used every day, can spot reduced airflow before you notice the signs and symptoms of an asthma episode.
Peak flow meter readings can help you monitor your asthma control. But they are just one tool. Your peak flow meter reading is not the only indicator of asthma control. Always follow your Asthma Action Plan.
Doctors use pulse oximeters to measure how much oxygen your blood is carrying. Some people with asthma may experience a drop in their oxygen levels in their blood.
Pulse oximeters you can buy online and use at home are not as accurate as medical grade devices. Monitoring your blood oxygen levels with pulse oximeters is not a recommended part of home management of asthma.
Lung Function Tests
Your allergist or pulmonologist may use different lung function tests to assess your asthma control. Learn more about the tests used to diagnose and monitor asthma.
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Identifying Asthma Triggers With Allergy Testing
Determining what triggers a personâs asthma is often difficult.
Allergy testing is appropriate when there is a suspicion that some avoidable substance is provoking attacks. Skin testing Skin testing Allergic reactions are inappropriate responses of the immune system to a normally harmless substance. Usually, allergies make people sneeze the eyes water and itch… read more can help identify allergens that may trigger asthma symptoms. However, an allergic response to a skin test does not necessarily mean that the allergen being tested is causing the asthma. The person still has to note whether attacks occur after exposure to this allergen. If doctors suspect a particular allergen, a blood test that measures the level of antibody produced in response to the allergen can be done to determine the degree of the person’s sensitivity to the allergen.
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 evidence 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.
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How Long Does It Take For Asthma To Go Away
- 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.
Know The 4 Steps Of Asthma First Aid
Its important for everyone in the community to know the 4 steps of asthma first aid.
One of the most common reliever medications in Australia is salbutamol, often known as your blue puffer. These are available over the counter from a chemist.
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 harmCall triple zero immediately if:
- the person is not breathing
- their asthma suddenly becomes worse or is not improving
- the person is having an asthma attack and theres no reliever medication available
- the person is unsure if it is asthma
- the person is known to have anaphylaxis. If this is the case, ALWAYS GIVE ADRENALINE AUTOINJECTOR FIRST, and then reliever, even if there are no skin symptoms.
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What Is An Allergic Reaction
Allergic or hypersensitive reaction is excessive sensitivity exhibited by your immune system to a conventionally harmless substance such as pollen, dust and certain foods. These substances are not dangerous in the majority of the people, but when they trigger allergic reactions, they are called allergens. Allergic reactions occur when the allergens contact the skin, are inhaled, swallowed or injected.
Allergic reactions are quite common and may happen seconds to hours after contact with the allergen. Though many allergic reactions are mild, others may be dangerous or life-threatening. They may be localized, involving a small part of the body or may affect a large area orthe whole body.
An allergic reaction begins with touching, inhaling or swallowing an allergen. In response to this trigger, the body starts making a type of protein called IgE or immunoglobulin E. IgE leads to the release of some chemicals in the body. These chemicals cause the inflammatory symptoms of allergic reactions such as rash, itching and sneezing.
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Keep Taking Your Asthma Medicines As Prescribed
You can speed up your recovery and lower your risk of another attack by taking your asthma medicines as prescribed. Use your asthma action plan to help you.
This means continuing to take your usual preventer medicine and finishing the course of steroid tablets if your doctor prescribed this for you.
- Your usual preventer medicine works away in the background to prevent your airways from getting too inflamed or swollen. If you take it every day as prescribed you should have fewer symptoms and lower your risk of another attack.
- A short course of steroid tablets prescribed by your GP helps you recover from your asthma attack by dealing with the inflammation and swelling in your airways.If youre still getting symptoms once youve finished a course of oral steroid tablets, book a follow-up appointment, says Dr Andy. “Your GP or asthma nurse may decide to extend your course of steroid tablets by another week.
If you are on a high dose of steroid medicine you should be given a steroid card. This is a card that lets health care professionals know you take steroids. It is useful in emergency situations, as your body may not produce enough natural steroids to help you deal with illness or injury. In this situation, doctors will need to give you extra corticosteroids.
Make sure you always carry your steroid card with you. If you lose it, you can get a replacement from your pharmacy or GP.
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,
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