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How Many Days Can An Asthma Attack Last

About Secondhand Smoke And Asthma

How To Treat An Asthma Attack | What To Do During An Asthma Attack | Inhaler Treatment At Home

Secondhand smoke is the smoke from a cigarette, cigar, or pipe, that is exhaled by a smoker. Secondhand smoke contains more than 4,000 substances, including several compounds that cause cancer.

Secondhand smoke can trigger asthma episodes and increase the severity of attacks. Secondhand smoke is also a risk factor for new cases of asthma in pre-school-aged children. Childrenâs developing bodies may make them more susceptible to the effects of secondhand smoke. Due to their small size, they breathe more rapidly than adults, thereby taking in more secondhand smoke. Children receiving high doses of secondhand smoke, such as those with smoking parents, run the greatest relative risk of experiencing damaging health effects.

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What To Do After An Asthma Attack

An asthma attack can be a learning experience if you and your doctor use it to refine your asthma action plan. Get some tips on what to do after an asthma attack.

An asthma attack is a sudden worsening of asthma symptoms that causes your air passages to become smaller and makes your breathing more difficult. Symptoms of an asthma attack may include difficult and painful breathing, coughing, and wheezing. Anyone with asthma needs to have a plan for what to do during an asthma attack. But you should also know what to do after an asthma attack.

“You can’t always avoid an asthma attack, but you can check in with your doctor and use an asthma attack as a way to improve your asthma management,” said Jonathan Bernstein, MD, an associate professor in allergy and asthma at the University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center. “In some cases, an asthma attack may be an indication that you need to make some changes.”

Seeing your doctor after an asthma attack is especially important if you are newly diagnosed. “Discussing the attack with your doctor can help you learn more about your asthma and empower you to manage your asthma better in the future,” said Sumita Khatri, MD, co-director of the asthma center at the Cleveland Clinic.

Questions To Ask When Choosing An Asthma Specialist

Once you determine the type of asthma specialist you want to see, consider the following questions to help make the best choice:

  • Is the doctor board certified? This means that the doctor passed a standard exam given by the governing board in their specialty.
  • Where did the doctor go to medical school? Your local medical society can provide this information.
  • Is the doctor involved in any academic pursuits, such as teaching, writing, or research? Such a doctor may be more up-to-date in the latest developments in the treatment of asthma.
  • Where does the doctor have hospital privileges and where are these hospitals located? Some doctors may not admit patients to certain hospitals, and this is an important consideration for anyone with a chronic health problem.
  • Does the doctor accept your particular type of health insurance, or is the doctor a member of the medical panel associated with your HMO?
  • Changes in medical coverage may mean that the doctor you now see will not be the one you see in a year or two. This makes it even more important to understand your asthma diagnosis fully, stay abreast of treatment methods, and follow your asthma action plan.

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    How Is An Asthma Flare

    The best thing to do first if your asthma symptoms are getting worse is to use your rescue or quick-relief medicine. Ask your doctor if you’re not sure what to use for quick-relief medicine. The usual inhaler dose is two to four puffs every 20 minutes for a total of three doses, or one nebulizer treatment if you have a home nebulizer.

    You should be able to tell how serious the flare-up is after you use your quick-relief medicine. If you have a peak flow meter, check your PEF again after you use the quick-relief medicine. If your PEF is still very low, your flare-up is serious.

    Your doctor may have given you a written Asthma Action Plan with directions for treating mild, moderate and severe flare-ups. If you don’t have an action plan, ask your doctor for written directions about treating asthma flare-ups. If you have the symptoms of a serious flare-up or if your PEF is less than 50 percent of your personal best, call your doctor right away or go directly to the nearest hospital emergency room .

    Causes Of Asthma Flare

    Asthma: a chronic condition

    People with asthma have airways that are overly sensitive to certain things that normally dont bother those without asthma, and exposure to triggers can bring on asthma symptoms.

    Common triggers include:

    • mold
    • cockroaches

    Many people with asthma also have allergies. In them, allergens the things that cause the allergic symptoms also can cause asthma flare-ups.

    Left untreated, a flare-up can last for several hours or even several days. Quick-relief medicines often take care of the symptoms pretty quickly. A person should feel better once the flare-up ends, although it can take several days to completely go away.

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    Check Your Asthma Action Plan

    The plan you wrote with your doctor to help control your asthma does more than tell you what medications to take. It also lists the symptoms to watch for and when to call your doctor or go to the ER if they get worse.

    You should call 911 or get to a hospital right away if you:

    • Have wheezing or shortness of breath that doesnât get better when you use your rescue inhaler
    • Are so short of breath you canât talk or walk normally
    • Have blue lips or fingernails
    • Take more than 25-30 breaths a minute
    • Need to strain your chest muscles to breathe
    • Have a heartbeat higher than 120 beats per minute

    Very few people need a hospital stay for asthma treatment. Itâs more likely to be necessary if you:

    • Have had a bad asthma attack before
    • Went to the ER or stayed in the hospital because of your asthma within the last 10 days
    • Got diagnosed with asthma after age 40
    • Take steroid medications regularly to control your asthma
    • Use your rescue inhaler more than twice a month
    • Have other long-term health problems, such as heart or lung disease

    How Do You Know If You Are Having An Asthma Attack

    An asthma attack happens when the body is exposed to a triggerlike pollen or smokethat causes the airways to become inflamed and swollen.

    Asthma attacks are uncomfortable to experience and can be frightening, especially for children. If you or someone you know is having any of the following symptoms, they may be having an asthma attack:

    • Difficulty breathing
    • Chest tightness or pain
    • Coughing or wheezing

    An asthma attack may go away after a few minutes with proper treatment, but symptoms can last longer and become life-threatening if untreated. Seek medical attention immediately if you or someone you know is having a severe asthma attack with one or more of the following symptoms:

    • A feeling of panic about the asthma attack
    • Pale and sweaty face

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    Who Can Get Asthma

    Anyone can develop asthma at any age. People with allergies or people exposed to tobacco smoke and secondhand smoke are more likely to develop asthma.

    Statistics show women tend to have asthma more than men, and asthma affects Black Americans more frequently than other races.

    When a child develops asthma, healthcare providers call it childhood asthma. If it develops later in life, its adult-onset asthma.

    Children do not outgrow asthma. They may have fewer symptoms as they get older, but they could still have an asthma attack. Your childs healthcare provider can help you understand the risks.

    Medications As A Preventative

    How does asthma work? – Christopher E. Gaw

    Bronchodilators, anti-inflammatory medications, and immunotherapy can help manage asthma and help prevent attacks. Inhalers are bronchodilators and include beta-agonists such as albuterol, metaproterenol, and pirbuterol. Doctors prescribe them for mild, occasional symptoms as well as rescue medications to prevent an attack. Other bronchodilators, such as salmeterol and theophylline, are prescribed as controlled to reduce the number of attacks.

    Anti-inflammatory medications are also controllers that patients take regularly regardless of whether they have asthma symptoms. These medications reduce inflammation that reduces mucus production and constricted airways. Doctors may prescribe several other anti-inflammatories and corticosteroids for more severe asthma.

    Some asthma sufferers also benefit from regular immunotherapy injections if their triggers involve sensitivity to indoor allergens. Immunotherapy seems to work best for those with mild to moderate asthma.

    Learning how to help an asthma attack also means anticipating possible episodes. Asthma patients should constantly monitor their symptoms and peak-flow readings if they have a home peak flow meter to help identify when attacks may be imminent. When symptoms flare, follow your asthma plans instructions for using your inhaler. Peak flow readings of 51 percent to 79 percent signal that you should use your rescue medications.

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    Using A Spacer With The Inhaler

    If you or your child find it difficult to use an inhaler, your doctor may give you a spacer to use with it.

    A spacer is a large metal or plastic container with a mouthpiece and a hole for the inhaler. When used with the inhaler it makes it easier to get the right amount of salbutamol into the lungs.

    Spacers are especially useful for giving salbutamol to young children.

    Your doctor, pharmacist or nurse can show you how to use a spacer with the inhaler.

    What Are Common Side Effects With Asthma Medications

    Inhaled asthma medications are usually well-tolerated with few side effects when used as prescribed however, there are a few precautions.

    • Inhaled corticosteroids can cause oral thrush, a fungal infection of the mouth.
    • Rinsing your mouth with water after using the inhaler or using a spacer device might help prevent thrush.
    • Contact your doctor if you notice white patches in your mouth, which could be the beginning of a thrush infection.

    Inhaled quick-acting medicines like albuterol can also cause side effects like: shakiness, nervousness, difficulty sleeping or a fast heartbeat, among others.

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    How Is Smoking Related To Asthma

    If you have asthma, an asthma attack can occur when something irritates your airways and triggers an attack. Your triggers might be different from other peoples triggers.3

    Tobacco smoke is a common trigger for asthma. Tobacco smokeincluding secondhand smokeis unhealthy for everyone, especially people with asthma.3,6 Secondhand smoke is a mixture of gases and fine particles that includes:4,5

    • Smoke from burning tobacco products, such as cigarettes, cigars, or pipes
    • Smoke that has been exhaled by someone who smokes

    Secondhand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, including hundreds that are toxic and about 70 that can cause cancer.6

    If you have asthma, its important that you avoid exposure to secondhand smoke.3

    If you are among the 21% of U.S. adults who have asthma and smoke, get help to quit smoking talk to your doctor about treatments that can help you, or call . 7

    The Common Cold The Flu And Asthma

    Asthma: a rising global killer

    The common cold and the flu are respiratory conditions that can lead to coughing, wheezing, and congestion. These symptoms, in turn, can lead to an asthma flare-up. The flu can cause inflammation and narrowing of the airways, which can trigger asthma symptoms. This is one reason the CDC recommends all asthma patients get the flu vaccine and take precautions to avoid getting the flu.

    Asthma is one of the leading causes of missed school and work, but it doesnt have to be. Asthma and allergy specialists can help identify your asthma triggers. Board-certified allergists will also develop a treatment and action plan to get your asthma under control. If you or a family member has uncontrolled asthma, schedule an appointment with our board-certified asthma specialist today and breathe easier.

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    Asthma Symptoms In A Severe Allergic Reaction

    People having a severe allergic reaction can also have asthma-like symptoms. If the person has an anaphylaxis action plan, follow the instructions. If they have known severe allergies and carry an adrenaline autoinjector , use that before using asthma reliever medication.In case of an emergency, call triple zero and ask for an ambulance.

    About Nitrogen Dioxide And Asthma

    Nitrogen dioxide is an odorless gas that can irritate your eyes, nose and throat and cause shortness of breath. Indoor NO2 can come from using appliances that burn fuels such as gas, kerosene and wood.

    In people with asthma, exposure to low levels of NO2 may cause increased bronchial reactivity and make young children more susceptible to respiratory infections. Long-term exposure to high levels of NO2 can lead to chronic bronchitis. Studies show a connection between breathing elevated short-term NO2concentrations, and increased visits to emergency departments and hospital admissions for respiratory issues, especially asthma.

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    What Causes Asthma Attacks

    Asthma sufferers have an overly active immune system that causes airways to become inflamed and swollen. Similar to the length of attacks, triggers also vary among people. In some severe cases, what triggers asthma attacks cannot be identified. The most common triggers are:

  • Pollen, mold, and dust mites

  • Tobacco smoke

  • Some medications

  • Environmental pollutants, including chemicals, wood smoke, paint fumes, and other strong odors

  • Asthma often worsens if you have respiratory infections such as the common cold, influenza, or sinusitis. Strenuous exercises can also trigger attacks as well as changing weather conditions. Even certain foods can trigger asthma in some people.

    Whats An Asthma Flare

    How do we identify if the person has Allergic Bronchitis or Asthma? – Dr. Bindu Suresh

    Kids with asthma might have days with no breathing problems at all. Thats a relief for parents and for kids because it means that the asthma is under control.

    But when asthma symptoms like wheezing, coughing, or shortness of breath become more severe, more frequent, or both, its known as an asthma flare-up .

    If the flare-up is severe, a person might:

    • struggle to breathe or have rapid breathing even when sitting still
    • be unable to speak more than a few words at a time without pausing
    • have retractions in the neck and chest

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    Acute Asthma Attack Symptoms

    An acute asthma attack is a medical emergency youll must seek immediate medical help and go to hospital.

    Acute asthma attack symptoms to be aware of include:

    • Rapid breathing that doesnt ease with use of a reliever inhaler
    • Extreme shortness of breath being unable to inhale or exhale fully
    • An inability to speak in full sentences
    • Confusion or agitation
    • Developing a blue tint on the face, lips or fingernails.

    If you dont seek treatment for an acute asthma attack, your life could be in danger. Find out more about acute asthma by reading our guide to severe asthma.

    But How Do You Know If Your Condition Is Asthma

    First of all, it pays to know what asthma is. Asthma is simply a pulmonary disease characterized by an inflammation of the airways leading to lungs. When these airways swell and muscles around them tighten, the amount of air that passes through the airways is reduced. Thus, the shortness of breath or asthma attack. This happens especially when thick mucus fill the airways.

    One way to distinguish asthma from common allergies is that allergies occur in the upper respiratory system. This is usually the case for nasal congestion, nasal drip and sinus pains resulting in chronic coughing. Meanwhile, asthma occurs when airways that carry air to and from the lungs are inflamed.

    However, the most efficient way to diagnose asthma is through several breathing tests done by physicians. Medical examinations can be a combination of any of the following:

    Know that asthma manifests differently to different people. While others may exhibit chronic wheezing, some may be experiencing chest tightness and shortness of breath. To be able to manage asthma, its best to consult your physician, be properly diagnosed, and get the necessary prescriptions.

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    Uncontrolled Asthma Vs Severe Asthma: How To Get The Right Diagnosis

    Is Cleaners Asthma a Legitimate Disease?
    • Asthma
    • Lung Health and Diseases

    More than 25 million Americans struggle with asthma, a chronic condition that makes breathing difficult. Whether you have lived with asthma since childhood or developed it later in life, it is important to monitor your symptoms and avoid your triggers to manage the disease. Many times, regular flare-ups can be treated with a combination of quick-relief and controller medications. Unfortunately, this may not be enough to get your symptoms under control.

    If you feel asthma is interfering with your life, it can be frustrating to know what to do next. This is when it may be time to talk to your doctor about the possibility of severe asthma.

    Daily symptoms, such as chest tightness, shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing, are signs of uncontrolled asthma and may require the use of quick-relief medication a few times a week or even daily. In addition, you may commonly experience nighttime flare-ups and may even have to visit the emergency room. As you might expect, with these symptoms you may miss work, stop exercising, and have difficulty performing daily tasks. If you have signs of uncontrolled asthma as listed above, you will want to discuss this with you physician because you may be able to find a solution.

    But what if you continue to struggle?

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