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.
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Know When To Get Help
Symptoms that place you in the âred zoneâ of your asthma action plan are serious. If you experience any of these, follow the instructions in your plan and get emergency care right away:
- Wheezing when you inhale and exhale
- Nonstop coughing
Immediately call 911 or your local emergency number if:
- You canât talk in full sentences.
- Your lips or fingernails turn blue .
- You begin breathing rapidly .
How Common Is Asthma Wheeze
More than 25% of infants have at least one wheezing episode.2 By age six, nearly 50% of children have had a wheezing episode.
Wheeze that starts in childhood and continues past age three years typically continues into adulthood.5 In fact, research has shown that wheezing that seems to start in adulthood probably has its origins in childhood.5 In one study, 94% of people who went to the emergency room for an asthma flare-up reported wheezing as one of their symptoms.6
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What Is Good Asthma Care
Your doctor or nurse will tailor your asthma treatment to your symptoms. Sometimes you may need to be on higher levels of medication than at others.
You should be offered:
- care at your GP surgery provided by doctors and nurses trained in asthma management
- full information about your condition and how to control it
- involvement in making decisions about your treatment
- regular checks to ensure your asthma is under control and your treatment is right for you
- a written personal asthma action plan agreed with your doctor or nurse
It is also important that your GP or pharmacist teaches you how to properly use your inhaler, as this is an important part of good asthma care.
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.
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What To Do In An Asthma Attack:
1. Sit up straight
2. Take your reliever medication as directed. Use your Asthma Action Plan for reference.
3. Call 911 if your symptoms persist or worsen. Do this if you feel worse at any point or if there is no improvement after taking your medication.
4. Follow-up with your doctor or healthcare provider
An asthma attack can be a life-threatening emergency thats why you should always carry your reliever inhaler with you and never hesitate to call 911 if your symptoms persist.
Tips For When You Dont Have An Inhaler
Mild to moderate asthma attacks can occur at inopportune times. You may be able to manage your asthma more effectively with these tips. If these dont work CALL AN AMBULANCE.
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What Are Signs And Symptoms Of Adult Onset Asthma
Regardless of age, asthma symptoms can include:
;;;;;;;;;;; Dry cough, especially at night or in response to specific triggers
;;;;;;;;;;; Tightness or pressure in the chest
;;;;;;;;;;; Wheezing a whistling sound when exhaling
;;;;;;;;;;; Shortness of breath after exercise or physical exertion
;;;;;;;;;;; Difficulty breathing
;;;;;;;;;;; Colds that go to the chest or hang on for 10 days or more
What Are Common Asthma Attack Triggers
An asthma attack happens when someone comes in contact with substances that irritate them. Healthcare providers call these substances triggers. Knowing what triggers your asthma makes it easier to avoid asthma attacks.
For some people, a trigger can bring on an attack right away. Sometimes, an attack may start hours or days later.
Triggers can be different for each person. But some common triggers include:
- Air pollution: Many things outside can cause an asthma attack. Air pollution includes factory emissions, car exhaust, wildfire smoke and more.
- Dust mites: You cant see these bugs, but they are in many homes. If you have a dust mite allergy, they can cause an asthma attack.
- Exercise: For some people, exercising can cause an attack.
- Mold: Damp places can spawn mold. It can cause problems for people with asthma. You dont even have to be allergic to mold to have an attack.
- Pests: Cockroaches, mice and other household pests can cause asthma attacks.
- Pets: Your pets can cause asthma attacks. If youre allergic to pet dander , breathing in the dander can irritate your airways.
- Tobacco smoke: If you or someone in your home smokes, you have a higher risk of developing asthma. The best solution is to quit smoking.
- Strong chemicals or smells.
With asthma, you may not have all of these symptoms. You may have different signs at different times. And symptoms can change between asthma attacks.
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What Causes An Asthma Attack
An asthma attack can happen when you are exposed to asthma triggers. Your asthma triggers can be very different from someone elses asthma triggers. Know your triggers and learn how to avoid them. Watch out for an attack when you cant avoid your triggers. Some of the most common triggers are tobacco smoke, dust mites, outdoor air pollution, cockroach allergen, pets, mold, smoke from burning wood or grass, and infections like flu.
How Much Will I Take
Prednisone is available as an oral tablet or oral liquid solution in the United States. While similar, prednisone isnt the same as methylprednisolone, which is available as an injectable solution as well as an oral tablet. Typically, oral prednisone is used as a first-line therapy for acute asthma because its both easier to take and less expensive.
The average length of prescription for corticosteroids such as prednisone is 5 to 10 days. In adults, a typical dosage rarely exceeds 80 mg. The more common maximum dose is 60 mg. Dosages greater than 50 to 100 mg per day arent shown to be more beneficial for relief.
If you miss a dose of prednisone, you should take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If its almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the next regularly scheduled dose.
You should never take an extra dose to make up for a dose that youve missed. In order to prevent an upset stomach, its best to take prednisone with food or milk.
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How Effective Is Prednisone For Asthma
A review article in American Journal of Medicine evaluated six different trials for adults with acute asthma episodes. In these trials, people received corticosteroid treatment within 90 minutes of arriving at the emergency room. Researchers found that these groups had lower hospital admittance rates than people who received a placebo instead.
Additionally, a review on management of acute asthma attacks in American Family Physician found that people sent home with a 5- to 10-day prescription of 50 to 100 milligrams of oral prednisone had a decreased risk of relapse of asthma symptoms. The same review states that in children 2 to 15 years old, three days of prednisone therapy at 1 mg per kilogram of body weight can be as effective as five days of prednisone therapy.
Side effects of prednisone can include:
- fluid retention
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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Know The Early Symptoms Of Asthma
Early warning signs are changes that happen just before or at the very beginning of an asthma attack. These signs may start before the well-known symptoms of asthma and are the earliest signs that your asthma is worsening.
In general, these signs are not severe enough to stop you from going about your daily activities. But by recognizing these signs, you can stop an asthma attack or prevent one from getting worse. Early warning signs of an asthma attack include:
- Frequent cough, especially at night
- Losing your breath easily or shortness of breath
- Feeling very tired or weak when exercising
If you have these warning signs, adjust your medication, as described in your asthma action plan.
The Normal Respiratory System
To understand what happens in asthma you need to be familiar with the normal breathing system and how the lungs and airways are arranged.
Normally, air entering through the mouth and nose travels through the main airway through a series of smaller branching airways called bronchi. The bronchi divide up into even smaller airways called bronchioles, which end in millions of tiny air sacs called alveoli.
When air enters the alveoli, the oxygen it contains passes through the thin membrane covering each sac into surrounding blood vessels. The oxygen attaches itself to red blood cells which then circulate around the body, releasing the oxygen into the body tissues.
What happens during an asthma attack?
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Table 1 Inflammatory Cells Involved In Asthma
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Expert panel report 3 : Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of asthma Full Report 2007; pg 16-18; Kraft M. N Engl J Med. 2011;365:1141-1144; Berger A. BMJ. 1999;319:90.
Medications that block interleukins are under investigation right now.10,11 These medications may be helpful for people with moderate to severe asthma and high eosinophil levels.
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If A Child No Longer Has Asthma Symptoms Can You Assume The Asthma Is Gone Too
Kids may become asymptomatic, but the âchronic stuffâ in their lungs probably doesnât go away, says Derek K. Johnson, a pediatric allergist in Fairfax, Va. Only a biopsy of lung tissue would offer certainty about the state of a personâs airways.
âTo follow changes , you need to look at it on a microscopic level. Itâs not something we do routinely,â says Johnson, the former director of the division of allergy and clinical immunology at Temple University Childrenâs Medical Center in Philadelphia.
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Things To Know About Albuterol
In serious cases, taking albuterol could cause your airways to tighten suddenly. This is called a bronchospasm and can make breathing difficult. This side effect happens immediately after using the inhaler. It can occur the first time you use a new canister. If this happens to you,call your doctor, and use a different asthma treatment.1-3
People withheart problemsshould be cautious about taking albuterol. Albuterol can cause changes in blood pressure, heart rate, and other heart disease symptoms. These effects are rare with the recommended dose of albuterol. Albuterol may also worsen conditions like thyroid problems, seizures, diabetes, or low potassium levels.1-3
Overusing your albuterol inhaler can worsen your asthma. Studies show that taking albuterol regularly can lead to worselung functionandasthma control. Albuterol is meant to provide occasional quick relief of symptoms, not long-term control. Using albuterol more than 2 days per week is a sign of poor asthma control. If you find yourself using albuterol often, consider discussing your asthma control options with your doctor.6
Before starting albuterol, tell your doctor about any prescription medicines, vitamins, supplements, or over-the-counter drugs you are taking. Certain medicines affect the way albuterol works, including other asthma drugs, other inhaled medicines,beta-blockers, diuretics, digoxin, monoamine oxidase inhibitors , and tricyclic antidepressants .1-3
Can You Overuse An Inhaler
People who overuse inhalers report more coughing, wheezing, nighttime awakenings, and more frequent symptoms than those who use albuterol only occasionally. They also stated they had a lower quality of life and higher rates of depression. Overuse can also lead to albuterol overdose, according to the report.
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Asthma What It Is And How To Help If Someone Is Having An Asthma Attack
We all know people who have asthma. However, very few of us would know what to do if someone close by started to have a serious asthma attack and was struggling to breathe. Read on to find out what asthma is, what may trigger it and how to help someone having an asthma attack.
What To Make Of This
The late phase is a lot more complex than I make it out to be here. But, this is all you need to know for now. Its this late phase that causes your more severe asthma attacks. Its usually the reason people get to the point they need to seek help for asthma. And many of our newer asthma medicines are aimed at this late phase.
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How To Recognize Early Asthma Attack Symptoms
Common symptoms of asthma:
- Chest tightness
- Breathing rapidly
An asthma attack occurs when these symptoms intensify. Recognizing these symptoms as they worsen can prevent an attack from becoming life-threatening.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, five things happen during an asthma attack:
- The airway branches become more sensitive and react to things that may trigger an asthma attack.
- The lining of the lungs swells, becoming more and more inflamed.
- Mucus begins to clog the airways.
- Bronchospasm occurs, which is when the muscles surrounding the airways tighten.
- It becomes increasingly more difficult to move air through the airways.
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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