Weather And Asthma Whats The Link
According to statistical study undertaken by Asthma UK, the leading asthma charity within the United Kingdom, up to 75% of asthmatics report worsening of symptoms after a sudden change of weather. This means that weather is a very important and often underestimated asthma trigger. Different factors such as cold air, damp conditions, wind, rain, lightning, air pressure and heat can all play a part in the onset of an asthma attack.
People affected by this condition have very sensitive airways which can react to even the slightest change in the quality of air, having a direct impact on breathing ease or difficulties.
Treating A Child Who Is Having An Asthma Attack
Take your child to the ER if you notice these symptoms:
- Difficulty breathing. This includes needing to sit up because they cant breathe lying down, gasping or gulping for air, or having trouble taking a complete breath.
- Breathing with the muscles of their stomach, ribs, and neck. The muscles may look like theyre pulling inwards. It means that they are having to work extra hard to breathe.
- Wheezing constantly, even after taking their rescue medications listed on their asthma action plan.
- Lips or fingernails turning blue.
- Seeming more drowsy than normal. For example, they might fall asleep while playing. Or babies doze off feedings.
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
- Lips or fingernails that are turning blue
- No improvement in symptoms after using an inhaler
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Common Asthma Attack Symptoms
During an asthma attack, it becomes very hard to breathe and your chest feels tight.
- Wheezing. High-pitched whistling sounds when you breathe out
- Shortness of breath. Difficulty catching your breath or getting enough air into your lungs
- Chest tightness and/or pain. May feel like being hugged tightly. Or a band is wrapped around your chest.
Mystery Of How Eating Causes Asthma Attacks
Many people ask the question How can eating something cause me to have an asthma attack in my lungs.
The answer is simple, but to understand this question, you first must gain an understanding of what;asthma;is. It is also essential to understand how asthma is developed and the difference between normal respiratory defence mechanisms for fighting foreign particle attacks in the lungs in comparison to what happens in an asthma attack.
Unlike other respiratory conditions like cystic fibrosis, COPD and Bronchiectasis, asthma is actually a hypersensitivity condition. An asthma attack is actually an immune response to enzymes, proteins and anti-enzymes released by a parasite or an antigen.
As a part of the bodys immune response in an asthma attack, apart from the standard respiratory responses of inflammation and excess secretion of mucus, the body also releases a number of immune chemicals including immunoglobulin E or IgE .
The release of IgE induces constriction of the smooth muscles around the outside of the airways, also known as Bronchoconstriction. This constricts the airways more and works towards helping to amplify the cough mechanism and expel the parasite from the lungs.
We have similar defence systems in other parts of our bodies, including the large and small intestines of our digestive system. All of these systems are connected through our circulatory system where the immune system works its magic. Let me explain this further and how it all works.
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Association Between Childhood Asthma And Copd
Children with asthma have an increased risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in adulthood. Specifically, it has been shown that children who smoke tobacco and also have asthma are at increased risk for developing low lung function and COPD as adults, when compared to smokers who did not have asthma in childhood .
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What Triggers Asthma Attacks
When you experience an asthma attack, your airways narrow and it gets more difficult to breathe. An asthma attack can come on slowly and gradually, for example, if your usual symptoms arent so well controlled or if youve not been using your preventer inhaler as regularly as you should be. If youve got an upper airway infection then this can also trigger an asthma attack.
Other factors that can trigger asthma attacks include a sudden change in the temperature and cold weather, environmental factors, allergens and even stress or certain foods and drinks.
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Q: Is Asthma More Dangerous For Adults
A: Yes. The;death rate for adult-onset asthma is substantially higher than the death rate for childhood asthma.
One reason may be that adults either ignore asthma symptoms or attribute them;to being overweight, being out of shape or getting older.
Asthma symptoms can also mimic those of other illnesses, including:
How Does Inflammation Cause Asthma Airway Sensitivity And Obstruction
Many different types of inflammatory cells and signaling chemicals play a role in the cause of asthma. Allergens turn on mast cells and dendritic cells.7 These cells tell Th2 cells to send out signaling chemicals called interleukins. Interleukins turn on other signals that are responsible for some allergy symptoms, mucus production, airway narrowing, and increasing the number of eosinophils. About half the people with severe asthma have high eosinophils, which are a type of white blood cell.8 Signals from other cells increase the inflammation, making the airways more sensitive. The most important cell types are described in the Table.3,7,9
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Triggers Of Asthma Attack
Asthma is a condition that inflames and restricts the lung’s airways. The inflammations and swelling of airways worsen when an asthma attack takes place, and mucus production rises, making it hard to breathe. Such symptoms can result in wheezing, coughing, and breathlessness.
Several triggers can exacerbate your asthma and boost the risk of an asthma attack leading to a quick visit to an Oklahoma allergy and asthma clinic. Here are a couple of triggers for an asthma attack:
When To See A Medical Professional
See your provider or go to the emergency room if:
- An asthma attack requires more medicine than recommended
- Symptoms get worse or do not improve with treatment
- You have shortness of breath while talking
- Your peak flow measurement is 50% to 80% of your personal best
Go to the emergency room if these symptoms occur:
- Drowsiness or confusion
- Severe anxiety due to shortness of breath.
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What Can I Do To Manage My Condition If It Is Triggered By Weather
Now obviously, you cannot control the weather, so the best thing you can do is just be prepared for it. What this means is that you should try to keep your condition well-managed by using the medication prescribed by the doctor in accordance with official guidelines, attending regular check-ups and keeping an eye on the weather forecast for your area.
One of the most common weather asthma triggers is cold air when breathed in, the sudden change of temperature within the lungs can have a sudden negative impact on the airways which can go into acute spasm, causing a rather severe and dangerous asthma attack.
This is why it is very important to keep warm and dry during the colder months, while having your reliever inhaler close by at all times. Loosely wrapped scarf around your nose and mouth can be surprisingly effective in warming up the air. In addition, you should also rely on the natural mechanism of preventing the cold air from reaching the lungs without being warmed up beforehand by simply breathing through your nose.
How Long Do Asthma Attacks Last
There is no set time for how long an asthma attack lasts. As a guideline, you might only have a mild asthma attack for a matter of minutes before you manage to get your symptoms under control and they begin to ease off.
If you have severe asthma, an asthma attack can last longer, from hours to days. Severe asthma is harder to get under control and often doesnt respond in the same way to medications as mild asthma. A severe asthma attack is a medical emergency and you need to call for help for emergency help straight away.
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What Triggers An Asthma Attack
When a person has asthma, attacks can seem to come out of nowhere. One minute you’re feeling fine, the next you’re wheezing and gasping for breath. If you look closely, however, there’s always a reason for the attack.
If you have asthma, your airways are inflamed, which makes them ultrasensitive. Inflammation can cause airways to swell, hampering your breathing. More often than not, your asthma will be more noticeable when something additional disturbs your airways, which are already inflamed.
Unfortunately, triggers — agents that bring on an attack — are all around. Many different things, from viruses and dust mites to exercise and emotional distress, can set off an asthma attack. Even bacterial lung infections can trigger asthma attacks in children. Every case is different, however, and something that causes wheezing in one person may be completely harmless to another. Understanding your personal triggers is a crucial first step toward controlling your disease.
Here’s a look at the most common causes of asthma attacks.
Many people with asthma also have allergies to pollen, dust mites, or other things in the air. When they inhale one of these offenders, the allergic reaction can set off an asthma attack. In fact, allergies are the most common cause of asthma attacks in teenagers and children over age two.
Some typical causes of allergy-related asthma attacks:
Other common irritants:
Illness and infections
Trauma and emotions
How Is Airway Sensitivity Measured
It is possible to measure how sensitive your airways with a methacholine challenge.3 This test rules out conditions that mimic asthma, such as vocal cord dysfunction and other obstructive lung diseases, such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Finding out that you have sensitive airways helps to confirm the diagnosis of asthma.
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Food And Food Additives Trigger Asthma
Food allergies can cause mild to severe life-threatening reactions. They rarely cause asthma without other symptoms. If you have food allergies, asthma can be part of a severe, life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis. The most common foods associated with allergic symptoms are:
- Fresh fruits
Food preservatives can trigger isolated asthma, especially sulfite additives, like sodium bisulfite, potassium bisulfite, sodium metabisulfite, potassium metabisulfite, and sodium sulfite, which are commonly used in food processing or preparation.
All Kinds Of Physical Activity
So, what kinds of physical activity are âsafe?â None. Any kind of physical activity can âpotentially cause exercise-induced asthma,â according to ABC News Health. Certain activities are more likely to put you at risk of an attack. These include cross-country running, soccer or lacrosse, skiing or football.
Anyone who has been diagnosed with exercise-induced asthma is more likely to develop an asthma attack during any kind of physical activity. To protect yourself from the consequences of an attack, keep your rescue inhaler nearby any time you participate in any kind of physical activity.
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How Do You Handle An Asthma Attack
How do you handle an asthma attack?
When should I go to hospital for asthma?;Seek medical attention right away if you have signs or symptoms of a serious asthma attack, which include: Severe breathlessness or wheezing, especially at night or in the early morning. The inability to speak more than short phrases due to shortness of breath. Having to strain your chest muscles to breathe.
What happens if I use my inhaler too much?;If you use your inhaler too much, you may notice that your heart beats more quickly than normal and that you feel shaky. These side effects are not dangerous, as long as you do not also have chest pain. They usually go away within 30 minutes or a few hours at most.
Can asthma go away?;Asthma symptoms that start in childhood can disappear later in life. Sometimes, however, a childs asthma goes away temporarily, only to return a few years later. But other children with asthma particularly those with severe asthma never outgrow it.
The Common Cold The Flu And Asthma
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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Signs Symptoms And Complications
How often;signs;and;symptoms;of asthma occur may depend on how severe, or intense, the asthma is and whether you are exposed to allergens. Some people have symptoms every day, while others have symptoms only a few days of the year. For some people, asthma may cause discomfort but does not interfere with daily activities. If you have more severe asthma, however, your asthma may limit what you are able to do.
When asthma is well controlled, a person shows few symptoms. When symptoms worsen, a person can have what is called an asthma attack, or an exacerbation. Over time, uncontrolled asthma can damage the airways in the lungs.
What Is Asthma Attack
Asthma can flare-ups are when asthma symptoms get worse. They happen when airways get more irritated and inflamed than usual.
During an asthma attack , you might have:
- trouble breathing
- a whistling sound while breathing
- a cough
- a fast heartbeat
Some flare-ups are serious, but others are mild. Flare-ups can happen suddenly or build up over time, especially if people dont take their asthma medicines as directed.
Things that bring on a flare-up are called triggers. Triggers vary from person to person, but common ones include:
- allergies to things like pollen, mold, and pet dander
- irritants and pollutants in the air
- respiratory infections, like colds or flu
- weather conditions
- gastroesophageal reflux
An important part of managing asthma is avoiding triggers. Your childs doctor will work with you to create a care plan that helps prevent flare-ups as much as possible.
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Pollen As An Asthma Trigger
Pollen is naturally released into the atmosphere by plants, trees and weeds at certain parts of the year. It is made of different types of proteins that most of people dont react to. But, the research seems to suggest that roughly one in five people will experience a hyperactive response to pollen, leading to the release of histamine into the system and the subsequent symptoms such as:
- Itchy or red eyes
What Happens If An Asthma Attack Is Not Treated
Without immediate asthma medication and asthma treatment, an asthma attack may become more severe. Your breathing may become more labored, and wheezing may get louder. If you use a peak flow meter during an asthma attack, your reading will probably be less than your personal best
Without treatment, your lungs will continue to tighten during the asthma attack and you may be unable to use the peak flow meter at all. Gradually, your lungs may tighten so much during the asthma attack that there isnt enough air movement to produce wheezing. This is called silent chest and it is a dangerous sign.
If you do not receive adequate treatment for an asthma attack, you may eventually be unable to speak and can develop a bluish coloring around your lips. This change of color is the result of oxygen deprivation in your blood. Without immediate aggressive treatment in an emergency room or intensive care unit, you may lose consciousness and eventually die.
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Common Asthma Attack Triggers
An asthma trigger is an irritant that causes the airways to become inflamed and constrict. Constriction of airways marks the start of an asthma attack and can cause other symptoms like wheezing.;
There isnt one single trigger of asthma. What triggers an asthma attack for one person might not be the same for another. Youll know what causes an asthma attack for you if youre exposed to an irritant and have shortness of breath or start wheezing. The most common triggers are:;;;;;
Who Is At Risk For Asthma
Asthma affects people of all ages, but it often starts during childhood. Certain factors can raise your risk of having asthma:
- Being exposed to secondhand smoke when your mother is pregnant with you or when you are a small child
- Being exposed to certain substances at work, such as chemical irritants or industrial dusts
- Genetics and family history. You are more likely to have asthma if one of your parents has it, especially if it’s your mother.
- Race or ethnicity. Black and African Americans and Puerto Ricans are at higher risk of asthma than people of other races or ethnicities.
- Having other medical conditions such as allergies and obesity
- Often having viral respiratory infections as a young child
- Sex. In children, asthma is more common in boys. In teens and adults, it is more common in women.
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