What Causes Asthma Symptoms To Flare Up
Your asthma can flare up for different reasons. If you’re allergic to dust mites, pollens or molds, they can make your asthma symptoms get worse. Cold air, exercise, fumes from chemicals or perfume, tobacco or wood smoke, and weather changes can also make asthma symptoms worse. So can common colds and sinus infections. Gastroesophageal reflux can also cause flare-ups. You can help yourself by paying attention to the way these things affect your asthma. Your doctor might test you to find out if you’re allergic to something. Then your doctor can help you avoid the things that bother your asthma.
What Is The Role Of Inhaled Steroids In Asthma
Inhaled steroids, also called inhaled corticosteroids, are considered to be the most effective medications for controlling asthma when taken regularly. They work continuously to reduce swelling of the airways. It can take weeks for an inhaled corticosteroid to reduce the inflammation in your airways, so be patient.
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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Eat Slow Wait 20 Minutes
Your brain takes some time to process the fact that youve had enough to eat. Eating quickly means you dont realize youre full until well after youve hit that point, typically resulting in overeating.
Try slowing down. Eat a reasonable serving of food. Then, wait at least 20 minutes and drink a glass of water. Often, youll find yourself feeling full once that break is up.
Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss And Asthma Control
The first study investigating the effect of surgically induced weight loss on asthma was published by Macgregor and Greenberg in 1993. Forty morbidly obese patients with asthma who had gastric restrictive surgery more than two years earlier were examined, and they found that 48% had complete asthma remission, defined as no symptoms and no use of asthma medication; overall, 90% of the patients experienced improvement in asthma symptoms. Objective assessment of airway function was not included in the study. In keeping with this, Murr et al reported a 100% remission rate after an average 30 months after bariatric surgery in a very small group of morbidly obese asthmatics older than 50 years, although it should be taken into account that asthma status was not the main outcome variable of interest.
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Reach Out For Support
Speak to your GP, asthma specialist or one of our friendly, expert asthma nurses for tips on how to keep or work towards a healthy weight. If youre planning to make changes to your diet, tell the important people in your life what youre doing, and why. Their support can make it easier for you when you need a little encouragement.;
Can I Avoid Triggers
It is not always possible to avoid your triggers however;reducing exposure to your asthma or allergy;triggers may make your symptoms easier to manage.
The first step is to know what your triggers are so you focus your efforts in the right area. Your doctor will be able to help you work this out and give you some helpful advice and tips on how to avoid your triggers.
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Dont Let Steroid Hunger Win
If youre taking steroids in the long term, its common to feel hungrier than usual, which can lead to weight gain.
The answer is to eat foods that are high in fibre and lean protein at each meal to keep you feeling fuller for longer, says Dr Andy. Also, make sure that you stay well hydrated, because your body can often mistake thirst for hunger.
Next review due February 2022
About Wood Smoke And Asthma
Smoke from wood-burning stoves and fireplaces contains a mixture of harmful gases and small particles. Breathing these small particles can cause asthma attacks and severe bronchitis, aggravate heart and lung disease and may increase the likelihood of respiratory illnesses. If you’re using a wood stove or fireplace and smell smoke in your home, it probably isn’t working as it should.
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What About Medicines For Blood Pressure
Beta-blockers, used to control blood pressure and heart disease, can make asthma worse. This group of drugs includes propranolol, atenolol and metoprolol. If you have started taking a beta-blocker and your asthma gets worse, tell your doctor.
ACE inhibitors are another type of medicine given to treat blood pressure, heart disease and, sometimes, diabetes. Drugs such as captopril, enalapril and lisinopril are included in this group. These medicines appear to be safe for people who have asthma. However, some people develop a cough when taking ACE inhibitors. If you start coughing while youre taking an ACE inhibitor, remember that the cough might not be caused by your asthma. If the cough is caused by the ACE inhibitor, it will usually go away a week or so after you stop taking the medicine. If you develop other problems that make your asthma worse, call your doctor to see if you should stop taking your ACE inhibitor.
Cold Air Can Trigger Asthma Attacks
Asthma sufferers are sensitive to their environment and the air they breathe. Triggers can cause your bronchial passageways to spasm and close off. When this happens, you can feel short of breath and start wheezing or coughing. Its a swelling response in your airways that creates an asthma attack.
Cold air can cause your airways to seize up, triggering an asthma attack. Winter air can also be moist, harboring mold spores and dust mites. When you breathe damp, cold air, you put your lungs at risk for inhaling particles that cause flare-ups and airway swelling.
Cold and flu viruses are prevalent in winter, and cold air makes them spread easily. If you have asthma and you get sick, the mucus your body develops can clog your airways. While you naturally have a thin layer of mucus in your airways, getting sick can create more mucus that fills your narrow breathing passages.
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Cold Weather And Asthma
Cold weather is a common;trigger for asthma symptoms.
There are things you can do to help control your symptoms in the cold:
- carry your reliever inhaler with you at all times and keep taking your regular preventer inhaler as prescribed
- if you need to use your inhaler more than usual, speak to your doctor about reviewing your treatment
- keep warm and dry; wear gloves, a scarf and a hat, and carry an umbrella
- wrap a scarf loosely over your nose and mouth; this will help warm up the air before you breathe it
- try breathing in through your nose instead of your mouth your nose warms the air as you breathe
What Is Severe Asthma
Though patients with mild-to-moderate asthma can experience difficulty breathing, it is especially difficult for those with Severe Asthma where symptoms can be life-threatening. In either case, patients cant participate in daily activities if their disease is uncontrolled.
Similar to those with mildmoderate asthma, patients with Severe Asthma also have disease that is chronic. However, they have more difficulty achieving control of their disease, and need a greater number of medications and often at higher doses. They require more medical care than patients with mild-to-moderate disease.
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Avoiding Nighttime Asthma And Improving Sleep
Asthma can make it challenging to get quality sleep, so its helpful to cultivate habits that support sleep health. Focusing on improving sleep hygiene is a significant first step. By developing a regular sleep schedule and healthy daytime routines, people with asthma can reduce unnecessary daytime fatigue and focus on controlling their asthma symptoms.
Asthma triggers in the bedroom may increase the risk of nocturnal asthma and lost sleep. In addition to working with a doctor to find solutions for reducing or eliminating asthma triggers, below are a few tips specific to designing the ideal bedroom environment and avoiding nighttime asthma:
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Youre Using Your Inhaler More Than Usual
If youve been having to use your quick-relief inhaler more often than usual, or youve started to feel like it doesnt help as much when you do use it, your severe asthma may be getting worse.
It can be hard sometimes to keep track of exactly how many times you use your inhaler during a given week. You may want to start keeping track of your usage in a journal or in the note-taking app on your phone.
Keeping a log of your inhaler usage can also help to identify what may be triggering your severe asthma symptoms. For example, if you mainly use your inhaler after being outdoors, an outdoor trigger like pollen may be causing your asthma to flare up.
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Inflammation And Your Lungs
A garden-variety cold is caused by any one of over 200 viral strains, the most common of which are rhinoviruses, followed by coronaviruses, influenza viruses, adenoviruses, and respiratory syncytial virus .
When a respiratory infection occurs, the immune system responds by releasing cytokines that draw defensive white blood cells to the site of the infection.
Many of these cytokinesmost especially interleukin types 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, and 13are responsible for triggering airway hyper-responsiveness and bronchoconstriction in people with asthma. In essence, the inflammation caused by a cold can “spill over” to the lower respiratory tract and instigate an attack.
Research also suggests that antigens on certain respiratory viruses can trigger an allergic response in people with asthma. Antigens are the proteins of the surface of cells that the immune system reacts to. In some cases, the antigen will spur allergic inflammation that only adds to the burden of viral inflammation.
Although viral-induced asthma has long been considered separate from allergic asthma, evidence suggests that viral-induced asthma can affect people with allergic and non-allergic forms of the disease, including exercise-induced asthma and eosinophilic asthma.
This dual source of inflammation may explain why certain people are more prone to viral-induced asthma than others.
How To Stop Asthma Cough
This article was co-authored by Shaun Berger, MD. Dr. Shaun Berger is a board certified Pediatrician based in the San Diego, California metro area. Dr. Berger provides comprehensive primary care for newborns, children, and adolescents, focusing on preventive medicine. Dr. Berger earned a BA in Psychology from the University of California, San Diego and an MD from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Berger then completed a residency at the UCSF/Fresno Community Medical Centers/Valley Childrens Hospital where he was elected Chief Resident. He has been awarded the UCSF Foundation Award and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.There are 16 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 100% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 76,283 times.
Many people are familiar with common asthma symptoms like tightness in the chest and difficulty breathing. Coughing is another troublesome symptom of asthma, the inflammatory lung disease which narrows the breathing airways. To stop an asthma-related cough, identify and avoid your triggers, take medication to treat your asthma, and make yourself comfortable.
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Causes Of Summer Asthma Symptoms
Although asthma symptoms tend to be most common in fall and winter, summer presents some unique risks.
Heat: The mere fact that you have asthma means your lungs are especially sensitive to extreme heat, and so breathing in hot air can aggravate your airways and trigger symptoms. What’s more, if you become dehydrated, you will naturally breathe more rapidly than normal, which also can play a role in setting off symptoms.
Humidity:Humid air is heavy air, and so it’s harder to breathe, especially when it’s also hot. In addition, moist air traps lung irritants such as pollen, mold, and, indoors, dust mites.
Ozone:Ozone is a product of atmospheric chemicals and sunlight. Although somewhat controversial, some researchers believe this pollutant can exacerbate asthma, based on studies that show lung function worsens in the days after ozone levels peak, affecting people with asthma and even people without it.
Summer Allergens:If you have allergic asthma and are triggered by certain allergens that are especially prevalent in June, July, and August, it stands to reason you’re more likely to have asthma attacks during those months.
- : Tree pollen high
- May through early June: Grass pollen high
- : Outdoor mold spores peak, then decrease after the first frost
- : Weed pollen high
What And How You Eat
Reducing your calorie intake is hard, but it may help to think in think in three-day cycles. Tell yourself that you only need to fight the temptation to eat more or indulge in high-calorie foods for the next three days.
If you can get through those first 72 hours on a reduced-calorie intake, youll likely feel some sense of accomplishment that can propel your success in completing your next three-day goal.
Eventually, this will get a little easier as you adapt to fewer calories and healthier meals.
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Exercise Sports Work Or Play
If your asthma worsens with exercise, try these suggestions:
- You should be able to be active without symptoms. See your doctor if you have asthma symptoms when you are active â like when you exercise, do sports, play, or work hard.
- Ask your doctor about taking medicine before you exercise to prevent symptoms.
- Warm up for about 6 to 10 minutes before you exercise.
- Try not to work or play hard outside when the air pollution or pollen levels are high.
Look Beyond The Obvious
There are some well-known and obvious triggers you should avoid when you have asthma cold air, dust mites, pollen, tobacco smoke, mold, and pet dander among them. But what about your favorite candle, thunderstorms, aspirin, or even traffic? Several odd or unusual things can trigger an asthma attack. If you have asthma, its important to identify your own particular triggers so you can try to avoid or at least be better prepared for a potential attack.
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How Asthma Attacks Happen
When you have an asthma attack, your airways narrow and it gets hard to breathe. This can result from spasms of the muscles around the airways, inflammation and swelling of the mucosal membrane that lines them, or high amounts of mucus inside them. You might have shortness of breath, wheeze or cough as your body tries to get rid of mucus.
Why do you have asthma and your friend doesn’t? No one knows for sure. Allergies play a role for many people, as do genetics.
If you or a loved one has asthma, it’s important to understand what your triggers are. Once you figure that out, you can take steps to avoid them. As a result, youâll have fewer and less severe asthma attacks.
How Does Asthma Affect The Lungs
The lungs are made up of many tiny tubes. These tubes are called bronchioles. The bronchioles carry air in and out of the lungs. In a normal airway, air moves freely through the bronchioles and breathing is easy.When asthma is not under good control, three things change in the airways that make it hard to breathe:
- The airways become swollen. The walls thicken and make the airways smaller.
- The airways make more mucous. Mucous is a thick liquid that your body makes. Mucous normally protects the nose, throat, and airways. When you have asthma, your body makes too much mucous. This mucous can plug the airways.
- Muscles around the airways squeeze tight. Your airways have muscles around them that are usually loose. When you have asthma, these muscles can tighten.
These three things all make the airways smaller. When the airways get smaller it is hard to get air in and out. This can cause wheezing, coughing and trouble breathing.
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What Are Animal Allergens
Animals can be a big asthma trigger. The animal parts that can trigger asthma symptoms are dander , saliva , urine , and feathers.
If your pet is an asthma trigger for you, these tips might help:
- Keep pets outside. At the very least, keep them out of your bedroom.
- Have someone else wash and brush your pet every week.
- Play with your pet, but try not to hug or kiss it.
- Ask other people in your household to wash their hands after touching your pet.
- If you have an animal that lives in a cage, keep it in a room that you don’t spend time in. Someone other than you should clean the cage daily.
- Consider getting cold-blooded pets, such as fish, which are OK for kids with asthma.
If you try all these things but still have lots of asthma flare-ups, you may need to find another home for your pet.