When To See A Doctor
A person should see a doctor if their cough is severe, is persistent, or worsens over time. These characteristics can indicate that a person requires medical treatment.
Parents and caregivers should also speak to a doctor if their child displays any of the following symptoms:
- a fever of any kind in an infant under 3 months of age
- a fever of 102°F or higher in a child of any age
- cyanosis of the lips
Research For Your Health
The NHLBI is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health the Nations biomedical research agency that makes important scientific discovery to improve health and save lives. We are committed to advancing science and translating discoveries into clinical practice to promote the prevention and treatment of heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders, including asthma. Learn about the current and future NHLBI efforts to improve health through research and scientific discovery.
When To See A Doctor For A Dry Cough
An occasional dry cough is rarely a cause for concern, but persistent coughing can indicate an underlying medical condition that may be more serious. A dry or sometimes tickly cough is a cough that does not bring up any phlegm or mucus. Dry coughs may cause a tickling sensation and are often due to irritation in the throat.
Asthma: Not all diagnosed with asthma will experience a dry cough. Cough-variant asthma does not produce classic symptoms, like shortness of breath or wheezing. Instead, a chronic and dry cough is the main symptom. This cough is especially likely after exposure to irritants like cold air or ambient smoke.
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How Do I Handle An Asthma Flare
If you feel like a flare-up is about to happen, stay calm. Let people around you know whats going on. Then remember your asthma action plan. Thats the written plan that tells you what to do next.
Stay calm and focus on what your asthma action plan says. Your doctor probably told you to use your quick-relief medicine, so do that first.
If you can figure out what triggered your symptoms , remove the trigger or yourself from the area. Sometimes thats all you need to get your asthma under control again.
If a flare-up is more severe, you might need to get help.
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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Of : Taking Medications
Side Effects Of Prednisone
It can literally be a life saver- but it can have a LOT a side effects. Some of thecommon side effects are:
- sleep problems
- increase in appetite
- nausea, etc
It can also impair the immune system which is a problem if you have asthma. The last thing you want to get is a cold, because it can turn into bronchitis or pneumonia. In fact, we are having that problem now.
Middle Son is in college and had a nasty case of bronchitis which required prednisone and an antibiotic. He was almost better until the Hubster brought home a terrible chest cold as a souvenir from our trip to Hawaii. Since Middle Son had an impaired immune system, and the Hubsters cold was a different strain, Middle Son started a new battle with bronchitis but it was much worse this time. He ended up on a 2nd antibiotic and was really struggling to breathe. It was scary.
Then, a few days later, he picked up a stomach bug. Poor guy! I think he picked up the 2nd cold and the stomach bug because he had been on a course of prednisone which suppressed his immune system.
Everything has been disinfected, and we wipe down all of the surfaces every day to try to keep the germs away. But Middle Son still has to go to work and college
If you do very sick and your doctor recommends prednisone, the necessary evil, discuss the benefits and side effects with her.
For us, the biggest benefit is that my son is still breathing and not in the hospital again. Ill take prednisone over that any day.
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Is Magnesium Sulfate Effective
The scientific evidence supporting the use of magnesium sulfate in the treatment of severe asthma is mixed.
The researchers randomly assigned the children to receive either nebulized magnesium sulfate or a , in addition to standard asthma medications.
They concluded that nebulized magnesium sulfate in combination with standard treatment did not produce a clinically significant improvement in the childrens asthma symptoms.
However, the authors noted that children with more severe asthma symptoms showed the most significant response to magnesium treatment.
In 2014, another large British trial set out to establish how effectively magnesium sulfate could reduce asthma symptoms.
The authors recruited 1,109 adults with severe acute asthma and randomly assigned participants to receive either IV magnesium, nebulized magnesium, or standard therapy alone.
The researchers were reportedly unable to demonstrate a clinically worthwhile benefit of magnesium sulfate treatment. However, they found some weak evidence that IV magnesium sulfate could reduce the number of hospitalizations due to asthma attacks.
The findings of a systematic review, published in the same year, were more positive. The researchers analyzed data from 14 trials that had compared IV magnesium sulfate treatment to placebos in adults with acute asthma.
Why Asthma Makes You Cough
When is a cough more than just an annoying tickle in your throat? If you have a cough that wont go away, you may have asthma. A chronic cough is one of the symptoms of asthma. For some people, a cough may be their only asthma symptom. Asthma medications can relieve your nagging cough and keep you feeling good.
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What Are The Treatments For Asthma
If you have asthma, you will work with your health care provider to create a treatment plan. The plan will include ways to manage your asthma symptoms and prevent asthma attacks. It will include
- Strategies to avoid triggers. For example, if tobacco smoke is a trigger for you, you should not smoke or allow other people to smoke in your home or car.
- Short-term relief medicines, also called quick-relief medicines. They help prevent symptoms or relieve symptoms during an asthma attack. They include an inhaler to carry with you all the time. It may also include other types of medicines which work quickly to help open your airways.
- Control medicines. You take them every day to help prevent symptoms. They work by reducing airway inflammation and preventing narrowing of the airways.
If you have a severe attack and the short-term relief medicines do not work, you will need emergency care.
Your provider may adjust your treatment until asthma symptoms are controlled.
Sometimes asthma is severe and cannot be controlled with other treatments. If you are an adult with uncontrolled asthma, in some cases your provider might suggest bronchial thermoplasty. This is a procedure that uses heat to shrink the smooth muscle in the lungs. Shrinking the muscle reduces your airway’s ability to tighten and allows you to breathe more easily. The procedure has some risks, so it’s important to discuss them with your provider.
Make Life Sweeter For A Coughing Cat
All coughing is caused by something your job is to find what that is and take steps to prevent it from being a problem. There are a few things you can do to help keep your kitty cough free:
- Cut stress keep feeding, play and general life as routine as possible for your kitty. Cats often get sick when their schedules are out of whack.
- Maintain a healthy weight feeding a high quality, appropriate diet and keeping your cat active will help prevent many health issues, including coughing.
- Test for internal parasites that could be causing the cough.
- Switch to a dust free litter, preferably something unscented to minimise irritation.
- Run an air purifier or humidifier to improve the air quality and filter out possible irritants.
- Eliminate household sprays such as plug-in room fresheners, hairsprays, deodorants and insect sprays. If you cant eliminate these things then at least make sure youre not spraying them near your cat.
- Dont expose your cat to cigarette smoke, especially if he has asthma.
- Keep up with regular vaccines and include worming in this routine, especially if you live in a mosquito infested area.
- Dont overlook hairballs but also dont assume. If your cat is coughing but has nothing to show for it, the problem is likely to be something else.
Whats going on with your coughing cat? If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them in the box below
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Final Thought On Stopping Asthma Attacks
The bad news is that there is no reliable way to stop an asthma attack without medication, specifically a fast acting inhaler.
But the very good news is there are a million ways to prevent asthma attacks from occurring and they all involve getting healthier, which is important in its own right.
Uncontrolled asthma and frequent asthma attacks are generally a symptom of a bad lifestyle.
So if youre overweight, you need to deal with that.
If your diet is full of junky, sugary foods, or other foods your body cant tolerate, you need to deal with that.
And if youre living a sedentary life where you sit all day, you need to deal with that too.
I know none of this is easy, but if you can figure all this out, you wont find yourself reaching for your inhaler so much. You might even be able to ditch your maintenance inhaler like I did.
And please let us know in the comments if youve tried any of these strategies, and what you do to keep your symptoms at bay. Its great to hear from fellow asthmatics so we can all teach each other better ways to manage our symptoms and live well!
How To Survive An Asthma Attack Without An Inhaler
Richard Firshein, DO, director and founder of Firshein Center for Integrative Medicine in New York City, and author of several books, including , , and . .
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If you have asthma, then you know how scary it can be when you have an attack and have trouble breathing for anywhere from a few minutes to a few days, depending on its severity.
So youre probably careful to keep your rescue inhaler with you at all timesin case of an emergency.
But what happens if an attack starts and you discover that your inhaler is empty or you dont actually have it??
How can you lessen the severity of an asthma attack and/or stop it altogether without your trusty inhaler?
To find out, I called Richard Firshein, DO, director and founder of The Firshein Center for Integrative Medicine in New York City and author of Reversing Asthma: Breathe Easier with This Revolutionary New Program. And he had some very interesting advice
DO YOU NEED TO GO TO THE ER?
HOW TO BREATHE EASIER
Change your location. Asthma is typically triggered by an irritanteither an allergen or toxinthat inflames the airways. So remove yourself from the environment that contains the trigger as fast as you can. If youre reacting to dust, pets, mold or smoke, for example, get away from itor at the very least, breathe through a sleeve, a scarf or your jacket collar to reduce your exposure.
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What Causes Chronic Coughing
Smoking is a leading cause. Sooner or later, most cigarette smokers develop a chronic smokers cough. Chemical irritation is responsible but the same noxious chemicals that cause the simple smokers cough can lead to far more serious conditions, such as bronchitis, emphysema, pneumonia, and lung cancer. The chronic cough is always a cause of concern for smokers.
A lingering cough is also a worry for nonsmokers. Fortunately, benign problems are responsible for most chronic coughs in nonsmokers. Benign or not, persistent coughing can cause worry, embarrassment, exhaustion, and more. Thats why chronic coughs should be diagnosed and treated before they linger too long.
Dozens of conditions can cause a recurrent, lingering cough, but the lions share are caused by just five: postnasal drip, asthma, gastroesophageal reflux disease , chronic bronchitis, and treatment with ACE inhibitors, used for high blood pressure. Many people have several of these conditions, but in nonsmokers, the first three, singly or in combination, account for nearly all chronic coughs. The major causes of long-term coughing are listed below.
Using A Natural Remedy Arsenal For Asthma
Asthma symptoms are a nuisance at best and dangerous at worse. Luckily there are some natural remedies for asthma that can help you prevent the onset of asthma symptoms for you or your child, and make daily life more enjoyable.
Do you or a family member suffer from asthma? What remedies work best for you?
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Home Remedies For Children With Asthma
As a parent, you probably want to do anything and everything you can to keep your childs asthma from interfering with their life. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to help your child manage their asthma symptoms.
- Your child spends around eight hours each night in bed, so asthma triggers there can really aggravate symptoms. You can use zippered dust mite covers for pillows and mattresses to help keep allergens from permeating their bedding. Additionally, washing bedding in hot water once a week can help reduce nighttime allergen exposure.
- Being mindful about outdoor time can help reduce exposure to asthma triggers, such as pollen and industrial pollution. Monitoring the Air Quality Index on can help you decide whether it is a good day for your child to play outside. Any AQI rating above 100 is likely to be unhealthy for children with asthma.
- Make sure that your childs school has an asthma action plan and that all supervisors know how to react if your child starts to show signs of an asthma attack. This includes outlining the specifics of your childs asthma treatment medicines.
Cough variant asthma is a subtype of asthma, which presents solely with a cough without any other symptoms such as dyspnea or wheezing. CVA is one of the most common causes of a chronic cough. More importantly, 30 to 40 percent of CVA cases in adult patients, unless adequately treated, may progress to classic asthma.
Move Away From Triggers
The presence of asthma triggers wont only cause an attack, they can also make your symptoms worse. Be sure to try to get away from things that may be triggering your asthma attack.
For example, if youre in an area where people are smoking cigarettes, you should move away promptly.
Its also important to know your triggers. Common triggers include:
- , such as pet dander, pollen, or certain foods
You should always be sure to seek immediate emergency medical treatment if you experience any of the following symptoms during an asthma attack:
- your symptoms continue to get worse even after treatment
- you cant speak except in short words or phrases
- youre straining your chest muscles in an effort to breathe
- your shortness of breath or wheezing is severe, particularly in the early morning or late-night hours
- you begin to feel drowsy or tired
- your lips or face appear blue when youre not coughing
Symptoms that indicate that you could be experiencing an asthma attack include:
- severe shortness of breath
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