Minimizing Environmental Asthma Triggers At Home And Work
You can take measures to keep your home asthma-friendly by identifying and minimizing common indoor asthma triggers, such as pet dander, mold, dust mites, chemical irritants , and cigarette smoke, advises the Environmental Protection Agency. Some smart strategies for managing asthma triggers include designating pet-free zones in the house , washing bedding and mopping and vacuuming frequently , and putting dust-mite covers on pillows and mattresses.
If youre experiencing asthma symptoms at work, speak with your supervisor and coworkers to try to identify the triggers it could be anything from moldy carpets to dust to industrial cleaning chemicals and then figure out a way to minimize your exposure.
What Types Of Asthma Are There
Healthcare providers identify asthma as intermittent or persistent . Persistent asthma can be mild, moderate or severe. Healthcare providers base asthma severity on how often you have attacks. They also consider how well you can do things during an attack.
Asthma can be:
- Allergic: Some peoples allergies can cause an asthma attack. Molds, pollens and other allergens can cause an attack.
- Non-allergic: Outside factors can cause asthma to flare up. Exercise, stress, illness and weather may cause a flare.
Manage Your Symptoms And Prevent Future Attacks:
- Follow your Asthma Action Plan . This is a written plan that you and your healthcare provider create. It explains which medicine you need and when to change doses if necessary. It also explains how you can monitor symptoms and use a peak flow meter. The meter measures how well your lungs are working.
- Manage other health conditions , such as allergies, acid reflux, and sleep apnea.
- Identify and avoid triggers. These may include pets, dust mites, mold, and cockroaches.
- Do not smoke or be around others who smoke. Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes and cigars can cause lung damage. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you currently smoke and need help to quit. E-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco still contain nicotine. Talk to your healthcare provider before you use these products.
- Ask about the flu vaccine. The flu can make your asthma worse. You may need a yearly flu shot.
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How To Take Care Of An Asthma Patient
Are you a caregiver of a loved one with Asthma? If yes, you must know, it is not just a lung disease that causes sneezing and itching nose. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , one in every twelve Americans has the disease. For people with Asthma, every episode of an asthma attack triggers panic and stress because they dont know when will be the next attack. Asthma attacks are quite unpredictable. So, it is best to get familiar with the tips that you could follow to take care of an Asthma patient in a better way. Lets have a look at some of these tips.
Try to know more about the disease
With knowledge comes confidence. So, try to know as much as possible about the disease from credible sources. When you are a caregiver, remember to educate yourself about how to identify an asthma attack, manage the same, and identify the triggers. There are several resources over the web such as the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America and the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology .
Maintain an open dialogue with the physician
Never forget to maintain an open dialogue communication with the physician of your loved one so that if there is no improvement, you could immediately communicate the same to him or her. The move will also help you to develop a detailed asthma action plan for the effective management of the disease.
Understand the medications
Manage asthma triggers
Take out time for self-care
Signs And Symptoms Of Asthma Attacks
- Non-stop coughing
- Severe wheezing
- Rapid breathing
- Retractions tightened neck and chest muscles
- Difficulty talking
- Feelings of anxiety or panic
- Pale, sweaty face
- Cyanosis blue lips or fingernails
Asthma may be worsening if the patient experiences the signs and symptoms or has asthma attacks more frequently.
He/she may have more shortness of breath based on peak flow meter readings and may have to alleviate the symptoms using a quick-relief inhaler more frequently than usual.
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Emotional Effects Of Asthma
An asthma attack can be really scary. Trouble breathing, leading to the sensation of air hunger, often causes people to feel like they are going to die. Understandably, this can be pretty upsetting. Even when you arent currently having asthma symptoms, the fear of another attack could cause you to feel constantly anxious and afraid. Other people react in different ways. Instead of fear, they might feel embarrassed, angry, confused, or guilty.
All of these feelings are normal.
The emotional impact asthma has on you any may depend on a number of factors, including:
- The severity of your asthma
- How much asthma limits your activities
- The level of your social and family support
- How old you were when asthma symptoms started
- Your level of asthma-related skills and knowledge
- Overall personality and coping style
Can You Prevent Asthma
You need to know hoGw to prevent or minimize future asthma attacks.
- If your asthma attacks are triggered by an allergic reaction, avoid your triggers as much as possible.
- Keep taking your asthma medicines after you are discharged. This is extremely important. Although the symptoms of an acute asthma attack go away after appropriate treatment, asthma itself never goes away.
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What To Consider Before Joining A Clinical Trial
A person with asthma may decide to join a clinical trial to receive a treatment or medication that may not be otherwise available, or they might be motivated to help others with asthma and expand broader medical knowledge, says Grayson. And in some cases, you may have access to medical care or medication for free, potentially even after the trial is over, notes Williams.
The study researchers will screen your eligibility if you apply, but you should also consider your own commitment. You should only join a clinical trial if you plan to follow the researchers directions, such as taking medication as instructed, says Grayson.
Another reason you may not be a good candidate is if you are uncomfortable with the possibility that you might be unknowingly be assigned to a placebo arm of a trial and not receive the experimental drug, Grayson adds.
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Tablets To Open Up The Airways
Most people do not need tablets, as inhalers usually work well. However, in some cases a tablet is prescribed in addition to inhalers if symptoms are not fully eased by inhalers alone. Various tablets may be used which aim to open up the airways. Some young children use liquid medication instead of inhalers.
Whats An Asthma Attack
When you breathe normally, muscles around your airways are relaxed, letting air move easily. During an asthma attack, three things can happen:
- Bronchospasm: The muscles around the airways constrict . When they tighten, it makes the airways narrow. Air cannot flow freely through constricted airways.
- Inflammation: The airway linings become swollen. Swollen airways dont let as much air in or out of the lungs.
- Mucus production: During the attack, your body creates more mucus. This thick mucus clogs airways.
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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.
Safety And Extra Preventer Medication For Asthma
People who use a regular preventer , but still get regular asthma symptoms, may need to step up their medication.
These stronger preventers are called combination therapies because they include a second medicine and the inhaled corticosteroid. Asthma preventers should be prescribed at the lowest strength that works for you or your child. There is no extra benefit in taking medication that is stronger than you need.
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Identify And Avoid Your Triggers
It’s important to identify possible asthma triggers by making a note of where you are and what you’re doing when your symptoms get worse.
Some triggers can be hard to avoid, but it may be possible to avoid some, such as dust mites, pet fur and some medicines.
You’ll have regular contact with your doctor or asthma nurse to monitor your condition.
These appointments may involve:
- talking about your symptoms for example, if they’re affecting your normal activities or are getting worse
- a discussion about your medicines including if you think you might be experiencing any side effects and if you need to be reminded how to use your inhaler
- breathing tests
It’s also a good chance to ask any questions you have or raise any other issues you want to discuss.
You may be asked to help monitor your condition between appointments. For example, you may be advised to;check your peak flow if you think your symptoms may be getting worse.
Your personal action plan should say what to do if your symptoms get gradually or suddenly worse. Contact your doctor or asthma nurse if you’re not sure what to do.
What Are The Typical Symptoms If You Have Moderate Untreated Asthma
You typically have episodes of wheezing and coughing from time to time. Sometimes you become breathless. You may have spells, sometimes long spells, without symptoms. However, you tend to be wheezy for some of the time on most days. Symptoms are often worse at night, or first thing in the morning. You may wake some nights coughing or with a tight chest. Young children may not have typical symptoms. It may be difficult to tell the difference between asthma and recurring chest infections in young children.
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What Does It Mean To Have Asthma Under Control
Your asthma is under control when it does not interfere with your everyday life and prevent normal activities. You should be able to sleep through the night without symptoms, have few or no daytime symptoms, exercise and complete your daily routines without using a quick-relief medication or using it on a minimal basis. If you experience any of these symptoms or disruptors, you should discuss with your health care provider how to improve your asthma management.
Some of the ways to control your asthma include taking an active role by avoiding asthma triggers, using medication properly, working with a health care provider to develop an asthma action plan and having regular checkups. You also need to know when to seek emergency medical care for your asthma.
Assessment With A Peak Flow Meter
This is an alternative test. A peak flow meter is a small device that you blow into. A doctor or nurse will show you how. It measures the speed of air that you can blow out of your lungs. No matter how strong you are, if your airways are narrowed, your peak flow reading will be lower than expected for your age, size and sex. If you have untreated asthma then you will normally have low and variable peak flow readings. Also, peak flow readings in the morning are usually lower than in the evening if you have asthma.
You may be asked to keep a diary over two weeks or so of peak flow readings. Typically, a person with asthma will usually have low and variable peak flow readings over several days. Peak flow readings improve when the narrowed airways are opened up with treatment. Regular peak flow readings can be used to help assess how well treatment is working. See the separate leaflets called Asthma – Peak Flow Meter and Peak flow diary for more details.
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Paying For Your Medicines
Most adults with asthma will need to pay a prescription charge for their medicines.
If you need to take a lot of medicines, paying for each item individually could get quite expensive. You may find it cheaper to get a;prescription prepayment certificate. This is where you pay a one-off;charge for all your prescriptions over a 3- or 12-month period.
You will not need to pay for your medicines if you do not normally pay prescription charges. For example, all under-16s are entitled to free prescriptions.
Read more about;prescription costs to find out if you’re entitled to help with your prescription charges.
What Are The Triggers
There are many different triggers for asthma attacks. Many asthmatics are well aware of their trigger points. However, they may not always be able to avoid them.
Pollen and pollution are increasingly responsible for triggering asthma. Many people find a worsening of their symptoms in Spring, combined with the onset of hay fever. There are many species of grasses, trees and weeds in the UK. Some people are particularly sensitive to some and do not react at all to others. There is also huge variation around the country as to when pollen is released. People can begin to suffer from hay fever as early as January. About 20% of people with hay fever are allergic to birch tree pollen and this, as well as oak and plane trees, are responsible for many unpleasant symptoms and can exacerbate asthma.
Grass pollens are the most common cause of hay fever and usually affect people in May, June and July.
Weed pollens usually release pollen from early spring to early autumn.
If you know pollen is a trigger for your asthma, speak to your GP or asthma nurse.
The Met Office issues really useful pollen advice.
- Shortness of breath
- Tightness in the chest
- Often people find it particularly difficult to breathe out and have an increase in sticky mucus and phlegm
Its important to note that not everyone will get all of these symptoms.
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Scale And Spread Of This Successful Application And Model
Dr. Rudin has been funded for future work by AHRQ to scale and spread this successful app and practice model. For this current research, Dr. Rudin and his team are applying user-centered design processes to enhance and adapt the app in a primary care setting, where much of asthma disease management occurs. The enhancements will include recording peak flows and details on recent symptoms and triggers, which were suggested by patients and providers during the original research project. The enhanced app and model will be rigorously evaluated with a randomized controlled trial to understand the impact of the app on quality of life and asthma-related healthcare utilization.
A Stepwise Management Approach
There is no National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance for asthma management. However, a quality standard outlines 11 high-priority areas for quality improvement linked to British Thoracic Society and Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network guidance on asthma management .
In most patients, asthma is effectively managed with inhaled corticosteroids and inhaled ß2-agonists according to steps 1-3 of the BTS/SIGN stepwise management plan . However, a minority of patients have poorly controlled asthma despite the prescription of optimal inhaled medication. These patients require additional maintenance therapies such as leukotriene receptor antagonists, sustained-release theophylline, oral ß2;agonists, or intermittent or regular oral corticosteroids . All patients at step 4 or 5 require referral to specialist asthma services for assessment and evaluation of their suitability for individualised therapy .
Tips To Keep Your Asthma Under Control
May 4th, 2015
Almost three million Canadians and more than 300 million people worldwide have asthma, including many top athletes. Asthma is a common chronic lung disease that can make it difficult to breathe. ;Although there is no cure for asthma, those with the condition can live healthy, active lives if their asthma is under control.;
For World Asthma Day , the Canadian Lung Association has some helpful tips for people with asthma.;
1.;; ;Know your triggers and avoid themTriggers like allergens and irritants can make ;your asthma symptoms worse by irritating your airways. ;The best way to control your asthma is to know what your asthma triggers are and how to avoid them.
2.;; ;Take your asthma medication as prescribed by your doctorMany people think they can skip their asthma preventer medications when they don’t feel any symptoms that’s not true. Asthma is a chronic disease. If you have asthma, you have it all the time, even when you don’t feel symptoms. You have to manage your asthma every day, not just on days when you feel symptoms. Read more about asthma medications and how to use them.
3.;; ;Learn how to use your inhaler properlyYour health-care provider can show you how to use your inhaler properly so that ;your medicine reaches the airways. ;Ask him or her ;to watch you useyour inhaler. ;Your health-care provider may offer suggestions on how to improve your technique so that the medication gets to your airways. Watch our videos on how to properly use your inhalers.