What Is Silent Asthma
Some doctors and healthcare professionals refer to silent asthma, but youve probably had difficulty pinpointing its definition. While this term has made its way into medical practice jargon, it is not generally regarded as a medical term.
There are a few reasons why people refer to silent asthma. To understand their meaning, you need to know about silent symptoms. Lets look at the various terms used to describe asthma and asthma symptoms and see what silent asthma really means.
The Basics Of Diagnosing Asthma
Your doctor will probably start your examination by delving into your past medical history and asking whether any of your relatives have allergies or asthma. You’ll also be asked to describe your symptoms, their severity, and what, if anything, is triggering them.
Triggers could include cold air, dust, hairsprays, perfumes, household cleaner vapors, cigarette or cigar smoke, and air pollution, Asciuto says.
Doctors also try to narrow down the list of culprits by asking these additional questions:
- Is your cough worse at night?
- Do you have more symptoms when youre at home or at work?
- Do you have other health problems that could be causing these symptoms, such as a sinus infection or acid reflux?
Next, your doctor will listen to your breathing with a stethoscope and may order one or more of these diagnostic tests:
Its also important to note that you can have asthma without experiencing any of the hallmark symptoms. There’s no single patient profile for asthma, says Dr. Fineman. “Some will have more coughing, some more wheezing, and some have more problems breathing with exercise, he says.
What Should I Know About Covid
If you have asthma that is moderate-to-severe, or if your asthma symptoms arent well controlled, youre at greater risk of having to be hospitalized if you get COVID-19. Therefore, you should wear a mask if you go to indoor spaces with other people, get vaccinated and avoid exposure to people who have the virus.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Many people live fulfilling lives with asthma. Some professional athletes with asthma have set records in their sports. Your healthcare provider can help you find the best way to manage your asthma. Talk to your healthcare provider about how to control your symptoms.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/19/2022.
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Gerd Causes Direct Bronchospasm
This interesting theory postulates that the esophagus and bronchioles share some of the same nerves. Microscopic amounts of acidic stomach content enters the airway and irritates your esophagus. A signal is then sent via nerve pathways to bronchioles thereby irritating them and causing them to spasm . This is how acid reflux may indirectly cause bronchospasm, or so the theory goes. This mechanism is referred to as the vagally mediated reflex.5This theory essentially asserts that acidic stomach contents do not have to be inhaled into the lungs to cause asthma, all it has to do is irritate the esophagus.6 This response may also be a natural response to prevent pathogens from entering the airways .
Silent Obstruction In Asthma Is Unrecognized Problem
Florence W. Watts, M.D. Timothy J. Sullivan, M.D.
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The prevalence of asthma has doubled over the last 20 years in the United States. Approximately 14 million people in this country have experienced symptoms of asthma in the last year. The causes of this increase are unclear. With this rise in prevalence of asthma, there are more patients with severe disease in the perioperative period. Therefore, anesthesiologists will be managing more asthmatics with more severe disease in the perioperative period. Kabalin et al. Have shown that asthmatics under good control have minimal perioperative ocmplications.1 However, the asthmatic who is not under good control does have an increased rate of respiratory complications in the perioperative period.2 Caramico et al., in preliminary study, showed that among asthmatic children, the incidence of respiratory complications was 4 to 20 times higher than a control population with no history of respiratory disease.3 Perioperative asthmatic deaths in this country tragically continue to occur even following elective procedures. The key to preventing perioperative complications in the asthmatic is to optimize the asthmatics lung function prior to surgery.
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Asthma Is A Complex Condition
Occasionally, people with asthma experience what are known as silent symptoms. This is where the signs of the tightening of the airways dont result in the familiar asthma sounds of wheezing and coughing. If you or someone you live with, work with, or care for experiences silent symptoms, it is important they consult a doctor for an ongoing Asthma Action Plan. People around the person with asthmasuch as co-workers, school teachers or daycare educators should know about the silent symptoms so they can respond if needed. Asthma can start at any age, and can be more of a problem when it starts in older adults. Dont assume if you never had asthma as a child that its not possible to develop symptoms now. Being breathless is not a normal part of getting older, it should always be checked out by a doctor.
What Causes Silent Asthma
The specific cause of silent asthma cannot be pinpointed. However, there are a few factors that are known for the development of asthma:
- Environmental factors
As stated before, silent asthma has the absence of coughing or wheezing. One reason why you may not experience coughing or wheezing is that your airways havent tightened enough to restrict airflow through your bronchioles. This restriction of your bronchioles is what causes wheezing or very faint wheezing noises.
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Asthma: Redefining This Silent Killer
Asthma kills 10 people in the United States every day, and many of these deaths are avoidable. It is time to redefine the disease and bring diagnosis and treatment into the 21st century, says an international panel of experts.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, 7.6 percent of adults and 8.4 percent of children in the U.S. have asthma. And in 2015, 3,615 people in the country died from it.
Worryingly, asthma kills indiscriminately. Anyone with asthma is at risk, and individuals with mild or moderate asthma including those with few symptoms, who do not routinely take medication die at roughly the same rate as those who are under specialist care due to their symptoms.
In a Clinical Commission report published in The Lancet, an international panel of experts criticizes the way that doctors view and treat asthma, saying that little progress has been made in the past 20 years.
So, why is asthma medicine stuck in the last century? Find out why experts think that its time to redefine the term asthma, and why patients and doctors need to take an active part to make this a reality.
How I Cured My Silent Reflux
Many people who contact me come armed with a dozen or more things that theyve tried in attempts to eliminate their reflux. The problem is very few of these supposed solutions can be correlated back to a root cause issue that they help resolve. Some do help to mitigate symptoms, but they do not offer healing. Sadly others like Gaviscon worsen symptoms because they reinforce the root causes by lowering acidity. Many are surprised by this as they were only aware of the highly advertised foam barrier that it purports. If I had a dollar for every time I heard the word Gaviscon from one of you I could easily cover the cost of maintaining this website!
Sadly, people are lulled into believing these medicines are helping them because they neutralize the uncomfortable / painful acids that escape into the throat. Consequently they decide to take them longer than the recommended 6-8 weeks, and because doctors do not have a better alternative they suggest buying over the counter or renew the prescriptions.
That said, I want to cover some of the more serious effects of long term acid reflux medication usage. It is well documented that long term use leads to several vitamin deficiencies, namely vitamin b12, magnesium, and calcium. Below is a list of the most common side effects. If have bolded several that I personally dealt with for years, not realizing they were associated with reflux. If you have experienced any of the below, you may be deficient in one or more of these vitamins.
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What Are Common Asthma Attack Triggers
You can have an asthma attack if you come in contact with substances that irritate you. 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. For other people, or at other times, an attack may start hours or days later.
Triggers can be different for each person. But some common triggers include:
Preventing An Asthma Attack
The best way to prevent having an asthma attack is to make sure that your asthma is under control. People with asthma typically use two types of medication:
- Long-term. This involves medication that you take every day to control airway inflammation and prevent asthma attacks. These medications can include things like inhaled corticosteroids, leukotriene modifiers and long-acting bronchodilators.
- Quick-relief. This is rescue medication that you take for short-term relief of asthma symptoms. These medications are referred to as short-acting bronchodilators and work to open your airways.
You should also work with your doctor to develop a personalized asthma action plan. This can help you to better understand and control your asthma. An asthma action plan includes:
- your asthma triggers and how to avoid them
- how and when to take your medications, both for symptom control and for quick relief
- indicators of when youre controlling your asthma well and when you need to seek emergency medical attention
Your family and those close to you should have a copy of your asthma action plan so that theyll know what to do if you have an asthma attack. Additionally, it may be helpful to keep it on your phone as well, in case you need to reference it quickly.
Its possible that you may still have some questions regarding asthma attacks. Well try to answer some of these now.
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Why Asthma May Trigger Gerd
Just as GERD can make asthma symptoms worse, asthma can exacerbate and trigger symptoms of acid reflux. Pressure changes that occur inside the chest and abdomen during an asthma attack, for example, are believed to aggravate GERD.
As the lungs swell, the increased pressure on the stomach may cause the muscles that usually prevent acid reflux to become lax. This allows stomach acid to flow back up into the esophagus.
Heartburn is the main GERD symptom that adults face. In some people, GERD can occur without causing heartburn. Instead, symptoms may be more asthmatic in nature, such as a chronic dry cough or difficulty swallowing.
Your asthma may be connected to GERD if:
- it began in adulthood
- symptoms get worse following a large meal or exercise
- symptoms occur while drinking alcoholic beverages
- symptoms happen at night or while lying down
- asthma medications are less effective than usual
It can be difficult to identify symptoms of GERD in children, especially if theyre very young. Infants under age 1 will often experience symptoms of acid reflux, such as frequent spitting up or vomiting, with no harmful effects.
In general, infants and young children with GERD will:
- become irritable
- arch their backs often
What Exactly Is Silent Asthma
There is no clear definition of silent asthma. It is not a diagnostic term, and some healthcare professionals may use it casually to refer to silent symptoms of asthma.
Asthma symptoms that are not audible are referred to as silent symptoms. Coughing and wheezing would not fall into this category. Shortness of breath and chest tightness are the most common silent symptoms of asthma. These two symptoms, however, are rarely enough to diagnose asthma.
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Explaining Your Symptoms To Your Gp
Its a good idea to start a diary of your symptoms before speaking to your GP. Taking note of when symptoms flare-up may help you to understand your triggers. This diary will then help your GP to understand and properly assess your condition. You could also try filming your symptoms if they are hard to describe.
There are several different tests for asthma – so your GP wont be able to diagnose you straightaway. Our advice on diagnosing asthma explains this process in more detail.
What Types Of Asthma Are There
Asthma is broken down into types based on the cause and the severity of symptoms. Healthcare providers identify asthma as:
- Intermittent: This type of asthma comes and goes so you can feel normal in between asthma flares.
- Persistent: Persistent asthma means you have symptoms much of the time. Symptoms can be mild, moderate or severe. Healthcare providers base asthma severity on how often you have symptoms. They also consider how well you can do things during an attack.
Asthma has multiple causes:
- Allergic: Some peoples allergies can cause an asthma attack. Allergens include things like molds, pollens and pet dander.
- Non-allergic: Outside factors can cause asthma to flare up. Exercise, stress, illness and weather may cause a flare.
Asthma can also be:
- Adult-onset: This type of asthma starts after the age of 18.
- Pediatric: Also called childhood asthma, this type of asthma often begins before the age of 5, and can occur in infants and toddlers. Children may outgrow asthma. You should make sure that you discuss it with your provider before you decide whether your child needs to have an inhaler available in case they have an asthma attack. Your childs healthcare provider can help you understand the risks.
In addition, there are these types of asthma:
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Exercise Gets You Out Of Breath And Not In A Good Way
How do you tell the difference between a typical shortness of breath from exercise and what might be more serious like asthma? What should you do if you suspect its asthma?
It is perfectly normal for your heart rate to rise and breathing to get faster during and after exercise. The Asthma Society of Canada reports that if you are experiencing shortness of breath that is unusual for you at rest or during exercise or experiencing coughing, chest tightness, or wheezing, it should be discussed with your healthcare provider.
Learn To Recognize The Symptoms Of Silent Asthma
Asthma is a lung condition where the airways are inflamed and narrowed, restricting air from flowing through the bronchioles. This usually causes constant coughing and loud wheezing. However, in silent asthma, theres no coughing or wheezing, and it is associated with the most severe forms of asthmafatal asthma and status asthmaticus. Keep reading to learn how silent asthma is diagnosed and how to recognize its symptoms.
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When To See A Specialist About Your Asthma
Asthma is not always easy to diagnose, Fineman says, but you should see your doctor if youre having repeated episodes of wheezing and coughing or shortness of breath. If you’re diagnosed with the condition, work with your doctor to develop an asthma management and action plan.
Although your primary care doctor may be able to diagnose and treat your asthma, if your symptoms dont respond to a first-line therapy of inhaled corticosteroids and short-acting bronchodilators, Asciuto recommends that you see a lung specialist or allergy and asthma specialist.
How Do I Recognize The Early Signs Of An Asthma Attack
Early warning signs are changes that happen just before or at the very beginning of an asthma attack. These changes start before the well-known symptoms of asthma and are the earliest signs that your asthma is worsening.
In general, these early asthma attack symptoms 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 may include:
- Frequent cough, especially at night
- Reduced peak flow meter readings
- Losing your breath easily or shortness of breath
- Feeling very tired or weak when exercising
- Wheezing or coughing during or after exercise
- Feeling tired, easily upset, grouchy, or moody
The severity of an asthma attack can escalate rapidly, so it’s important to treat these symptoms immediately once you recognize them.
Gerd Causes Airway Hyper
Chances are that it begins with asthma genes. Chronic exposure to some environmental factor activates asthma genes, and this causes the immune system to recognize the substance as harmful. This results in the initiation of an immune response that ultimately leads to the release of T-helper 2 cells that ultimately lead to the release of inflammatory markers that cause airway inflammation and asthma.4 This makes airways hypersensitive in response to asthma triggers , resulting in airway narrowing and airflow limitation that is reversible and controlled with asthma rescue medicine and inhaled corticosteroids .
What Is Silent Chest Asthma
Another term used in conjunction with silent asthma is silent chest asthma. This term refers to a specific type of asthma attack called status asthmaticus. The symptoms of this attack vary but may include:
- Inflammation of the airway
- Little to no wheezing
- Difficulty breathing
Since the symptoms of silent chest asthma are hard to detect, they can be challenging to diagnose. However, left untreated, it can be life-threatening. If you believe you may be experiencing symptoms of silent chest asthma, consult your healthcare professional.
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