Vaccine Distribution In Canada
As part of the Canadian Thoracic Societys COVID-19 Respiratory Roundtable panel representing Canadians living with lung disease, Asthma Canada signed a joint statement titled Prioritization of Canadians with Lung Disease in COVID-19 Vaccination Rollout. Alongside other lung health organizations, Asthma Canada is urging federal, provincial and territorial governments to prioritize people living with lung disease who are at higher risk for more serious COVID-19 complications in the vaccination rollout. From Canadians living with a lung disease such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease , cystic fibrosis, lung cancer, pulmonary fibrosis, pulmonary hypertension, and pre- and post-lung transplant, there is widespread concern regarding when in the vaccine rollout in the provinces and territories they will have the opportunity to receive the vaccine.
We will continue to advocate for our community on this subject and will share more information as it becomes available.
Read the full statement here:English | French
If My Child Has Asthma Can He Or She Participate In Sports And Activities
Exercise, such as long-distance running, may trigger a flare-up in many children with asthma. But with correct management, a child with asthma can fully participate in most sports. Aerobic exercise actually improves airway function by strengthening breathing muscles. Some tips for exercising with asthma include the following:
Teach your child to breathe through the nose and not the mouth. This helps to warm and humidify the air before it enters the airways.
During cold weather, have your child wear a scarf over their mouth and nose to warm inhaled air.
Give your child asthma medicine before exercising, as recommended by your child’s healthcare provider. If your child is not already on controller medicine and they exercise daily, the provider may recommend daily controller medicine.
Have your child carry their quick-relief inhaler medicine.
How Do I Know If My Child Really Does Have Asthma
A doctor’s work-up will start with a medical history including symptoms and family history. A physical exam will also be done. Pulmonary function testing with spirometry can provide information about lung function and severity of the asthma. A chest X-ray may be ordered to help visualize the lungs. Allergy testing can be done to determine if allergies play a role in symptoms. Additional tests may be done to investigate other causes of symptoms.
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If Allergens Are A Trigger For You Get Allergy Tested
First, heres why allergies and asthma often go hand in hand.
You have an allergy attack when proteins in your immune system, known as antibodies, accidentally identify something harmless, such as dust mites, as a dangerous invader. To try to stop the invader, your antibodies bind to it. This causes a release of chemicals. In turn, those chemicals cause classic allergy symptoms. Think: itchy eyes, sneezing, or a runny nose.
This is your bodys way of trying to force out the invader. But sometimes, this same reaction affects your lungs, causing coughing and wheezing. Thats allergic asthma.
If you know your allergy triggers, you can avoid them, says Julie Ellis, MD. Dr. Ellis is a pediatric urgent care specialist at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. The best way to do this: Talk to your doctor. They may decide allergy testing is necessary. The most common test is a skin test. Your doctor will prick the skin on your back or arms with small doses of certain allergens to see which ones cause a reaction.
If you test positive for allergies, there are therapies that can treat both allergies and asthma. These include:
If My Child No Longer Has Asthma Symptoms Could It Be That They Were Misdiagnosed With The Disease
Perhaps. Rachelefsky says a lot of children diagnosed with asthma donât have it and many asthmatics go undiagnosed.
âSpirometry is standard, but many physicians in primary care practices donât have a spirometer. They diagnose sinusitis as asthma and mistake asthma for esophageal reflux,â he says.
But for children under the age of 2, it is difficult to do spirometry to test for asthma. When a child is that young, providing a diagnosis âis an imperfect science,â says Reynolds J. Panettieri Jr., a pulmonologist with the University of Pennsylvania.
âIf you have true asthma, you donât outgrow it,â so young children who are wheezing from a viral infection that hangs around for a long time may not have asthma but âtwitchyâ or hypersensitive airways that are a holdover from the virus, he says.
Johnson says, even if a child is too young for standard testing, âItâs better to err on the side of caution and treat kids whether they have asthma or not. The benefits are great,â he says.
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Getting Diagnosed As An Adult Can Be More Difficult
There are several reasons that adults may be less likely to receive an accurate diagnosis, says pulmonologist Anthony Gerber, MD, a professor of pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine at National Jewish Health and an associate professor of medicine at the University of Colorado Denver.
Some adults believe that they cant get asthma if theyve never had it before and so may be more prone to ignore or write off symptoms. Its not uncommon for adults to have a chronic cough for months without considering it could be asthma, says Dr. Parikh.
Adults are also more likely to have other underlying conditions that can mask or complicate asthma symptoms. Those include heart disease, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, also known as COPD.
Its not just the adults who are confused, though doctors often miss asthma symptoms in adults or misdiagnose other conditions as asthma.
About one-third of the patients I see who have been diagnosed with severe asthma dont really have asthma, says Dr. Gerber. Their symptoms are being caused by a different condition.
For example, chest pain could be from gastroesophageal reflux disease or heart disease. A chronic cough could be due to vocal cord dysfunction.
This leads to asthma being misdiagnosed in adults, says Dr. Gerber. I always recommend adults get diagnosed by a specialist.
More Kids Than Adults Outgrow Their Asthma
Often, children under age 2 who show signs of asthma dont go on to develop the condition. It starts with wheezy bronchitis, says Dr. Schachter. This usually follows a viral respiratory infection, such as a cold. And its often because babies and toddlers have very narrow airways.
These airways are more likely to get infected, which can cause wheezy respiration, Dr. Schachter explains. About three-quarters of these children do get better and do not develop chronic asthma. Presumably their airways grow larger as they age, and this resolves the problem.
Older kids under age 12 may develop respiratory allergies. Breathing in allergens such as pollen, dust, or mold can cause the airways to become inflamed and narrow. This sometimes leads to allergic asthma, which is asthma triggered by those same allergens. But during puberty, up to half of these kids become less symptomatic. Or they lose their asthmatic symptoms altogether, Dr. Schachter notes.
Those children that go into the honeymoon phase may never experience asthma again, says Dr. Schachter. Or they may see their asthma resurface as they hit adulthood. Thats especially common after they have a viral infection.
What about adults? Asthma in adults can improve or even go away. But this is much less common than in children, says Dr. Schachter. It may be because aging and long-term asthma cause an adults lung function to worsen over time.
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Can You Prevent Symptoms Of Asthma From Coming Back
The best way to prevent asthma symptoms is to avoid your asthma triggers and take good care of your lungs. To do this, you should:
Continue taking any medication recommended by your doctor
Avoid your asthma triggers
Stop smoking if you are currently a smoker
Avoid exposure to toxic chemicals and air pollution
Avoid excessive weight gain and stay active
Try to stay healthy, as illnesses such as a cold or respiratory infection can trigger asthma symptoms
If allergens are an asthma trigger for you, you may want to talk to your doctor about immunotherapy. These are also called allergy shots. Immunotherapy works by injecting small amounts of the triggering allergen into your body to help build natural immunity.
This can help prevent the allergen from triggering your asthma symptoms.
How To Minimize The Risk Of Getting An Asthma Attack
The best way to minimize the risk of having an asthma attack is to know your triggers and work to avoid them. Triggers vary from person to person, so what triggers your asthma may not trigger someone else’s symptoms. You can talk to your doctor about testing that can help determine your asthma triggers, such as food allergies, household allergies such as dust and pet dander, or seasonal allergies such as tree pollen.
Some tests can help determine if exercise or exposure to certain chemicals may trigger an attack.
However, other triggers are harder to determine. Changes in the weather, your emotional state, and even hormone fluctuations can trigger an asthma attack. Keeping a journal of your symptoms may help you pinpoint these triggers and become more aware of them.
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Is It Possible To Outgrow Asthma
The answer is a complicated yes, and no.
First, outgrowing ones asthma is entirely dependent on age. A patient exhibiting symptoms must be very young, such as in their infancy, notes the AAAAI. Children at this age rarely have full-blown asthma, but rather wheezing and viral respiratory conditions.
This may raise the question of whether these children were ever experiencing asthma in the first place. This especially becomes something worth thinking about when you consider that the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology or ACAAI says that outgrowing ones asthma is impossible.
According to the ACAAI, its possible to get complacent with a childhood case of asthma because symptoms may manifest less often during a childs developing years. The ACAAI cautions against believing that the case of asthma is gone completely, though. They add that symptoms can and do persist into adulthood.
Even if these patients do outgrow their asthmatic symptoms, that doesnt mean the damage asthma causes disappears. Another AAAAI article from 2013 notes that these children will always have a different lung structure as well as decreased lung function compared to those who never had asthma.
Can You Outgrow Asthma
Those who have asthma are aware that the condition is incurable. However, there may be stretches of times where asthma attacks and other symptoms dont flare up. While these are nice periods of relief, this doesnt mean your asthma has disappeared. Instead, going months between episodes is a testament to your asthma management plan. Avoiding asthmatic triggers, taking your medication or a combination of the two is working well for you.
You may have heard of instances where children with asthmatic symptoms seemingly stop experiencing their symptoms, out of the blue. The children dont report any further breathing difficulties and go on with their lives. Is there some reality to this or is it just a myth? It is possible to outgrow your asthma? If so, how? Does everyone outgrow their asthma or is it just certain people? Why?
In this article, well answer all those questions and more.
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Personal Asthma Action Plan
As part of your initial assessment, you should be encouraged to draw up a personal asthma action plan with your GP or asthma nurse.
If youâve been admitted to hospital because of an asthma attack, you should be offered an action plan before you go home.
The action plan should include information about your asthma medicines, and will help you recognise when your symptoms are getting worse and what steps to take. You should also be given information about what to do if you have an asthma attack.
Your personal asthma action plan should be reviewed with your GP or asthma nurse at least once a year, or more frequently if your symptoms are severe.
As part of your asthma plan, you may be given a peak flow meter. This will give you another way of monitoring your asthma, rather than relying only on symptoms, so you can recognise deterioration earlier and take appropriate steps.
Want to know more?
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Keep Taking Prescribed Medications
Long-term controller medications may also help treat your asthma and prevent symptoms from returning. Its important not to stop taking your prescribed medications even if your symptoms are better.
If you stop taking your medications as prescribed, this could cause your symptoms to return at a higher severity, leading to an over-reliance on fast-acting inhalers and other rescue medications.
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How Do You Give Your Child Asthma Medication
You will be giving your child asthma medications using a valved holding chamber device or a home nebulizer .
Your child may be able to use a metered dose inhaler with a VHC. A VHC is a chamber that attaches to the MDI and holds the burst of medication. Talk with your child’s provider to see if an MDI with VHC is right for your child.
The nebulizer delivers asthma medications by changing them from a liquid to a mist. Your child gets the medicine by breathing it in through a facemask or mouthpiece.
There are some asthma medications that are also breath-actuated, or come as a dry powder. These medications are given to older children who are able to demonstrate the appropriate technique for using them.
What Can Trigger Asthma To Come Back
Its not entirely clear why a person can start experiencing asthma symptoms after going years without them. In some instances, the reappearance of symptoms occurs when an upper respiratory infection causes inflammation of the airways that makes them more sensitive to stimuli. When that happens, muscles in the airways twitch, and then an asthma attack follows.
The underlying cause of this sequence of events may be immune system changes that occur with age. Changes in hormone levels may also be involved. And increased exposure to allergens and other irritants may play a role, too.
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Do Kids Grow Out Of Childhood Asthma
As a parent whose child has asthma, you know how stressful it can be to hear your child wheezing or trying to catch their breath. It can also be nerve wracking having to monitor your surroundings and environment to ensure that something doesnt trigger another attack in your child.
While modern medicine includes treatments to help those with asthma, kids with the condition can still miss out on sports, and even have difficulty sleeping. Because of this, its no wonder many parents are eager to ask their pediatricians if it is possible for their children to grow out of their asthma.
So, lets take a look at whats fact and whats fiction when it comes to childhood asthma and whether this condition fades as a child grows.
How Do You Outgrow Asthma
Around 25 million people¹ in the United States have asthma, and approximately 6 million² of them are children. Asthma is a chronic condition affecting the lungs, causing inflammation in the airways and making breathing difficult.
While asthma is a chronic disease, meaning you’ll have it for life, it is possible to experience remission of your symptoms. Learn more about what this means, whether it’s likely for you, and when you should see a doctor.
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Asthma remission means that for the last 12 or more months, you:
Haven’t experienced any asthma symptoms
Have experienced good, stable lung function
Haven’t had to use any rescue inhalers or corticosteroid medications
Around 50%³ of children diagnosed with asthma experience remission by reaching adulthood. However, remission becomes less probable if you are diagnosed at an older age or have severe asthma symptoms. Remission is more likely if you have milder symptoms, have good control over those symptoms, and was diagnosed at an earlier age.
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Severe Asthma Attacks Can Be Life
Whether youre currently having mild, moderate, or severe asthma or no symptoms at all its important to keep in mind that asthma can be life-threatening. If you experience an asthma emergency, its important to get medical help right away. Signs of an asthma emergency include:
- Quickly worsening wheezing and shortness of breath
- No improvement after you use a quick-relief inhaler or other rescue medication
- Shortness of breath even with mild exertion or physical activity
Its also crucial to understand your condition and what your baseline symptoms are meaning how often they occur, how serious they are, etc. If your level of symptoms increases significantly, you should talk with your doctor. It may be that the medications you take to control your asthma and respond to attacks need to be modified. Your doctor can perform tests and make the necessary adjustments to your medications.
Feeling Bogged Down By Your Asthma Come To Carolina Asthma & Allergy Care
If you or your child have not been able to outgrow your asthma symptoms, dont feel bad. As mentioned, asthma is incurable for most people. Here at Carolina Asthma & Allergy Center, we can help you have more good days living with your asthma. Were specialists when it comes to allergies and asthma and have operated for more than 60 years in Charlotte and have many other offices throughout North and South Carolina.
If youre ready to get your asthma under control and take back your life, give us a call. We can come up with an asthma management plan, including avoidance of triggers and prescription to medications as needed. Just because you cant cure asthma doesnt mean you have to live every day with breathing difficulties. Today is the day to do something about your asthma. Contact Carolina Asthma & Allergy Center for help.
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