When Asthma Attacks: How To Manage It And Stay Out Of The Er
Asthma got you out of breath? Weve got tips for controlling it, plus 8 inflammation-fighting lifestyle choices you can implement right now.
Any time the weather is nice in North Texas, it seems nearly everyone wants to get outside and get active. Everyone that is, except the more than 26 million Americans who suffer from asthma. According to the CDC, a large percentage of these folks around 60 percent limit their physical activity because of their disease.
The fear of an attack that many asthma sufferers feel is real: in 2015 the CDC reported 1.7 million ER visits and 9.6 million doctor and clinic visits with asthma as the primary diagnosis. In fact, asthma is a leading cause of child emergency room visits and hospitalizations, as well as missed school days.
In 2016, 3,518 people died from asthma.
Those alarming statistics shouldnt sideline asthma sufferers. In fact, physical activity is necessary to build and maintain lung capacity and function. The key is getting your symptoms under control with medical care and avoiding your triggers.
Coffee And Acute Bronchitis
Although the caffeine in coffee may have bronchodilating effects, prescription bronchodilators, particularly inhalers, reach your lungs immediately. In contrast the caffeine in coffee must travel through your digestive system before entering your bloodstream. In addition, FamilyDoctor explains that it’s important for acute bronchitis sufferers to remain hydrated to help maintain a productive cough. It recommends drinking water and juices and not caffeinated beverages like coffee, which can have a mild diuretic effect.
Controversy Over Asthma Inhalers
There is quite a lot of controversy surrounding the new HFA asthma inhalers compared to the old CFC inhalers. HFA stands for the propellant chemicals called hydrofluroalkanes. They have replaced the older CFCs which were believed to harm the ozone layer.
Many patients have complained that the HFA inhalers are less effective, even though the FDA maintains that they are just as good. Experts insist that while the feel of the inhaler is different, the effect of the medication is identical. Here is what visitors to our website say:
My 16 year old son has had asthma all his life. For 11 years, he used albuterol, which had his asthma under control, along with other medications. However, for the last three months he has had to use the Proventil instead of the original albuterol and now he is having a lot of problems breathing and the Proventil does not bring any relief.
He panics before a game because if he has an asthma attack the Proventil is not going to work and he is going to wind up the the emergency room. What can we do to get the old albuterol back?
Since getting ProAir I have only had congestion a few times, which prompted me to reach for the inhaler. The ProAir made me feel worse! I used an expired albuterol inhaler and finally got relief!
We would like to know how you are dealing with your asthma. Are the albuterol HFA inhalers doing the job? Is one better than another? Share your comments about caffeine, albuterol and other asthma treatments below.
Read Also: What To Do When You Get An Asthma Attack
Allergies Can Cause Asthma
Allergies with asthma is a common problem. Eighty percent of people with asthma have allergies to things in the air, like tree, grass, and weed pollens mold animal dander dust mites and cockroach droppings. In one study, children with high levels of cockroach droppings in their homes were four times more likely to have childhood asthma than children with low levels. An allergy to dust mites is another common asthma trigger.
If you have asthma thatâs hard to control, see an allergist to find out if you have allergies. Treating your allergies with medication and avoiding your triggers can help lower the odds of a severe asthma attack.
Can You Use Coffee As Treatment For An Asthma Attack
You should always use your quick-relief inhaler to treat an asthma attack. While caffeine has mild bronchodilator properties, your quick-relief inhaler is more effective. Asthma attacks can be fatal if not treated properly. And they can sneak up on you, so dont be caught off-guard.
Treatment for asthma must be directed by your physician. Work with your doctor to make sure your Asthma Action Planis up to date. With adequate asthma management, you may be able to limit the impact of asthma on your quality of life.
Always carry your quick-relief asthma medications with you. And, as always, if your asthma symptoms are out of control or your inhaler is not helping you through an asthma attack, seek medical attention immediately.
Also Check: Is Ginger And Honey Good For Asthma
Is Coffee Good For Asthma
Coffee only has a weak effect on asthma.
Drinking black coffee might help in dealing with breathlessness, as the caffeine in it can minimize fatigue in the muscles in an individuals airway. It is also helpful for asthma patients as well.
Some research has found that caffeines results slightly improve the way the airway operates in people with asthma. This can be enough to make it much easier for them to take in air.
Nevertheless, it is essential to keep in mind that drinking too much coffee can increase an individuals heart rate. It is best to enjoy caffeine consumption when trying this treatment, to make sure, not excessive is drunk.
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Aafa Explains: Will Coffee Or Caffeinated Drinks Help My Asthma
This post discusses claims that caffeine can be used to treat asthma symptoms. It is part of our AAFA Explains series looking at complementary and alternative medicine aimed at asthma and allergies. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America wants to guide you as you decide between choices that may be likely safe or potentially unsafe.
What is asthma?Asthma is a chronic disease that causes your airways to become inflamed, making it hard to breathe. There is no cure for asthma. The best way to manage asthma is to avoid triggers, take prescribed medicine to prevent symptoms, and be prepared to treat asthma episodes if they occur.
Common symptoms of asthma are coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing and chest tightness. Asthma may lead to a medical emergency. It is important to know the signs of a severe asthma attack, and know how to treat it if it occurs.
What is caffeine?Caffeine is an ingredient found in coffee, tea, cola drinks and cocoa and in over 60 plants. Drinks that contain caffeine are called caffeinated or energy drinks.
Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system. It can temporarily make you feel more awake, energetic and focused.
What does science tell us about caffeinated drinks and asthma?Clinical studies have shown that caffeine is a weak bronchodilator, improving lung function for two to four hours after it is consumed. However, it is not as strong or fast acting as rescue bronchodilators like albuterol.
Read Also: How To Treat Exercise Induced Asthma
Criteria For Considering Studies For This Review
Types of studies
We included randomised trials only.
Types of participants
We included adults with previously documented asthma of any level of severity.
Types of interventions
We included the following comparisons:
oral caffeine versus placebo and
coffee versus decaffeinated coffee.
Types of outcome measures
We did not use outcome measures to decide if a study was eligible for inclusion in the review.
We did not include challenge test data in this review.
Lung function outcomes used were: forced expiratory volume in one second , maximum midexpiratory flow and specific airway conductance
Exhaled nitric oxide concentration
Maximal expiratory flow rates at 25% and 50% of vital capacity
Side effects and adverse effects.
Is Drinking Coffee Good Or Bad For Asthma
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As we wake in the morning, one of the first things we streamline to in the morning is coffee. That invigorating elixir that starts most peoples days around the world, not just asthmatics. However, some of us are drinking that caramel-colored cough syrup for more than just the familiar flavor and consciousness coaxing caffeine.
Well actually, we are drinking it for the caffeine, but why does caffeine help that consistent cough? Some asthmatics report coffee really helping their lungs, but is coffee good for us? Heres a little bit on coffee, how it affects our lungs, and what coffee is best to be drinking as an asthmatic.
Read Also: Is Asthma A Covid Risk Factor
The Caffeine And Asthma Connection
There is one component of certain tea varieties that has been studied for its respiratory effects: caffeine.
According to Karina Keogh, MD, a pulmonologist with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, caffeine may help relax smooth muscles, like those in the lungs, and act as a bronchodilator, helping open airways.
Though caffeines impact on lung function seems to be modest, research has identified it as legitimate. One prior study published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, for example, concluded, Caffeine appears to improve airways function modestly in people with asthma for up to four hours.
The study found that even a low dose of caffeine had a noticeable impact on asthma patients performance in lung function tests, starting with amounts as low as 5 milligrams of caffeine per 1 kilogram of body weight.
But although the researchers considered 340 mg to be a low dose of caffeine, thats around three 8-ounce cups of coffee or seven cups of black tea which may not feel so low to some people.
The researchers note that while caffeine may mildly improve short-term lung function, more evidence is needed to understand whether this small improvement is associated with a better quality of life, and to see how caffeine tolerance changes this impact over time.
Believe It Or Not But Bitter Coffee Can Help Abort An Asthma Attack And Act As First Aid In Case Of An Emergency
Written by Anuradha Varanasi | Updated : April 29, 2016 10:43 AM IST
The national burden of asthma cases in India is estimated to be as high as 17.23 million patients, says a recent study conducted by the Epidemiology of Asthma, Respiratory Symptoms and Chronic Bronchitis in 2015 . Asthma can cause restrictions in one s daily activities due to lung function impairment due to which patients tend to have a reduced quality of life. In fact, there are about 489,000 deaths globally which are attributed to asthma annually . Did you know, asthma increases the risk of suffering from nearsightedness at young age?
During an asthma attack, the lining of the airways becomes swollen or inflamed which is caused by the tightening of muscles around the airways. The symptoms of asthma include severe wheezing, rapid breathing, coughing, and difficulty talking. While the first aid of asthma usually involves making the patient sit upright and loosening tight clothing along with using an inhaler, what does one do in a situation where an inhaler isn t available? If the symptoms of asthma are ignored for too long, it could result in the patient developing bluish lips and they could eventually lose their ability to talk because of low oxygen levels in the blood. At this point, the wheezing also stops and if the patient isn t rushed to a hospital immediately, the patient may lose consciousness or eventually die. These are the 10 facts about asthma you should know.
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My Caffeine Substitution: Tea
Yes, with all due respect, I still get a small dose of caffeine by drinking tea. It just brings so much joy to the morning that I can’t seem to completely cut myself off. Of course, I can’t help thinking it might have something to do with the fact I’ve been consuming methylxanthines since I was six or seven.
Caffeine is not considered a top-line treatment for asthma. In fact, I have no memory of it ever being brought up seriously in any discussion between my physicians and either my parents or myself. I do not ever remember my mom giving me a cup of coffee during asthma attacks.
However, in the days before rescue inhalers, it probably would have been a viable option. For those with very mild asthma, or for the many people who cant gain access for whatever reason to the many wonderful asthma medicines now available, perhaps coffee would prove useful. But it will never be a first-line asthma treatment, not like theophylline once was, anyway.
Does caffeine help you with your asthma symptoms? .
How To Use Coffee For Asthma
You dont want to rely on caffeine for asthma symptoms. However, studies have found that caffeine may help asthma patients. Caffeine also appears to help the airways function a little better, for up to four hours, in people with asthma. But neither of these suggest that caffeine should be used to treat asthma.
Think of it more like this coffee should not be treating your asthma, but rather it can be used to supplement your asthma treatment.
Also Check: Can Asthma Lead To Lung Cancer
Other Claims Against Caffeine
You may have heard or read about other negative health effects from caffeine consumption, but as of now, there just isnt enough evidence to fully endorse those as legitimate health concerns.
Some of those negatives include:
- Adrenal fatigue
- Accelerates bone loss. Src.
Caffeine is a drug and can affect people differently just like any other substance. Its important that consumers understand how caffeine interacts with their bodies in regard to their personal health histories. For some consumers, swapping morning coffee for a shot of ginger or another naturally energizing beverage could be a better alternative. Sprint Kitchen has some good recommendations.
The food and beverage industry spends millions, if not billions, of dollars worldwide to fund studies and promote caffeinated products as safe or even healthy.
Fortunately, caffeine is one of the most researched substances on the planet and there does exist some unbiased data from which to glean some reliable information from.
While much of the research published does allude to the safety and even potential benefits of caffeine , there are a handful of research studies that highlight the potentially harmful effects of caffeine.
The risks of suffering from any of the harmful effects of caffeine are diminished by being aware of how much is personally being consumed daily.
It is also important to be aware of any pre-existing medical conditions that may contribute to caffeines negative effects.
Can Caffeine Prevent Exercise
One very small study was done to compare caffeine and albuterol for exercise-induced asthma symptoms.6 Ten athletes consumed a drink with different amounts of caffeine or no caffeine. They also used an inhaler with albuterol or fake treatment before doing an exercise challenge. The researchers tested participants lung function before and after the exercise challenge. The results showed that moderate to high doses of caffeine prevented the airways from narrowing during exercise.
However, these results are not enough to prove that caffeine prevents exercise-induced asthma. Caffeine is not one of the treatments recommended for exercise-induced asthma in guidelines from the American Thoracic Society.7 The main treatment for exercise-induced symptoms is albuterol and a ten-minute warm-up.
Read Also: Why Is Asthma Worse In Fall
Is Coffee Good For Asthma Attack
Methylxanthine is one of the asthma medications used which includes Theobromine, Theophylline and caffeine.
All these ingredients of the medicine work by interfering with certain protein to relax down the inflamed asthmatic muscles.
Researches on asthma patients also showed that 2 cups of strong coffee, when taken during an asthma attack, can significantly reduce the asthma symptoms.
This clearly shows that caffeine can be many times, if not at all times, used to relax down the asthma trigger for people who are suffering from mild asthma conditions.
One another research concludes that taking caffeine within one hour of exercising can lower the symptoms of the exercise-induced asthma.
And although 3-6 mg of caffeine per kilogram of weight lowers the symptoms and 9 mg per kilogram was as efficient as an albuterol inhaler.
Risk Of Bias In Included Studies
Complete agreement was reached by the review authors for both assessments. See for ‘Risk of bias’ tables for individual studies and for an overview.
‘Risk of bias’ summary: review authors’ judgements about each risk of bias item for each included study.
All the papers stated that the trials were randomised. One trial reported computerised sequence generation which was judged to have a low risk of bias , while the remaining six trials were unclear. Two trials reported adequate allocation concealment while the remaining five were unclear.
All the studies were described as doubleblind. Blinding of the patient is important so that they put the same effort into lung function testing regardless of intervention, however they would presumably be able to detect if they had ingested any caffeine due to side effects. Five studies were judged to have a low risk of bias with respect to blinding . None of the papers described blinding of the investigator administering the caffeine or placebo to the patient or the investigator taking the outcome readings.
Incomplete outcome data
Since the trials took place over relatively short time frames there were few dropouts and only one missing data point throughout all the studies. All trials were judged to be of low risk of bias with respect to dealing with incomplete data.
Other potential sources of bias
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Can Drinking Tea Help Your Asthma What About Other Natural Remedies
Take a stroll down the coffee and tea isle of your supermarket, and youll notice teas with names like Breathe Easy and Breathe Deep and Organic Lung Health Tea. A warm cup of tea certainly can be soothing. But is there anything more to these products than that? What does the science say?
The Quick Take
There is some scientific evidence that the caffeine in black and green tea can have a positive, although modest, effect on lung function by relaxing the smooth muscles in the lungs and opening airways. In fact, caffeine is similar to a drug called theophylline, which used to be a common treatment for asthma symptoms .
More research needs to be done to determine if caffeine provides more than a small, temporary benefit. And while some people find other types of tea like ginger or peppermint to be helpful, most of the information we have about them comes from individuals rather than scientific research.
Want to know more? Read on
All About Tea and Other Natural Remedies
Theres an interesting article at Everyday Health called, Can Tea Help You Breathe Easier if You Have Asthma? Plus 7 Teas Worth Trying. In it, they dive a little deeper into the caffeine and asthma connection and the research that supports it. They also talk about seven different types of tea and how each might help your asthma.
Remember though, you should never make changes to your prescribed treatment plan without speaking to your doctor or healthcare provider.