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Is Sometimes Used To Treat Asthma

Top Home Remedies For Asthma

How to Treat Pediatric Asthma

By Dr. Josh Axe, DC, DNM, CN

Roughly 34 million Americans now have asthma, about 7 million to 8 million of which are children. Asthma is behind 12.8 million missed school days and 10.1 million missed work days in the U.S every single year. In addition, asthma costs the U.S. about $14.7 billion a year in medical costs, prescription drugs and lost productivity leading many people to search for home remedies for asthma.

Heres something that might surprise you: Although asthma medications can help control symptoms in the case of an emergency attack, they can actually sometimes make asthma symptomseven worse long term. Most asthma medications also have a host of side effects due to how they affect the endocrine system and the immune system. Research shows some asthma drugs might contribute to problems including mood changes, acne, yeast growth and weight gain plus over time they might hinder normal immune functions that make allergic and asthmatic reactions more frequent.

What are some effective, holistic ways of treating asthma that can help prevent attacks instead? Home remedies for asthma that dont require taking prescription medications or even using inhalers include limiting irritant exposure, reducing food allergies, improving gut health, supplementing with vitamin D or getting more naturally from the sun, and maintaining a healthy weight.

How Can I Avoid Going To Intensive Care For My Asthma Again

There are things you can do to reduce the risk of needing more emergency care for your asthma, so youre less likely to end up in ICU again.

  • Make sure you have a review with a trained member of staff before you leave hospital.
  • Make sure you have a written asthma action plan: youre much less likely to need hospital treatment if youre using one.
  • Keep taking your medicines as prescribed and using your peak flow meter if you have one.
  • Go to all your follow-up appointments.
  • Keep a symptom diary to help you notice if your asthma is getting worse. Most asthma attacks that need hospital treatment develop slowly, so you have a window of opportunity to get on top of your symptoms before they develop into an asthma attack.
  • Put your health first dont struggle on because of work or home commitments, or delay seeking help if you need it.
  • Try not to feel worried or embarrassed about if youre not able to deal with symptoms yourself.

Next review due January 2023

Updating The Current Guideline

The next version of the BTS emergency oxygen guideline will be titled: BTS guideline for oxygen use in adults in healthcare and emergency settings and there will be a separate guideline on emergency use in children. The key principles will remain that oxygen is a treatment of hypoxemia and that oxygen should be prescribed to a target range. The target ranges specified in the 2008 guideline are likely to remain unchanged. The new childrens guideline will provide comprehensive guidance on the emergency use of oxygen in paediatric healthcare and the adult guideline has been extended to include first responders and palliative care settings. Use of oxygen in continuous positive airway pressure ventilation systems, heliox and nitrous oxide mixtures, procedures that require conscious sedation, the peri-operative period and in track and trigger warning systems will also be included. Publication is anticipated in 2014.

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How Does Methylprednisolone Work

Methylprednisolone is an anti-inflammatory medication that works by decreasing your bodys immune response.1 Methylprednisolone is a corticosteroid that is similar to a natural hormone made by your bodys adrenal glands. When your body does not make enough of this hormone on its own, methylprednisolone can be used to treat the symptoms, commonly swelling and inflammation, that are caused by the lack of this natural hormone.6

What Controller Medications Can Be Used

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The following controller medications can be used:

  • Corticosteroids : Inhaled steroids are the most commonly used controller medications. They can reduce the chronic inflammation, preventing the narrowing of the airways and shortness of breath. If the isn’t well controlled despite inhaling steroids, the dose can be increased. It’s also possible to combine different medications.
  • Beta2-agonists: If steroids aren’t enough, a beta2-agonist can be used too. This opens up the airways. But beta2-agonists have to be used together with a steroid drug because they can make the symptoms worse when taken on their own, and may even cause severe attacks. The beta2-agonist and corticosteroid can either be inhaled separately or together. There are inhalers that allow you to inhale both medications at the same time. This is known as a fixed combination.
  • Leukotriene antagonists: These medications block the action of chemical messengers that play a role in the inflammatory response in the airways. They aren’t as effective as steroids. Combination treatment with a leukotriene antagonist and a steroid drug is less effective at preventing attacks than combination treatment with a beta2-agonist and a steroid drug.

For each type of medication, there are a number of different drugs that can be used. It is currently thought that the different drugs within each group of medications work just as well as each other.

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If I Think I Have Covid

If you start having symptoms of COVID-19, call your doctor or your local health department within 24 hours. Many states have various testing options, and your doctor or department of health can tell you what to do.

Many doctors have been offering telehealth . If that is an option, ask your insurance company if telehealth is covered under your plan. And if you have Medicare, you might be able to have a virtual visit with your doctor. The government has expanded the coverage of telehealth services during the COVID-19 crisis.

How Was The Guideline Implemented

Copies of the guidelines were sent to all hospital chief executives, medical directors, nursing heads and to all primary care and ambulance trusts, as well as to education leads in medical and nursing schools.

Local oxygen champions were identified to review local oxygen policy in accordance with the national guidelines, arrange staff education, and ensure oxygen prescription and monitoring could be achieved on drug and observation charts. Lectures, teaching material and example documentation were made available through the BTS website. Local oxygen champions were also instrumental in re-auditing after the initial implementation of the policy.

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Patient History And Waveform Capnography Help Identify Asthma Attacks

Asthma attacks can mimic other respiratory conditions. Wheezing from the lower airways can be difficult to distinguish from sounds caused by upper airway inflammation. Anxiety can trigger an asthma attack, but it can also cause hyperventilation with no bronchospasm. The sound of air passing, sometimes referred to as cardiac wheezes, through fluid-filled alveoli from pulmonary edema, can be made worse if misdiagnosed and treated as an asthma attack.

Not all asthma attacks cause wheezing. Cough may be the only sign of an asthma attack, especially in exercise-induced and nocturnal attacks . Breath sounds may be diminished or absent in severe asthma attacks, which an ominous sign of decreased air movement through the lower airways.

Waveform capnography is a valuable tool to differentiate an asthma attack from other causes of respiratory distress. The waveform represents air movement throughout the respiratory cycle, and is normally rectangular shaped. Bronchoconstriction causes air to be released unevenly from the alveoli, which makes the capnography waveform appear rounded, similar to a shark fin .

The length of the waveform also represents the exhalation phase, which is prolonged during an asthma attack. The more severe the bronchoconstriction, the more pronounced the shark fin and length of the waveform. This can be seen even if the patient has diminished breath sounds and is not wheezing.

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What Facts Should I Know About Asthma

Asthma Treatment

What is asthma?

Asthma is a clinical syndrome of chronic airway inflammation characterized by recurrent, reversible, airway obstruction. Airway inflammation also leads to airway hyperreactivity, which causes airways to narrow in response to various stimuli.

Who is at risk to develop asthma?

Asthma is a common chronic condition, affecting 68 per thousand individuals in most recent asthma surveys. Asthma remains a leading cause of missed workdays. It is responsible for 1.5 million emergency department visits annually and up to 500,000 hospitalizations. Over 3,300 Americans die annually from asthma. Furthermore, as is the case with other allergic conditions, such as eczema , hay fever , and food allergies, the prevalence of asthma appears to be on the rise.

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What Is The Prognosis For Asthma

The prognosis for asthma is generally favorable. Children experience complete remission more often than adults. Although adults with asthma experience a greater rate of loss in their lung function as compared to age-controlled counterparts, this decline is usually not as severe as seen in other conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or emphysema. Asthma in the absence of other comorbidities does not appear to shorten life expectancy. Risk factors for poor prognosis from asthma include

  • a history of hospitalizations, especially ICU admissions or intubation,
  • frequent reliance on systemic steroids,
  • significant medical comorbidities.

The airway narrowing in asthma may become fixed over time and can resemble COPD or emphysema. The other main complication of asthma is due to side effects from oral steroid use, which can include bone loss , weight gain, and glucose intolerance.

Increasing Your Treatment Dose

Your GP will probably try you on an add-on treatment before increasing the dose in your usual preventer medicine. This is so you can continue on a low dose of steroid medicine and avoid side effects.

They may consider trying a different inhaler device that may be easier for you to use, before increasing the dose.

If youre still having symptoms, even though youre taking add-on treatments or have tried a new inhaler device, your GP may consider increasing the dose of your preventer. They would start with an increase from a low to a medium dose.

Whenever your medicines change you should have another appointment with your GP or asthma nurse within four to eight weeks, either in the surgery or over the phone, to see if the change is working well for you.

Ask your GP or asthma nurse to update your asthma action plan with any changes to your medicines.

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Lifestyle Management For Asthma

Asthma needs to be managed even when symptoms are not present. According to the 2007 guidelines issued by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute , people with asthma should educate themselves and have a clear action plan for the management of their asthma symptoms.

To effectively control and manage asthma in the long-term, patients must be able to self-monitor their symptoms and recognize the warning sign of an attack. They must also be able to respond quickly through timely use of medication and/or other intervention. In addition, the patient must recognize and minimize contact with the specific asthma trigger as well as manage other medical/health conditions that can exacerbate symptoms.

What Are Common Asthma Attack Triggers

4 Preventive Asthma Controller Medicines

An asthma attack happens when someone comes in contact with substances that irritate them. 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. Sometimes, an attack may start hours or days later.

Triggers can be different for each person. But some common triggers include:

  • Air pollution: Many things outside can cause an asthma attack. Air pollution includes factory emissions, car exhaust, wildfire smoke and more.
  • Dust mites: You cant see these bugs, but they are in many homes. If you have a dust mite allergy, they can cause an asthma attack.
  • Exercise: For some people, exercising can cause an attack.
  • Mold: Damp places can spawn mold. It can cause problems for people with asthma. You dont even have to be allergic to mold to have an attack.
  • Pests: Cockroaches, mice and other household pests can cause asthma attacks.
  • Pets: Your pets can cause asthma attacks. If youre allergic to pet dander , breathing in the dander can irritate your airways.
  • Tobacco smoke: If you or someone in your home smokes, you have a higher risk of developing asthma. The best solution is to quit smoking.
  • Strong chemicals or smells.

With asthma, you may not have all of these symptoms. You may have different signs at different times. And symptoms can change between asthma attacks.

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When To See A Doctor

If your asthma flares up, immediately follow the treatment steps you and your doctor worked out in your written asthma plan. If your symptoms and peak expiratory flow readings improve, home treatment may be all that’s needed. If your symptoms don’t improve with home treatment, you may need to seek emergency care.

When your asthma symptoms flare up, follow your written asthma plan’s instructions for using your quick-acting inhaler. PEF readings ranging from 51% to 79% of your personal best are a sign you need to use the quick-acting medications prescribed by your doctor.

What Are The Possible Side Effects

The side effects depend on the type of medication, how large a dose you take and how you take it. You will find detailed information about this in the package insert that comes with the medication.

Inhaling medication usually causes fewer side effects than swallowing it in the form of tablets. In mild asthma, the side effects of some medications sometimes outweigh their potential benefits. If that is the case, it might be better not to take them. In moderate to severe asthma, though, the consequences of the condition are considerably worse than the long-term side effects of the medication.

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What Are The Different Types Of Delivery Devices For Asthma Medicines

You take most asthma medicines by breathing them in using an inhaler or nebulizer. An inhaler or nebulizer allows the medicine to go directly to your lungs. But some asthma medicines are in pill form, infusion form, or injectable form.

Inhalers

There are four types of asthma inhaler devices that deliver medicine: metered dose inhalers , dry powder inhalers , breath actuated inhalers, and soft mist inhalers.

  • Metered dose inhalers have medicine plus a propellant. The propellant sprays the medicine out of the inhaler in a short burst.
  • Dry powder inhalers do not have a propellant and do not spray the medicine out of the inhaler. The medicine is released from the inhaler when you breathe it in.
  • Breath actuated inhalers have a dry powder or aerosol medicine. The medicine does not spray out of the inhaler. The medicine is released from the inhaler when you breathe it in.
  • Soft mist inhalers do not have propellant, but they do spray the medicine out of the inhaler. They create a cloud of medicine that sprays out softly.

Different types of asthma devices

For inhalers to work well, you must use them correctly. But 70 to 90% of people who use inhalers make at least one mistake when using their inhaler.1 Inhaler mistakes can lead to uncontrolled asthma. Ask your doctor or nurse to watch you use your inhaler to make sure you are using it correctly.

Spacers and valved holding chambers

Nebulizers

Injectables

How Effective Is Epinephrine For Asthma

Asthma | Treatment and Prevention

Asthma is a respiratory disorder characterized by inflammation in the respiratory system, and many types of medications are used to treat it. Pharmaceutical epinephrine, a synthetic version of a naturally-occurring compound, is a medication that has been used for decades as a remedy for this condition. Taking epinephrine for asthma remains one of the most effective ways to control sudden attacks that cause breathing problems. The potency of this medication, as well as the potential for side effects, mean it is not used as often as other types of asthma therapies.

Individuals do not usually take this medication as a daily maintenance drug, but instead may take epinephrine for asthma attacks. It is administered by subcutaneous injection, or an injection just below the skin. Injection allows for the drug to rapidly take effect, making it useful in situations where an asthma attack is causing severe breathing problems. Vaporized medication is the alternative for asthma attacks, and in extreme cases, individuals undergoing an attack may not be able to keep their mask on to inhale the medication. Epinephrine, therefore, remains a useful treatment for asthma because it can be given to a person regardless of their condition, or how well they manage their condition.

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Can Asthma Be Cured

Most people with asthma are able to control their condition if they work together with a health care provider and follow their treatment regimen carefully.

People who do not seek medical care or do not follow an appropriate treatment plan are likely to experience worsening of their asthma and deterioration in their ability to function normally.

What Are The Different Types Of Asthma Medicines And Treatments

There are four types of asthma medicines and treatments:

  • Quick-relief medicines These medicines work quickly to relieve sudden symptoms. You take them as needed and at the first sign of symptoms.
  • Controller medicines These medicines help control asthma by correcting the underlying changes in the airways, such as swelling and excess mucus. They can be one or a combination of medicines.
  • Combination of quick-relief and controller medicines These medicines are used for both short-term relief and control.
  • Biologics This type of treatment targets a cell or protein to prevent swelling inside the airways. They are for people with certain types of persistent asthma and are given by injection or infusion.
  • The difference between these asthma treatments can be confusing. It is important to understand what each treatment does and how they help your asthma. Learning how to use each correctly can you help keep your asthma well-controlled. Always take your medicines as directed by your doctor and follow your Asthma Action Plan.

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