This Section Was Originally Titled Steps I Took To Cure Asthma
But as I learn more from interactions with readers and doctors, it became obvious this section needed to reflect more current information. We are all different biologically. Sometimes what worked for me does not work for somebody else. Without a doubt more research is still needed to standardize the best protocol.
How Is Asthma Treated
If you or a loved one has asthma, we can put together a comprehensive plan to treat it. This plan can address the particular allergens that affect you. Also, the frequency and severity of your symptoms will be factored into your plan.
Its common for an inhaler to be used in an asthma treatment plan. Its a portable device that can deliver a premeasured dose of asthma medicine into a patients lungs. Some inhalers have corticosteroids that can control swelling and irritation in the airway, while other inhalers have fast-acting drugs like bronchodilators which can help open up the airway quickly when necessary. A combination of medicines is possible. Inhalers are very effective for many patients, not just for seasonal use, but for daily use.
For some patients, a nebulizer can help, while for others, an oral medicine will help. Different medicines have different purposes, like reducing inflammation or helping to open up the airway, and its also possible to get an oral corticosteroid. Sometimes with more severe cases of asthma, a patient will benefit greatly from injections of a biologic medication that can reduce the patients sensitivity to allergens.
Some or many of the aforementioned treatments will be factored into your treatment plan with us at Allergy & Asthma Center. Together in your plan, the treatments can reduce or even relieve your symptoms so you can live the kind of life youve been missing.
Who Can Get Asthma
Anyone can develop asthma at any age. People with allergies or people exposed to tobacco smoke and secondhand smoke are more likely to develop asthma.
Statistics show women tend to have asthma more than men, and asthma affects Black Americans more frequently than other races.
When a child develops asthma, healthcare providers call it childhood asthma. If it develops later in life, its adult-onset asthma.
Children do not outgrow asthma. They may have fewer symptoms as they get older, but they could still have an asthma attack. Your childs healthcare provider can help you understand the risks.
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Asthma Uk Is On A Mission To Help Find A Cure For Severe Asthma
Asthma UK has launched a landmark report revealing the challenges faced by people with severe asthma, and how Asthma UK, scientists, researchers and people with asthma can work together to find a cure.
Here we summarise our findings and explain how well find new drugs to treat people with severe asthma so they can live longer and live better. You can also read the full report here: Slipping through the net: the reality facing patients with severe asthma.
What Should I Do If I Have A Severe Asthma Attack
A severe asthma attack needs immediate medical care. The first step is your rescue inhaler. A rescue inhaler uses fast-acting medicines to open up your airways. Its different than your normal maintenance inhaler, which you use every day. You should only use the rescue inhaler in an emergency.
If your rescue inhaler doesnt help or you dont have it with you, go to the emergency department if you have:
- Anxiety or panic.
- Bluish fingernails, bluish lips or gray or whitish lips or gums .
- Chest pain or pressure.
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Reducing The Burden Of Asthma
Asthma cannot be cured, but good management with inhaled medications can control the disease and enable people with asthma to enjoy a normal, active life.
There are two main types of inhaler:
- bronchodilators , that open the air passages and relieve symptoms and
- steroids , that reduce inflammation in the air passages. This improves asthma symptoms and reduces the risk of severe asthma attacks and death.
People with asthma may need to use their inhaler every day. Their treatment will depend on the frequency of symptoms and the different types of inhalers available.
It can be difficult to coordinate breathing using an inhaler especially for children and during emergency situations. Using a spacer device makes it easier to use an aerosol inhaler and helps the medicine to reach the lungs more effectively. A spacer is a plastic container with a mouthpiece or mask at one end, and a hole for the inhaler in the other. A homemade spacer, made from a 500-ml plastic bottle, can be as effective as a commercially-manufactured inhaler.
Access to inhalers is a problem in many countries. In 2019, only half of people with asthma had access to a bronchodilator and less than one in five had access to a steroid inhaler in public primary health-care facilities in low-income countries .
Home Remedies For Asthma
1. Best Foods for Treating Asthma
Eating a healthy diet supplies asthma sufferers with antioxidants and nutrients to combat environmental toxins, control inflammatory responses and reduce dietary triggers. Eating a wide variety of foods can ensure that you or your child gets all the nutrients needed to support strong immunity. There have been numerous studies that show consuming the right foods can be the one of the best home remedies for asthma.
Some of the most beneficial foods to include in your asthma diet plan are:
- Brightly colored carotenoid foods: This compound gives fruit and vegetables their orange or red color and can help reduce asthma attacks. Carotenoids are the basis of vitamin A, which is involved in the maintenance of healthy mucous membranes that line the air passageways. Severity of asthma correlates with low vitamin A, so increase your intake of things like root veggies, sweet potatoes, carrots, leafy greens and berries. A study of 68,000 women showed that those who ate more tomatoes, carrots and leafy greens had much lower rates of asthma and that people prone to asthma tended to have low levels of circulating carotenoids in their blood.
- Foods with folate : Folate reduces allergic reactions and inflammation. It might be capable of lowering wheezing by regulating inflammatory processes as well. High-folate foods include green leafy vegetables, beans and nuts.
2. Avoid Foods that Can Make Asthma Attacks Worse
3. Supplements for Asthma
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Work With Your Doctor To Get Your Asthma Under Control
For most people with asthma, it’s possible to achieve good asthma control. If you have a lot of asthma attack or a lot of symptoms, your asthma is probably not as controlled as it could be. See you doctor, and ask for help getting control of your asthma.Signs you have good asthma controlYour asthma is under control if:
- You have daytime asthma symptoms three times a week or less
- You don’t miss school or work because of asthma symptoms
- Your asthma doesnt get in the way of exercise and physical activity
- Symptoms disturb your sleep only one night a week, or not at all
- You need your rescue medicine less than four times a week
Signs your asthma is not controlledYour asthma is out of control if:
- You wake up at night because of coughing, wheezing or feeling short of breath more than once a week
- Your rescue medicine doesn’t work quickly or completely to relieve your asthma symptoms
- You are using your rescue medicine more than three times a week
- Your asthma symptoms are stopping you from doing regular activities like exercise
To take the guesswork out of managing your asthma, use an asthma action plan. Your asthma action plan tells you:
- What symptoms you should watch for
- What your symptoms mean
- How to adjust your medication according to your symptoms
- When to call the doctor or 911
Diagnosing Asthma In Children Younger Than 6
It can be hard to tell whether a child under age 6 has asthma or another respiratory condition, because young children often cannot perform a pulmonary function test such as spirometry. After checking a childs history and symptoms, the doctor may try asthma medicines for a few months to see how well a child responds. About 40% of children who wheeze when they get colds or respiratory infections are eventually diagnosed with asthma.
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How Do Asthma Treatments Work
Asthma treatments work in these ways:
Bronchodilators can be short- or long-acting. If you use short-acting bronchodilators more than two days a week, talk with your doctor about your asthma control. You may need to make changes to your treatment plan to better control your asthma.
Anti-inflammatories come in many different forms. They are also called controllers because they help to control or prevent asthma symptoms. They reduce swelling and extra mucus inside the airways. They will not relieve sudden symptoms.
Other Types of Medicines and Treatments
Single Maintenance and Reliever Therapy
The 2020 Focused Updates to the Asthma Management Guidelines recommends single maintenance and reliever therapy, also known as SMART. SMART uses one inhaler that has two medicines as a quick-relief and controller medicine. When on SMART, you can either take your medicine only as needed to relieve sudden symptoms, or you can take it daily as a controller and as needed for quick relief. This is based on your age and the severity of your asthma.
Vitamins That May Impact Your Asthma
Some scientists believe that asthma and vitamin deficiency are integrally linked. Researchers have looked into the role that certain vitaminslike vitamin D, vitamin C, and vitamin Eplay in the occurrence and severity of the disease. While it is clear that diet does influence the incidence and prevalence of asthma, what is less clear is whether vitamin supplementation can prevent asthma or improve its symptoms.
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So Can Asthma Be Cured Completely
Asthma cannot be cured completely, no, but it can be controlled to the point that the symptoms become negligible. As a chronic and lasting condition, asthma is not curable. It is highly treatable, though, so long as a patient has professional support.
Many doctors believe there are actually different kinds of asthma with their own causes. Its true that different patients have different triggers for their asthma, as well as different responses, so its likely that there are different causes and thus different treatments for asthma. Here at Allergy & Asthma Center, we can address asthma in a number of ways to alleviate our patients symptoms, sometimes almost entirely.
Take Your Asthma Medications As Prescribed
To keep your asthma well-controlled and to prevent asthma attacks, it’s very important to take your asthma medications exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Taking your medication regularly means you can avoid asthma emergencies.Many 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. Follow your doctor’s advice and take your asthma medication as prescribed.
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Use A Peak Flow Meter
A peak flow meter is an inexpensive handheld gadget. You use it to measure how fast air comes out when you exhale hard after a full breath in. This number is called a peak expiratory flow .
Your doctor may want you to use a peak flow meter to help you recognize signs of trouble. Many asthma symptoms result from not being able to move air out of your lungs. If your PEF goes down, that’s a sign that your asthma is getting worse and that you need to do something.
Anyone Having Difficulty Using An Inhaler Can Try A Nebulizer
While not technically an inhaler, theres yet another option for inhaling medicine.
Nebulizer If you have severe asthma and are unable to use a regular inhaler, a nebulizer may be a better option.
This machine turns liquid medicine into a fine mist that you inhale through a mouthpiece, a mask that fits over your nose and mouth, or into your mouth alone.
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Side Effects Of Steroid Tablets
Oral steroids carry a risk if they are taken for more than three months or if they are taken frequently . Side effects can include:
- easy bruising
- muscle weakness
With the exception of increased appetite, which is very commonly experienced by people taking oral steroids, most of these unwanted effects are uncommon.
However, it is a good idea to keep an eye out for them regularly, especially side effects that are not immediately obvious, such as high blood pressure, thinning of the bones, diabetes and glaucoma.
You will need regular appointments to check for these.
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Tips For Parents And Carers Of Children With Asthma
All the above tips also apply to children, but useful tips to help your child manage their asthma include:
- Generally, your child can take their preventer medication before and after school.
- As your child gets older, involve them in decisions about their asthma medications and management.
- Linking asthma medication to your childs own goals can help. For instance, a child who loves sports may take asthma medication more readily if they know it helps them participate.
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Taking Steroids Can Cause Serious Side Effects
Although there are some exciting new treatments available to people who have been to a severe asthma clinic, the choice is limited and they are only suitable for people with certain types of severe asthma. Alongside the usual asthma medicines, youll be taking drugs called oral corticosteroids to try to keep your symptoms under control.
Oral corticosteroids reduce inflammation and swelling in the lungs helping to prevent life-threatening asthma attacks but if theyre taken over a long period of time, they can cause serious side effects. Unfortunately, these symptoms are experienced by 93% of severe asthma patients who take steroids long term, which is why you should read our tips about how to manage these side effects.
Not surprisingly, lots of people with severe asthma hate taking oral corticosteroids at high doses over the long term. But the choice is stark, as Nichola Duane, who has severe asthma, explains:
Unfortunately, I have experienced side effects as a result of taking steroids for so long. The most obvious has been weight gain. My appearance changed so much that people who hadnt seen me for a while used to comment, which affected my confidence even more. But Ive come to realise that even though Im getting side effects from taking steroids, my asthma medicines are keeping me out of hospital so its worth it.
Some of the long-term side effects of oral corticosteroids
Asthma Triggers And Inducers Can Work In Combination
Keep in mind, asthma triggers and inducers can work in combination. For example, if your airways are already swollen because you have a viral infection, and then you go into a smoky room, your airways are less able that usual to cope with the smoke. The inducer and the trigger gang up to make your asthma worse.
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Will Medicine Help Me Sleep Better
Yes, if you have nighttime asthma symptoms. Many people wake up with asthma symptoms such as coughing or wheezing. You can control nighttime symptoms by taking asthma medicines as directed by your doctor.
Removing triggers where you sleep may help you sleep better. Many people are allergic to dust mites and mold found in bedding materials. Using mattress or pillow encasements can help contain those allergens. Dehumidifiers can also be helpful to reduce the humidity in your home that dust mites and mold need to exist. Using air cleaners in your bedroom may also help reduce your exposure to allergens and irritants .
Are There Natural Remedies For Asthma
There are some natural remedies you can consider, but only as parts of a comprehensive asthma treatment plan. Caffeine, choline, vitamin D, and some other remedies may help in addition to prescribed treatments. Because asthma is so serious and a flare up can be life-threatening, you cant rely on natural remedies exclusively.
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Hope For Severe Allergic Asthma
If you have severe allergic asthma, four new drugs called monoclonal antibodies are providing real hope: omalizumab , mepolizumab , reslizumab and benralizumab .
This means relief from life-threatening asthma attacks for thousands of people with severe asthma, as well as fewer unpleasant side effects from oral corticosteroids. We hope that they are just the first of a new line of potentially life-saving treatments available for severe allergic asthma.
So if you have severe allergic asthma, the prospects for a healthier, symptom-free future within your lifetime are very encouraging.
How Asthma Is Treated
While there is no cure for asthma, there are a number of treatments that can help control the condition.
Treatment is based on two important goals, which are:
- relieving symptoms
- preventing future symptoms and attacks
For most people, this will involve the occasional or, more commonly, daily use of medications, usually taken using an inhaler. However, identifying and avoiding possible triggers is also important.
You should have a personal asthma action plan agreed with your doctor or nurse that includes information about the medicines you need to take, how to recognise when your symptoms are getting worse, and what steps to take when they do so.
These symptoms are often worse at night and early in the morning, particularly if the condition is not well controlled. They may also develop or become worse in response to a certain trigger, such as exercise or exposure to an allergen.
Read our page on the causes of asthma for more information about potential triggers.
Speak to your GP if you think you or your child may have asthma. You should also talk to your doctor or asthma nurse if you have been diagnosed with asthma and you are finding it difficult to control the symptoms.
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