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 you’ve 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.
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What Are Asthma Symptoms
The first early warning sign of asthma is arguably the one most commonly associated with the disease: wheezing, or that squeaky sound in your chest when you have trouble breathing.
You might first only hear wheezing when youre breathing out, but as the asthma attack worsens, you might also hear wheezing when breathing in. Its also important to note that during a severe asthma attack, you might not hear any wheezing, which means not enough air is moving through the airways.
People with asthma can have one of any number of symptoms, says Neeta Ogden, M.D., an asthma specialist and immunologist in New York City. The most common tend to be chest tightness, shortness of breath, or feeling like you cant get in a good breath of air.
Heres a little bit more about what to expect from the signs and symptoms of asthma:
Shortness of breath is an obvious complication that happens when you cant get enough oxygen due to the way your airways and their surrounding muscles are reacting to asthma triggers, Sadia Benzaquen, M.D., a pulmonologist and associate professor in the department of internal medicine at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, tells SELF.
When your airways narrow, you dont have as much space through which to breathe. As a result, you can experience wheezing, which may sound similar to the whistling sound you might hear if you were to breathe through a straw.
What Is Good Asthma Care
Your doctor or nurse will tailor your asthma treatment to your symptoms. Sometimes you may need to be on higher levels of medication than at others.
You should be offered:
- care at your GP surgery provided by doctors and nurses trained in asthma management
- full information about your condition and how to control it
- involvement in making decisions about your treatment
- regular checks to ensure your asthma is under control and your treatment is right for you
- a written personal asthma action plan agreed with your doctor or nurse
It is also important that your GP or pharmacist teaches you how to properly use your inhaler, as this is an important part of good asthma care.
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Is There Such Thing As A Hypoallergenic Cat
If you suffer from allergy induced asthma brought on by exposure to cats, but really want to care for a kitty of your own, you may want to consider a hypoallergenic breed. There is certainly no guarantee that these breeds will prevent your asthma attacks, however these cats have been specially bred to produce less of the problematic Fel D1 protein and may be a better choice for you.
Here are a few breeds of hypoallergenic cats that you may want to find out more about:
The need for inhaler frequently
Contact Oklahoma allergy and asthma clinic, OKOA for allergy treatment.
**Disclaimer: The information on this page is not intended to be a doctors advice, nor does it create any form of patient-doctor relationship.
Before Receiving Nucala Tell Your Healthcare Provider About All Of Your Medical Conditions Including If You:
- are taking oral or inhaled corticosteroid medicines. Do not stop taking your corticosteroid medicines unless instructed by your healthcare provider. This may cause other symptoms that were controlled by the corticosteroid medicine to come back.
- have a parasitic infection.
- are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if NUCALA may harm your unborn baby.
- Pregnancy Registry. There is a pregnancy registery for women who receive NUCALA while pregnant. The purpose of the registry is to collect information about you and your babys health. You can talk to your healthcare provider about how to take part in this registry or you can get more information and register by calling 1-877-311-8972 or go to www.mothertobaby.org/asthma.
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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.
Acute Exacerbation Of Asthma
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What happens during an acute exacerbation of asthma?
Asthma is a chronic lung disease. It causes inflammation and narrowing of your airways. This can affect your airflow.
The symptoms of asthma come and go. When symptoms flare up and get progressively worse, it can be called:
- an exacerbation
Even if youve had exacerbations before and know what to do, its still a good idea to contact your doctor. An acute exacerbation of asthma is serious and can even become life-threatening. Thats why its important to recognize the symptoms early and to take appropriate action.
Its important to develop an asthma plan for how to treat your symptoms. Work with your doctor to come up with a method for what to do when your symptoms flare up.
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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:
- 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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What Information Should I Share With My Doctor Before Taking Nucala
Before receiving NUCALA, tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:
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Asthma Causes And Triggers
Researchers havent yet found a clear-cut answer for what causes asthma, and it may vary from person to person. What we do know is that its often due to the immune system overreacting to a substance in the lungs, and right on cue, the asthma symptoms start.
- Strong odors, like perfume
Other possible triggers include extreme weather conditions, exercise, and respiratory illnesses. Even seemingly inconsequential actions like a display of emotion that affect normal breathingshouting and laughingcan trigger asthma symptoms.
How Do Triggers Make Asthma Worse
When you have asthma, your airways are always inflamed and sensitive. They react to a variety of external triggers. Contact with these triggers is what causes asthma symptoms. Your airways tighten and get more inflamed, mucus blocks them, and your symptoms get worse. An asthma attack can start right after exposure to a trigger or several days or even weeks later.
Reactions to asthma triggers are different for each person and vary from time to time. Something may bother you but not others with asthma. You might have many triggers while they have none. And while avoiding triggers is a good way to control asthma, the best way is to take medications and follow treatments exactly as prescribed by your doctor in your asthma action plan.
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Acute Asthma Attack Symptoms
An acute asthma attack is a medical emergency youll must seek immediate medical help and go to hospital.
Acute asthma attack symptoms to be aware of include:
- Rapid breathing that doesnt ease with use of a reliever inhaler
- Extreme shortness of breath being unable to inhale or exhale fully
- An inability to speak in full sentences
- Confusion or agitation
- Developing a blue tint on the face, lips or fingernails.
If you dont seek treatment for an acute asthma attack, your life could be in danger. Find out more about acute asthma by reading our guide to severe asthma.
Are You Having An Asthma Attack
Asthma is a long-term, inflammatory condition that affects the airways in your lungs.
Its a widespread disease, impacting roughly 300 million people globally. Asthma can affect anyone at any age, including pediatric patients.
Its one of the leading causes of hospitalizations among children under the age of five in the United States.
When you have asthma, your lungs are hyperreactive to internal and environmental triggers.
When you come into contact with a substance or experience that triggers you, the airways in your lungs become inflamed, swollen, and narrow.
The smooth muscles that surround the airways in your lungs can spasm or tighten, and your body may begin producing excess mucus, or phlegm, that congests your airways and makes it difficult to breathe.
These symptoms are usually quickly reversible, especially if they use a rescue inhaler or another appropriate medical treatment to address their condition.
People with asthma will experience initial symptoms that gradually worsen into an asthma attack during more severe episodes.
During an asthma attack, airways become so inflamed and constricted that lung function declines and breathing becomes difficult.
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Be Prepared With An Asthma Action Plan
One of the best ways to monitor your symptoms and be prepared should an asthma attack occur is with an Asthma Action Plan. Its a personalized, step-by-step document you create with your doctor that will help you understand how to best treat your asthma symptoms before they get worse. Depending on your current symptoms, your asthma will fit into one of three zones:
Your symptoms are mild or virtually nonexistent. This is where you should be on a daily basis. Continue to take your long-term control medicine as prescribed.
You may have worsening asthma symptoms or have to use your quick-relief medicine more often. You should be aware of your surroundings, take all medicines as directed, and tell your doctor about your symptoms.
This may be an emergency situation where symptoms are significant. You should seek medical help right away.
What To Do After An Asthma Attack
How well you recover after an asthma attack depends on what triggered the attack, and how severe it was.
If you have experienced a mild or moderate asthma attack that you have treated with medication at home, the best thing you can do is rest and recover.
Dont go back to work or start any regular activities until you are feeling better.
You may also want to call your doctor or schedule an appointment to discuss your episode in case they want to adjust your medications or add another treatment to your asthma action plan.
If you have recently suffered a severe attack or required hospitalization for an asthma attack, make an appointment for a follow-up with your doctor as soon as possible.
Youll want to make sure that you are under medical supervision so that you can prevent any new flare-ups and recover completely.
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Mold Allergy Symptoms And Causes
Mold is present both indoors and outdoors. It can also trigger both allergies and asthma attacks. If mold particles are floating through the air invisible to you, then you could inhale them as you go about your daily life without realizing.
Like other environmental allergens, mold spores can trigger hay fever-like symptoms such as:
- Itchy/watery eyes
In patients with both mold allergy and asthma, asthma symptoms may be triggered by mold exposure. Signs of an asthma attack include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness
Most symptoms caused by mold are uncomfortable, but not serious. However, there are certain allergic conditions that can be more severe. These include:
- Allergic fungal sinusitis. This is a type of sinus infection caused by an inflammatory response to fungus in the sinuses. The sinuses get blocked up with fungal debris and thick mucus.
- Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis or mycosis: Aspergillus fumigatus is a mold found in soil. It can cause an inflammatory damage in the lungs, which is more common in patients with asthma or cystic fibrosis.
- Hypersensitivity pneumonitis: This rare immune system disorder which is triggered by airborne particles including mold spores. It causes swelling in the alveoli of your lung which make it more difficult for the oxygen to reach your bloodstream.
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What If Im Going On A Trip Or Vacation And Need To Take My Nucala With Me
Store in the refrigerator between 36°F to 46°F . Keep in the original carton until time of use to protect from light. Do not freeze. Do not shake. Keep away from heat. If necessary, an unopened carton can be stored outside the refrigerator at up to 86°F for up to 7 days. Safely throw away the Autoinjector/prefilled syringe if the unopened carton is left out of the refrigerator for more than 7 days.
Autoinjectors/prefilled syringes must be used within 8 hours after you take them out of the carton. Safely throw away if not used within 8 hours.
Keep NUCALA and all medicines out of the reach of children.
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Do not use the Autoinjector/prefilled syringe.
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How Is A Severe Asthma Attack Diagnosed
A healthcare provider will perform a lung function test to determine the severity of your asthma. There are different types of lung function tests using different types of devices to measure your airflow, including:
- Spirometry: During a spirometry test, the patient will breathe into a tube that is attached to a laptop or a machine called a spirometer. As you breathe, the spirometer will measure how much and how fast air goes in and out. You can expect your provider to do this test before and after you take a medication to open up your airways, called a bronchodilator, to see if there is improvement with medication.
- Peak expiratory flow : Peak flow measures the amount of air you can forcefully exhale. This form of measurement is helpful in monitoring severity, but is not used for diagnosing asthma.
- Fractional exhaled nitric oxide :Asthma causes the lungs to become inflamed and produces a substance called nitric oxide. This test measures the amount of nitric oxide to determine how much inflammation is in the lungs.
- Provocation: During a provocation test, a healthcare provider will introduce different allergens to see how your body reacts and how you respond when medication is administered.
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How Is Asthma Diagnosed
Asthma is diagnosed by a spectrum of variables, not just one thing, Dr. Ogden says. Your doctor will look at your clinical history and symptoms, pulmonary function testing, and response to medication.
One thing you will need for diagnosis is a big inhale and exhale, or several. Among the breathing tests that are used to measure how well your lungs work are:
- A spirometry test diagnoses asthma severity and measures how well treatment is working. You take a deep breath and blow into a sensor to measure the amount of air your lungs can hold and the speed of the air you inhale or exhale.
- A fractional exhaled nitric oxide test measures how much inflammation you have in your lungs.
- Peak expiratory flow tests measure how fast you can blow out air using maximum effort. This test can be done during spirometry or by breathing into a separate device, like a tube.
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