What Can I Do To Reduce Asthma Symptoms
- Learn your childs triggers.
- Allergens like dust mites, pets, pests, molds, and pollen can play a role in some childrens asthma. Discuss with your child’s doctor whether an evaluation by an allergist may be helpful.
- Follow your asthma management plan and give the medicines prescribed by your childs doctor.
- Avoid smoking near your child.
Are There Special Considerations In Treating Asthma In Older Adults
Yes. First of all, treatment of asthma for older adults can be complicated by the fact that so many older people take multiple medications for various health conditions. Some asthma medications can react with those other treatments, causing unpleasant side effects. In addition, other medications may actually worsen asthma symptoms.
Secondly, older patients are more likely than younger patients to have mental confusion or memory problems. This may be the result of normal aging or of an illness, such as Alzheimers disease. Whatever the cause, these problems can make it difficult for certain older patients to follow treatment instructions especially if that person takes medications for a variety of health conditions.
Additionally, many asthma medications come in the form of an L-shaped metered dose inhaler which requires a certain degree of manual coordination and dexterity. Older people are more likely to have difficulty with this type of medication device, and in using it, may not receive the correct dose. Treatment with a dry powder inhaler or oral medications can help older asthma patients avoid problems with use of L-shaped inhalers.
How Long Asthma Lasts For
Asthma is a long-term condition for many people, particularly if it first develops when you’re an adult.
In children, it sometimes goes away or improves during the teenage years, but can come back later in life.
The symptoms can usually be controlled with treatment. Most people will have normal, active lives, although some people with more severe asthma may have ongoing problems.
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Asthma Symptoms In Infants And Young Children
In young children, cough is often the only symptom of asthma.
Asthma symptoms generally include coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath, but asthma symptoms vary widely among children. Some cough all night but are symptom-free during the day, while others seem to get frequent chest colds that just wont go away.
Children have very small, narrow airways, and can wheeze when they have a viral infections. First episodes of cough, runny nose and fever that happen in cold and flu season is likely not asthma. If your child has several more episodes of wheeze and cough, it is more likely to be asthma. The most common cause of asthma in infants and children under three years of age is a cold. Even after the cold is gone, asthma symptoms and airway swelling can last for several weeks.
What Are The Symptoms
Asthma can be different for everyone. Asthma symptoms can also vary over time, with few or no symptoms when asthma is well controlled. The common signs and symptoms of poorly controlled asthma include:
- Shortness of breath
- Trouble sleeping because of breathing difficulty
- Being unable to take part in physical activities without breathing difficulty
These symptoms can occur slowly over hours or days, or they can come on as sudden, recurring attacks after which the symptoms can persist for some time before disappearing. If left untreated, asthma can cause permanent structural changes in your airways called airway remodelling, which is why it is important to get your asthma under control and keep treating it over the long term.
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What Causes Asthma In Children
The exact cause of asthma is unknown. Genetics and environment likely play a role in which children get asthma.
An asthma attack can happen when your child is exposed to an asthma trigger. An asthma trigger is something that can set off or worsen asthma symptoms. Different triggers can cause different types of asthma:
- Allergic asthma is caused by allergens. Allergens are substances that cause an allergic reaction. They can include
- Dust mites
Asthma triggers may be different for each child and can change over time.
Other Common Triggers Include:
- Pollen, dust mites, cockroaches and pet dander cat dander is worse than dog.
- Inhaling cigarette smoke or having contact with someone who has smoked cigarettes .
- Chemicals including household cleaners, citronella candles and bug sprays. Colognes and scented lotions are triggers. Pool chlorine can be a problem indoor pools should be avoided as the chlorine is enclosed in the building. Private pools are much better than public, because public pools tend to have much more chlorine in them. Beach swimming is better than pool swimming.
- Stress: Even family stress can contribute to your child’s asthma!
- Cold and windy weather.
- Exercise: If your child is prescribed daily medications, make sure theyre taken prior to exercise, especially if your child is physically active. Also, your child should have their inhaler on hand. Exercise-induced asthma may be caused by rapid movement of air into the lungs before it is warmed and humidified. This often occurs because of mouth breathing during exercise.
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Biologic Therapies For Keeping Airways Open
Monoclonal antibodies are biologic treatments used for treating many diseases. They work by targeting specific cells andd proteins to make the disease better. In asthma, they work by interfering with the immune system to reduce inflammation in the airways. These are medicines that are only used in a small number of people who have severe persistent allergic asthma that have not been controlled by other treatments. So, it is not a common treatment. They are most commonly given by injection. These treatments can only be started by a specialist.
Currently there are five treatments used in the NHS and recommended by NICE:
- Mepolizumab .
- Reslizumab – this one is given through your vein as a drip.
- Benralizumab .
Aspirin And Paracetamol Intake
Among individuals with existing asthma, aspirin can acutely precipitate bronchospasm in the subset of patients with aspirin-intolerant asthma. In contrast, long-term intake of 100 mg aspirin has been shown to reduce the relative risk of a newly reported diagnosis of asthma in healthy females . Thus, in individuals without asthma, aspirin might reduce the risk of developing asthma via cyclo-oxygenase -dependent and COX-independent pathways.
On the contrary, the use of paracetamol represents a putative risk factor for the development of asthma . Glutathione depletion in the airways and increased oxidative stress may be the mechanism underlying the link between paracetamol use and asthma development.
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Tablets To Open Up The Airways
Most people do not need tablets, as inhalers usually work well. However, in some cases a tablet is prescribed in addition to inhalers if symptoms are not fully eased by inhalers alone. Various tablets may be used which aim to open up the airways. Some young children use liquid medication instead of inhalers.
How Do Doctors Diagnose Asthma
Personal and medical history: Your doctor will ask questions to understand your symptoms and their causes. Bring notes to help you answer your doctors questions. Be ready to answer questions about your family history of asthma and allergies, the medicines you take, and your lifestyle. Be ready to share current physical issues, conditions, and concerns. This also includes all previous medical conditions.
For example, if you have a history of allergies or eczema, you have a higher chance of having asthma. In addition, a family history of asthma, allergies, or eczema increases your chance of having asthma, too. This information can help your doctor make a diagnosis.
Tell your doctor about any home or work exposure to environmental factors that can worsen asthma. For example, these might include pet dander, pollen, dust mites, mold, cockroaches, and specific foods in some people. Environmental irritants including cleaning chemicals and tobacco smoke can cause asthma.
The doctor may also ask if you get chest symptoms when you:
- Get a head cold
- Use specific medicines
- Are under increased amounts of stress
Lung function tests: To confirm asthma, your doctor may have you take one or more breathing tests known as lung function tests. Lung function tests detect how well you inhale and exhale air from your lungs. These tests measure your breathing.
Common tests used to assess your airways include:
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If Your Asthma Symptoms Are Caused By Allergies Take Steps To Control Knownor Potential Triggers In Your Environment
Allergy-proof your house for dust, mold, cockroaches, and other common indoor allergens to which you are allergic.
Reduce your outdoor activities when the pollen count or ozone level is high.
Choose foods that dont contribute to your asthma or allergy symptoms.
Evaluate your workplace for possible allergens and take the necessary steps to reduce your exposure to them.
In order to determine relevant triggers, you may want to seek consultation with an allergist who can further define these triggers.
In addition, anyone with asthma should consider getting an annual flu shot. Older adults also should talk with their internist about getting a pneumonia vaccination.
Which Children Are At Risk For Asthma
Certain factors raise the risk of asthma in children:
- Being exposed to secondhand smoke when their mother is pregnant with them or when they are small children
- Genetics and family history. Children are more likely to have asthma if one of their parents has it, especially if it’s the mother.
- Race or ethnicity. Black and African Americans and Puerto Ricans are at higher risk of asthma than people of other races or ethnicities.
- Having other diseases or conditions such as obesity and allergies
- Often having viral respiratory infections as young children
- Sex. In children, asthma is more common in boys. In teens, it is more common in girls.
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Diagnosing Asthma In Children Under 5 Years Old
Children under 5 often can’t do the tests above accurately. So guidelines recommend that if your doctor suspects your under 5-year-old has asthma, they offer treatment based on their symptoms. However, once they reach the age of 5, they should have one or more of the tests below if they still have symptoms.
Care Advice For Asthma Attack
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How Can I Help My Child Live With Asthma
You can help manage your childs asthma by:
- Finding out your childs triggers and keeping him or her away from them.
- Giving your child medicine as directed to prevent symptoms.
- Creating and keeping an Asthma Action Plan.
- Closely watching asthma signs and symptoms to know when they are getting worse.
- Knowing what to do when asthma gets worse.
- Making sure your child has proper emergency medication and paperwork on file with his or her school.
Work with your childs health care provider to find the best way to take care of your childs asthma. There are guidelines for children from newborn to age 4, ages 5 to 11, and ages 12 and older.
The more information a person with asthma has, the better the asthma can be controlled.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Asthma In Children
Signs and symptoms of asthma in children include:
- Frequent coughing spells, which may occur while the child is playing, laughing, or at night or right after waking. Coughing may be the only symptom.
- Less energy during play.
- Complaint of chest tightness or the chest “hurting.”
- Whistling sound when the child is breathing in or out.
- Retractions in the chest from difficulty breathing.
- Shortness of breath or loss of breath.
- Tightened neck and chest muscles.
- Feelings of weakness or tiredness.
Not all children have the same asthma symptoms. Symptoms can vary from episode to episode in the same child. In addition, not all wheezing or coughing is caused by asthma.
If your child has problems breathing, take him or her to the pediatrician for an evaluation. Your child may be referred to a specialist, such as a pediatric pulmonary provider or a pediatric allergist.
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What Are Asthma Triggers
Medications play a central role in an asthma treatment plan. They focus on:
- Preventing or reducing airway inflammation
- Interrupting the allergic reaction that triggers symptoms
- Relieving coughing and wheezing, making it easier to breathe
Your doctor will work with you to find the right medicines to manage your asthma. The type of medication and the amount you take will vary based on symptoms and the type of asthma you have. The goal of asthma treatment is to have you feel your best with the least amount of medicine.
It is important for you to get to know your medications. Understand how and why they treat and soothe your lungs and airways. If youre prescribed an inhaler, make sure you get one with a dose counter. Learn when and how youre supposed to use your inhaler and follow your treatment plan to better breathing.
Make sure your Asthma Action Plan is updated whenever medications are changed.
What are the types of asthma medications?
There are several different types of asthma medications used in an asthma management plan:
Your doctor may also prescribe allergy medications to treat any allergy symptoms you may have.
Causes Of Asthma And Trigger Factors
The causes of asthma are not fully understood. Its symptoms are caused by inflammation, which makes the airways red, swollen, narrower and extra-sensitive to irritants. Asthma is probably usually caused by a mixture of hereditary factors and environmental factors, but how these factors work together is still largely unknown.
Allergens from house dust mites and pets are the most common causes, but many other allergens, such as pollen and moulds, can cause asthma. Some people with asthma have no obvious allergies.
Some causes of symptoms are common to all people with asthma, and some are more individual, especially allergens. There are very big differences between people in how easily and how severely they react. The severity of the symptoms or an attack can differ in the same person at different times, and treatment can also be more or less effective.
Your asthma does not stay the same, but changes over time, and every person with asthma has good days and bad days . However, if asthma is properly treated, there can also be long periods without symptoms or attacks.
Asthma triggers are factors that start asthma symptoms or an asthma attack by irritating the airways or worsening the inflammation in the airways. These triggers can provoke attacks in individuals who already have a tendency to asthma, but they are not necessarily part of the cause of that tendency. The following triggers can cause asthma symptoms or start an asthma attack:
- grain or flour dust
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Treatment For Asthma Emergencies In Children
An asthma attack can quickly become an asthma emergency, but if you take quick action, you can reduce the risk of this happening. So, if the symptoms of an asthma attack appear, follow your childs asthma action plan.
If your child is experiencing a severe or life-threatening asthma attack, call triple zero for an ambulance and then start asthma first aid. :
- Sit the child upright.
- Give 4 puffs of reliever medication , taking 4 breaths for each puff. Use a spacer and mask if one is available.
- Wait 4 minutes if the child still cannot breathe normally, give 4 more puffs.
- Continue to give 4 separate puffs of reliever medication, taking 4 breaths for each puff, every 4 minutes until the ambulance arrives.
What Are The Symptoms Of Asthma In Children
The symptoms of asthma in children include:
- Chest tightness
- Wheezing, which causes a whistling sound when they breathe out
- Trouble eating or sucking
These symptoms can range from mild to severe. They may happen often or only once in a while.
When children have an asthma attack, their symptoms get much worse. The attacks may come on gradually or suddenly. Sometimes they can be life-threatening. Warning signs of a severe attack include severe coughing, serious breathing problems, and turning very pale or blue in the face, lips and/or fingernails. If your child has those symptoms, get medical help right away.
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What Is The Best Way To Live With Asthma
The key to good living with asthma is developing a strong partnership between patients, caregivers, and physicians. Practical steps include the following:
Make an asthma care management plan with your physician. An asthma management plan helps you understand what to do when specific situations arise. Each time you visit the physician, talk about your plan, and make any necessary changes.
Educate yourself. Stay informed about the latest developments in asthma and allergy care and treatment. Ask your physician about new medications or research findings that may relate to your care.
Get regular medical care. If you have asthma, you should see your physician at least once a year, even if your symptoms are under control. When you become sick, or if you have significant changes in your health, you should also talk with your physician about how your asthma could be affected.
Take your medicine. Your asthma medications will make you feel better and sometimes people think thats the time to stop. Its not! Use your medications as prescribed.
With good management, asthma symptoms can be controlled. Most people who develop adult onset asthma are able to lead normal lives. Expect success!