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What Can Asthma Lead To If Not Treated

Can Asthma Reappear In Adults After Disappearing Years Ago

What is Asthma? (HealthSketch)

Asthma is usually diagnosed in childhood. In many patients however, the symptoms will disappear or are significantly reduced after puberty. After age 20, symptoms may begin to reappear.

Researchers have tracked this tendency for reappearing asthma and found that people with childhood asthma tend to experience reappearing symptoms through their 30s and 40s at various levels of severity.

Regardless of whether your asthma is active, you should continue to avoid your known triggers and keep your rescue medications or prescriptions up-to-date and handy in case you need them.

Asthma Action Plans For Children

An asthma action planis a clear written summary of instructions for when your childs asthma symptoms change. Everyone with asthma should have a personalised asthma action plan written by their doctor.

Your childs asthma action plan will tell you:

  • how to recognise when your childs asthma is getting worse or an attack is developing, and the steps you should take to manage it
  • symptoms that are serious, indicating a need for urgent medical help
  • your childs asthma triggers.

Make sure you understand and can follow the asthma action plan from your doctor.

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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When Can Asthma Become Copd

Check out these statistics. About 90-95% of asthmatics can obtain good asthma control. Most asthmatics should have normal lung function between asthma attacks. This means their FEV1 should reach 80% or greater.2,3

But, this is not always the case. About 5-10% of asthmatics have what is called refractory asthma. This is asthma that does not improve with treatment. They continue to have airflow limitation and respiratory symptoms despite treatment. These asthmatics are now classified as having Severe Asthma.2,3

Some of these asthmatics may also be diagnosed with COPD.2

What Are The Long

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In the long term, chronic inflammation and bronchospasms from asthma can make structural changes in the airway causing it to become permanently narrowed. The airway tubes become scarred and thickened, and the bronchial muscles get enlarged, leading to reduced lung function and breathing difficulties.

Asthma increases the risk for bronchial infections. Asthma can also affect sleep quality and lead to sleep deprivation. It can affect the ability to take part in exercise and sports, which can in turn, potentially lead to conditions such as diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure.

Severe asthma increases the risk for respiratory failure. Though rare, an acute asthma attack can diminish oxygen supply to the body, cause weakness and fatigue, and can sometimes even lead to death.

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Symptoms Like Coughing Wheezing And Feeling Breathless Could Mean You Have Asthma See Your Gp To Confirm A Diagnosis Of Asthma And Start Treatment

Find out why its important to get a diagnosis so you can start treatment for asthma, how asthma is diagnosed, and how you can take positive steps to stay symptom free after a diagnosis.

  • tightness in the chest
  • feeling short of breath.

Not everyone with asthma will get all of these. For example, not everyone wheezes. But if youre experiencing one or more of these symptoms, make an appointment with your GP.

Most people with well-managed asthma only have symptoms now and then. But some people have symptoms a lot of the time, particularly the small percentage of people with severe asthma.

A key thing with asthma is that symptoms come and go – you may not have them all the time.

Why its important to see your GP to confirm a diagnosis

If youve noticed asthma-like symptoms, dont ignore them. Make an appointment with your GP or an asthma nurse as soon as you can.

The quicker you get diagnosed, the quicker you can get the right medicines to help you deal with your symptoms.

Asthma is a long-term condition that needs regular preventer treatment. If its not treated, it could lead to an asthma attack which can be life-threatening.

Identifying Asthma Triggers With Allergy Testing

Determining what triggers a persons asthma is often difficult.

Allergy testing is appropriate when there is a suspicion that some avoidable substance is provoking attacks. Skin testing can help identify allergens that may trigger asthma symptoms. However, an allergic response to a skin test does not necessarily mean that the allergen being tested is causing the asthma. The person still has to note whether attacks occur after exposure to this allergen. If doctors suspect a particular allergen, a blood test that measures the level of antibody produced in response to the allergen can be done to determine the degree of the person’s sensitivity to the allergen.

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Asthma May Be Misdiagnosed In Many Adults

By Lisa Rapaport, Reuters Health

5 Min Read

– – As many as one in three adults diagnosed with asthma may not actually have the chronic lung disorder, a Canadian study suggests.

Researchers did lung function tests on 613 adults who had been diagnosed with asthma within the past five years. If participants took asthma medicines, researchers gradually weaned them off the drugs over four clinic visits to see how well their lungs worked without treatment.

The evaluations ruled out asthma in 203 of the participants, or 33 percent. After one year of follow-up, 181 of these people still did too well on lung tests to be diagnosed with asthma, researchers report in JAMA.

We were able to get these patients completely off asthma medications, and they did well in follow up over the next year despite remaining off medications, said lead study author Dr. Shawn Aaron of the University of Ottawa and the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute.

Some of these patients were clearly misdiagnosed to begin with, and they had other conditions other than asthma, and some did have asthma but it was in remission, Aaron added by email.

Asthma can be difficult to diagnose because not all patients have the same triggers or symptoms, which can include difficulty breathing, chest pain, cough and wheezing. Some chronic asthma patients experience periods of remission and relapse.

SOURCE: and JAMA, online January 17, 2017.

Side Effects Of Steroid Tablets

Learn About Treatment for Asthma

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.

Want to know more?

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Asthma Group Warns Against Social Media Trend Of Inhaling Hydrogen Peroxide To Treat Coronavirus

A leading asthma patient group has issued a warning against a coronavirus treatment circulating on social media that is leading some people to post videos of themselves breathing in hydrogen peroxide through a nebulizer.

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America called the practice “concerning and dangerous” in a Tuesday blog post, emphasizing that it will neither treat nor prevent the virus and is harmful to the lungs.

“DO NOT put hydrogen peroxide into your nebulizer and breathe it in. This is dangerous!” wrote the foundation in a brief blog post.

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Hydrogen peroxide is an antiseptic more commonly used to prevent infection from minor cuts, burns and scrapes. It is also used as a tooth whitener in some toothpastes, and as a common household cleaning agent.

But it can be poisonous for humans if swallowed in strong enough concentrations. The AAFA recommends against inhaling it in through a nebulizer, a medical machine which turns medications into breathable mist.

“Only use asthma medicine prescribed by your doctor in your nebulizer. Other chemicals can be harmful to your lungs,” the AAFA warned.

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Increased Risk Of Infection

With all types of asthma, exposure to irritants inflames your airway tissues, causing an asthma attack. It’s your body’s way of protecting the tissue, but it restricts air passage in and out of the lungs and makes breathing difficult. Chest tightness and wheezing are signs of inflammation.

Inhaled corticosteroids are often used to control inflammation in asthma. However, continual inflammation can increase the risk of lung infections because it allows infectious material to become trapped in the lungs.

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Side Effects Of Asthma Medication

If you are worried about possible side effects from asthma medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop or reduce doses of medication for your child without speaking with your doctor. Common side effects from inhaled asthma medication:


  • sore mouth and throat
  • fungal throat infections.

Using a spacer reduces the risk of these side effects. as does rinsing the mouth with water after using an inhaler.


  • fast heart beat.

Who Can Get Asthma

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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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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.

Chapter : Does Asthma Ever Turn Into Emphysema

Asthma does not turn into emphysema. Although asthma and emphysema share some properties in common, including cough, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and difficulty emptying air from the lungs, they are different diseases. Emphysema is almost always due to cigarette smoking asthma is more closely linked to allergies. Asthma most often begins in childhood emphysema is rare before middle age. Symptoms of asthma come and go shortness of breath on exertion is permanent in emphysema. Persons with well-controlled asthma can have a normal lung capacity impaired lung function in emphysema never goes away.

Cigarette smoking damages the lungs in a very specific way in emphysema. It causes the lungs to lose their elasticity or springiness. When we breathe out, we rely on the springiness of the lungs to force the air out of our chest. In emphysema, some of that springiness has been destroyed by damage to the walls of the air sacs, and the lungs empty slowly no matter how forcefully we might use our muscles to force the air out. With continued cigarette smoking, the lungs slowly deteriorate. Over a period of many years, patients may become totally disabled. No medication can restore the normal springiness of the lungs.

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What Are Common Side Effects With Asthma Medications

Inhaled asthma medications are usually well-tolerated with few side effects when used as prescribed however, there are a few precautions.

  • Inhaled corticosteroids can cause oral thrush, a fungal infection of the mouth.
  • Rinsing your mouth with water after using the inhaler or using a spacer device might help prevent thrush.
  • Contact your doctor if you notice white patches in your mouth, which could be the beginning of a thrush infection.

Inhaled quick-acting medicines like albuterol can also cause side effects like: shakiness, nervousness, difficulty sleeping or a fast heartbeat, among others.

Reducing The Burden Of Asthma

Asthma Treatment and Asthma Causes

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 .

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Can You Prevent Asthma

You need to know hoGw to prevent or minimize future asthma attacks.

  • If your asthma attacks are triggered by an allergic reaction, avoid your triggers as much as possible.
  • Keep taking your asthma medicines after you are discharged. This is extremely important. Although the symptoms of an acute asthma attack go away after appropriate treatment, asthma itself never goes away.

How Can You Prevent Asthma

by Health Professional

A common concern of moms and dads – especially when asthma runs in the family – is how they can prevent their children from getting asthma.

New evidence suggests there are things you can do – or not do – to at least reduce the risk your child will develop asthma.

I think the surest way to prevent your child from acquiring asthma is to not give your child the asthma gene. Yet there seems to be quite a bit of evidence that even folks with no history of asthma can develop asthma. Good examples of this are premature births and occupational asthma.

To get a better understanding of why the following may lead to asthma you should read up on the hygiene hypothesis that surmises asthma may be caused by lack of exposure to bacteria, and the microflora hypothesis that surmises asthma is caused by an imbalance of microbes in the intestines.

Likewise, click on the links provided in this post for further reading.

So you want to prevent your child from developing asthma. The following are some things believed to prevent one from developing asthma:

1.Breastfeeding: The child will be exposed to microbes in the mother’s milk that the child’s immune system needs to develop properly.

2.Vaginal birth: The child will be exposed to bacteria for the immune system to develop properly. In fact, studies show c-sections increase the asthma risk by 80 percent as I wrote here.

The following are things you should avoid exposure to:

  • Broad spectrum antibiotic s:

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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.

    Asthma Medications And Treatment

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    When it comes to understanding all of the asthma treatments available, its natural to feel a little bit confused.

    The important thing to remember is that asthma is a variable disease. In other words, asthma symptoms, severity and treatment plans can vary from person to person, and even the same persons condition may fluctuate throughout the year.

    The two most common types of asthma medications are controllers which treat the long-term, underlying inflammation in your airways and relieverswhich act as your rescue inhaler and provide fast but short-term relief of symptoms. You should speak with your healthcare professionalabout finding a treatment plan that is right for you.

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    Diagnosing Asthma And Copd With Pft

    I explained how a PFT can help diagnose asthma in my post at What Are PFTs? I explained how a PFT can hep diagnose COPD in my post on this site, What Are PFTs?

    So, if you read those, you know what an FEV1 is. You know how this can be used to determine if you have COPD. Still, heres a quick review. You do a PFT. You do a pre and post FVC. A computer determines your FEV1. This is the best indicator of airflow limitation.

    You then use a bronchodilator. This can be either an inhaler or breathing treatment. Then you do a second FVC. Heres how you determine if its asthma or COPD.

    • COPD. By its basic definition, its persistent respiratory symptoms and airflow limitation. Your pre and post bronchodilator FEV1 is less than 80%. Your post bronchodilator FEV1 is not much different than your pre bronchodilator FEV1. This shows that airflow limitation is persistent. It is not reversed with time or treatment. This confirms a diagnosis of COPD.1
    • Asthma. By its basic definition, respiratory symptoms and airflow limitation are intermittent and vary in intensity. Asthma attacks are reversible with time or treatment. Your post bronchodilator FEV1 improves by 12% or more. This shows airflow limitation is reversible. This can help make a diagnosis of asthma. 2
    • Asthma and COPD. This is when you have both. Your airflow limitation is reversible. But, your FEV1 remains under 80% despite treatment.


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