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What Can Cause Wheezing Besides Asthma

Conditions That Mimic Asthma

Yoga for Asthma and Wheezing

There are a number of conditions that can cause shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, and chest tightness. While most are related to the lungs and respiratory system, others are associated with other organ systems, such as the heart and respiratory tract.

When investigating potential asthma, your doctor will consider all possible causes of your breathing difficulty in a process called differential diagnosis.

Treating Cat Asthma & Respiratory Infections

Feline asthma is relatively common, with many treatments for cat asthma available. Most respiratory infections can be treated with antibiotic inhalers but some infections may need more aggressive intervention depending on the severity and progression of the infection. The key is to catch respiratory conditions early so they dont endanger your cats health further and get progressively worse beyond treatment. As always, work with your veterinarian to determine the cause and best treatment for your feline friend.

Learn more about cat asthma treatment options, including different medications available, their efficacy, and potential side effects.

What Can I Do At Home To Treat Wheezing

There are a number of ways you can improve your wheezing:·

  • Breathing exercises have been shown to help relax your airways if youre asthmatic. Practice yoga breathing preferably in a moist, humid environment. If youre not familiar with prayanama breathing, any slow, deep breathing exercises will help expand your lung capacity and relax your airways.
  • Drink hot herbal tea. The warmth and moisture of the tea will help relax your bronchial tubes. Some studies show green tea to have antibacterial properties as well.
  • Dont smoke. Smoking irritates your lungs and inflames your airways. Avoid second-hand smoke as well.
  • Use an air purifier with a HEPA filter to eliminate potential allergens in your home.
  • Vaporize your air with a vaporizer or humidifier.

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When Should You See A Doctor

Its a good idea to see a doctor when you first get wheezing. Since many symptoms of the conditions that can cause wheezing can overlap you may need a medical professionals help in figuring out whats causing it so that you can take appropriate action. Your doctor may listen to the sounds made while you breathe or do tests like an x-ray or a lung function test. Do seek emergency help if you also find it significantly difficult to breathe.15

References

Who Is At Risk For Chronic Bronchitis

Home Remedies For Asthma That Will Surely Provide Relief!

The risk factors for chronic bronchitis include

  • Smoking. This the main risk factor. Up to 75% of people who have chronic bronchitis smoke or used to smoke.
  • Long-term exposure to other lung irritants, such as secondhand smoke, air pollution, and chemical fumes and dusts from the environment or workplace.
  • Age. Most people who have chronic bronchitis are at least 40 years old when their symptoms begin.
  • Genetics. This includes alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, which is a genetic condition. Also, smokers who get chronic bronchitis are more likely to get it if they have a family history of COPD.

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Stress And Anxiety Management

Anxiety that builds up can lead to panic attacks. If you experience frequent anxiety, consider seeking help from a mental health professional. They can help you work through your anxiety and reduce the likelihood of external stressors triggering a panic attack.

Even if you dont have an anxiety disorder, stress itself is a fact of life. However, stress can also trigger your asthma, so its important to manage it as best as you can.

Some steps you can take to reduce everyday stress include:

  • relaxation techniques, such as meditation and deep breathing exercises
  • regular physical exercise

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How Can You Tell If You Have Asthma

It can be hard to tell if someone has asthma, especially in children under age 5. Having a doctor check how well your lungs work and check for allergies can help you find out if you have asthma.

During a checkup, a doctor will ask if you cough a lot, especially at night. He or she will also ask whether your breathing problems are worse after physical activity or at certain times of year. The doctor will then ask about chest tightness, wheezing, and colds lasting more than 10 days. He or she will ask whether anyone in your family has or has had asthma, allergies, or other breathing problems. Finally, the doctor will ask questions about your home and whether you have missed school or work or have trouble doing certain things.

The doctor may also do a breathing test, called spirometry, to find out how well your lungs are working by testing how much air you can breathe out after taking a very deep breath before and after you use asthma medicine.

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When Should Wheezing Be Treated By A Healthcare Provider

See your healthcare provider if your wheezing is new, if it keeps coming back, or if its accompanied by any of the following symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath.
  • Chest tightness or chest pain.
  • Fever.
  • Unexplained swelling of your feet or legs.
  • Loss of voice.
  • Swelling of the lips or tongue.
  • A bluish tinge around your skin, mouth or nails.

How Is Wheezing Treated

Wheezing Medical Course

The first thing your doctor may do is give you oxygen. You might need to stay in the hospital until you get better.

After that, treatment depends on the cause. Some common causes and treatments include:

Asthma. Your doctor will probably prescribe:

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What Wheezing Sounds Like

Wheezing occurs when a child breaths out.

If your child is wheezing, make sure that you get it checked out by her doctor.

Take note, though, that what you think may be wheezing may actually be a different breathing pattern in particular, what’s known as inspiratory stridor. In this inspiratory stridor video, notice how the sound is different and occurs when the infant breathes in. You may also notice the baby’s chest going inward, which is called a retraction.

What Causes Wheezing 10 Possible Reasons

Wheezing is a whistling sound that can be heard while breathing. This sound develops as air moves through narrowed airways and is most noticeable when you exhale though it can also be heard when you breathe in. Sometimes you can produce a kind of whistling sound when your nose gets congested too. This usually happens when you have a cold or nasal allergy. But unlike wheezing breathing will not be tight in this case. And rinsing your nasal passages with saline water can make the sound disappear.1 Wheezing usually points to deeper breathing problems. Lets take a look at some conditions that can cause it:

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Asthma Treatment With Dr Shukla

While your anxiety may be caused by certain things in your life that are out of your control, you can control it and your asthma. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Mayank Shukla today to devise a specialized asthma treatment plan. Breathe easy with the care and support from the Asthma Allergy Sleep Center of New York.

Nocturnal Asthma: Causes Symptoms Risk Factors In Children And Treatment

Asthma symptoms in children, adults, and more

A chronic disease, asthma causes inflammation and narrowing of airways in the lungs. It causes wheezing , chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing. During an asthma attack, your airway muscles constrict, and mucous membranes produce excess mucus, blocking your breathing. Allergens such as dust, spores, animal hairs, cold air, infection and even stress can trigger asthma .

Some of the most common types of asthma are adult-onset asthma, allergic asthma, nocturnal asthma, asthma-COPD overlap, non-allergic asthma, occupational asthma and childhood asthma .

As studies point out, asthma symptoms tend to get worse by night and can disrupt sleep . When asthma worsens at night, it is clinically termed nocturnal asthma and causes wheezing, difficulty breathing etc.

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Anxiety Does Not Cause Asthma

Some people worry that anxiety causes asthma. There is currently no evidence that anxiety can create asthma in those that did not originally have the condition. But there is a great deal of evidence that anxiety can worsen existing asthma symptoms.

The most likely reasons for why anxiety exacerbates asthma symptoms include:

  • Hyperventilation Anxiety changes breathing habits. Many studies have shown that hyperventilation, whether its caused by a disorder or no disorder at all, appears to increase the likelihood of an asthma attack. So those with anxiety that may be more prone to hyperventilating may be unintentionally forcing their own attack symptoms.
  • Inflammation Stress can lead to inflammation. Asthma is the inflammation of airways. Its unlikely that stress causes the inflammation that leads to asthma, but its possible that stress makes it harder to control inflammation when your asthma symptoms are acting up.
  • General Physiological Changes On a physical level, stress does cause some issues that may contribute to asthma. For example, anxiety can release an excess of histamine that can lead to asthma attacks. Stress may also weaken your immune system in such a way that you become more vulnerable to viruses and external asthma triggers.
  • Muscle Constriction Muscle constriction is also very common with anxiety. Muscle constriction can lead to tighter chest and other issues that may trigger asthma.

How To Treat Wheezing

The pulmonary function tests that are necessary to diagnose the cause of wheezing can be exhausting and are often not used in weakened patients with advanced lung cancer. Instead, physicians often start treatment with bronchodilators , which are medications that relax the muscles in the air tubes leading to the lungs , allowing air to pass more easily into the lungs. Bronchodilators are often used in conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma. If a patient responds favorably to bronchodilators, pulmonary function tests are not necessary.2,3

Besides lung cancer, wheezing may also be caused by COPD, asthma, or congestive heart failure. In patients with lung cancer that also have other conditions like these, the underlying condition is treated to help alleviate wheezing.3

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Can We Prevent Wheezing From Asthma

There is some fascinating research being done surrounding wheezing and how to prevent it, mostly in children. A team of researchers in Australia were interested in the effects of fruit and vegetable consumption on chronic wheezing. The results of the meta-analysis were mixed and they suggested further research with no suggestion of treatment other than fruits and vegetables are beneficial for other reasons.3

A separate meta-analysis looked at how daily inhaled corticosteroids affected preschoolers with a reoccurring wheeze. The results were that daily ICS had optimal effectiveness at managing the wheezing.4 The issue with consistent medications like ICS at a young age are the lasting side effects of exposure to the substanceâan entirely different research question that begs for answers.

How Are Asthma Attacks Related To Stress And Anxiety Diagnosed

Not All Wheezing is Asthma

It is sometimes very hard to conclude whether the asthma attack occurred due to a stressful event or the stress and anxiety resulted from the asthma attack itself. In some cases, there is a vicious circle in which stress induces an asthma attack, which then produces more intense stress, thus making the symptoms even worse.

The most important step in the diagnosis of the stress induced asthma attack is a detailed anamnesis, which can be taken by the patient or persons who were around when the attack had started. Parents should follow the situations in which their children experience asthma attacks, and report that to the doctor.

The triggers that can lead to asthma attacks can be short or long-term, and they include:

  • Acute stress
  • Basically anything else that can cause stress

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What Are Common Ways To Diagnose Asthma

Personal and medical history. Your doctor will ask you questions to understand your symptoms and their causes. Bring notes to help jog your memory. Be ready to answer questions about your family history, the medicines you take and your lifestyle. This includes any current physical problems. Shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing and tightness in your chest may show asthma. This also includes all previous medical conditions. A history of allergies or eczema increases your chance of asthma. A family history of asthma, allergies or eczema increases your chance of having asthma, too. 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 and tobacco smoke. The doctor may also ask if you get chest symptoms when you get a head cold.

Physical exam. If your doctor thinks you have asthma, they will do a physical exam. They will look at your ears, eyes, nose, throat, skin, chest and lungs. This exam may include a lung function test to detect how well you exhale air from your lungs. You may also need an X-ray of your lungs or sinuses. A physical exam then allows your doctor to review your health.

When To Contact A Medical Professional

  • Occurs for the first time
  • Occurs with significant shortness of breath, bluish skin, confusion, or mental status changes
  • Keeps occurring without explanation
  • Is caused by an allergic reaction to a bite or medicine

If wheezing is severe or occurs with severe shortness of breath, you should go directly to the nearest emergency department.

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Anxiety Caused By Anxiety

Anxiety is also self-sustaining. Earlier we mentioned panic attacks, and how they can often be caused by periods of stress that become overwhelming. But once youve had your first panic attack, you may get them again and again because of a fear of panic attacks, or because your body becomes more attuned to how it feels, which ultimately triggers them in the future.

We see this in other ways too:

  • If you found yourself nervous about a plane ride, you might be fearful on future plane rides.
  • If you find yourself worried about a negative thought, you may have that thought more often.
  • If you experienced severe anxiety symptoms, you may be anxious about experiencing them again.

Essentially, anxiety and a fear of anxiety symptoms can create more anxiety in the future. They become their own self-sustaining cycle. So even justifiable anxiety can lead to unprompted anxiety.

The Basics Of Diagnosing Asthma

Is asthma genetic? Causes and risk factors

Your doctor will probably start your examination by delving into your past medical history and asking whether any of your relatives have allergies or asthma. You’ll also be asked to describe your symptoms, their severity, and what, if anything, is triggering them.

Triggers could include cold air, dust, hairsprays, perfumes, household cleaner vapors, cigarette or cigar smoke, and air pollution, Asciuto says.

Doctors also try to narrow down the list of culprits by asking these additional questions:

Next, your doctor will listen to your breathing with a stethoscope and may order one or more of these diagnostic tests:

Its also important to note that you can have asthma without experiencing any of the hallmark symptoms. There’s no single patient profile for asthma, says Dr. Fineman. “Some will have more coughing, some more wheezing, and some have more problems breathing with exercise, he says.

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What Causes An Asthma Attack

Asthma attacks can be caused by a variety of factors, called triggers.. Common triggers include allergens , animal fur, perfume, chalk dust, cigarette smoke, cold air, air pollution, an infection, or even exercise.

Try to take slow, steady breaths during your attack. Additionally, some breathing exercises may also help reduce asthma symptoms. Some examples include: the Buteyko breathing technique, which involves breathing slowly through your nose as opposed to your mouth.

Since asthma makes it difficult to take deep breaths, an asthmatic may not always be able to recognize that their breathing has quickened. However, other symptoms can accompany hyperventilation, and can serve as warning signs. These symptoms include a numbness or tingling sensation in the mouth, warns the University of Maryland Medical Center 2. In some cases, this sensation can radiate into the arms.

A severe asthma attack is a potentially life-threatening event. Symptoms of a severe attack might be similar to the symptoms of a minor asthma attack. The difference is that severe attacks dont improve with home treatments. These events need emergency medical treatment to prevent death.

Asthma attacks can be caused by a variety of factors, called triggers.. Common triggers include allergens , animal fur, perfume, chalk dust, cigarette smoke, cold air, air pollution, an infection, or even exercise.

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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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