How Is Asthma Wheeze Evaluated
Your medical history and physical examination help to narrow down the cause of wheeze. Your provider may ask questions such as:4
- How frequently do you wheeze?
- What other breathing symptoms have you noticed?
- Are you taking medications for asthma, such as rescue inhalers or inhaled corticosteroids? Does the wheeze get better after taking them?
- Are you a current, former, or never smoker?
- Are you exposed to irritating chemicals at work or at home?
When evaluating a child with wheeze, your childs provider may ask questions such as:2
- Do any close relatives of the child have asthma or allergic diseases such as eczema, hay fever, or food allergies?
- Has anyone in the family been sick lately?
- How often does your child wheeze?
- What other breathing symptoms have you noticed?
Your provider will listen to the wheeze, making note of how it sounds. Your provider will determine whether you wheeze during inhalation or exhalation. He or she will try to figure out where the wheeze starts in your airways.
Conditions Related To Asthma
Asthma can be associated with several other conditions and health problems. In some cases, asthma can increase the likelihood of certain illnesses, like:
Additionally, there are some illnesses and health conditions that appear to be linked to asthma in that people with one are more likely to have the other, like:
Learn about common asthma symptoms and treatments and a lot more from one of the countrys preeminent medical institutions. You can also connect with Mayo Clinic doctors and clinicians for treatment options.
Side Effects Of Relievers And Preventers
Relievers are a safe and effective medicine, and have few side effects as long as they are not used too much. The main side effects include a mild shaking of the hands , headaches and muscle cramps. These usually only happen with high doses of reliever inhaler and usually only last for a few minutes.
Preventers are very safe at usual doses, although they can cause a range of side effects at high doses, especially with long-term use.
The main side effect of preventer inhalers is a fungal infection of the mouth or throat . You may also develop a hoarse voice and sore throat.
Using a spacer can help prevent these side effects, as can rinsing your mouth or cleaning your teeth after using your preventer inhaler.
Your doctor or nurse will discuss with you the need to balance control of your asthma with the risk of side effects, and how to keep side effects to a minimum.
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How Do You Beat Asthma Naturally
Asthma is the chronic and inflammatory disorder of the lung often causes difficulty in breathing. According to the U.S. national library of medicine, there are a number of natural remedies for Asthma. Some of these are: Drink water: Dehydration is a common cause of asthma attacks and hence, drinking plenty of water can help the patient get rid of asthma triggers. The Web MD recommends taking eight to 12 glasses of water per day. Eat foods: Certain foods such as Kiwis, salmon, green tea and nuts are rich in Omega-3 which can help fight inflammation and reduce shortness of breath. Exercise: The Web MD reports that regular exercise can help a great deal in maintaining a healthy lung. Maintain a healthy weight: According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, losing weight can help asthma patients who are overweight or obese. Medication: The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends taking medications for asthma as per the doctors prescription. Treatment: The Web MD reports that a combination of exercise and medication can help patients get rid of asthma completely in some cases..
Tips To Prevent Nighttime Asthma Attacks
Nighttime asthma attacks can be controlled. Take these steps to sleep better with severe asthma.
Many people with severe asthma find that symptoms like coughing, wheezing, and breathlessness are worse at night. There are a number of reasons why this is so, says Sonali Bose, MD, an assistant professor in the division of medicine, pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.
Some key factors that contribute to nighttime asthma attacks include:
- Your bodys internal clock. Your circadian rhythm causes some of your hormone levels to fall at night. Lower levels of hormones can cause your airways to narrow slightly. These narrowed airways can exacerbate your asthma symptoms, according to the Asthma Society of Canada .
- Dust mites. Your pillows, blankets, and mattress can all be a haven for these microscopic insect-like pests and their waste. Allergies to dust mites can worsen asthma, and you could be wallowing in them as you sleep, according to the ASC.
- Gravity. When you lie down, your chest and lungs naturally experience extra pressure, the ASC says.
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How Can I Open My Airways Naturally
Youve probably tried a dozen pharmaceuticals to help with your asthma. But nothing seems to work. You want to know if there are any natural remedies. The answer is yes. A new study has found that ginger is just as effective as drugs when it comes to treating asthma. But it may also be better because it has no side effects. Ginger contains gingerol, an anti-inflammatory compound. It also contains shagdacene, a compound that is known to calm down the muscles of the airway that is responsible for the wheezing and constricting. The study was performed on people with mild asthma. Results showed that ginger reduced the frequency of asthma attacks by __% and improved the quality of life of asthma patients as compared to people taking drugs..
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.
- Unexplained swelling of your feet or legs.
- Swelling of the lips or tongue.
- A bluish tinge around your skin, mouth or nails.
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What Should I Do When My Asthma Symptoms Wake Me Up
Sit up and take your reliever inhaler as prescribed. Its a good idea to keep your inhaler and spacer beside your bed before you go to sleep, so you dont have to search for them in the middle of the night.
Give yourself a bit of time to check your reliever medicine has dealt with your symptoms before you go back to sleep, says Dr Andy Whittamore, Asthma UK’s in-house GP. This is better than falling asleep straight away only to wake up soon after with asthma symptoms because your reliever didnt help enough.
When Should I Go To The Emergency Room
If your skin, mouth or nails are turning blue, then you arent getting enough air into your lungs. This is a medical emergency and you should have a family member or friend take you to the nearest urgent care or emergency room. If youre alone, call 911 and describe your breathing.
If you suddenly start wheezing after a bee sting, after you take a new medication or eat a new food, that could indicate an allergic reaction and you should go to the emergency room immediately.
Whatever the cause of your wheezing, there are things you can do to get relief. Follow your healthcare providers directions, dont smoke, take all medications as prescribed and run a vaporizer or humidifier to moisten the air. Doing all of these things will help you breathe easier.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 09/24/2020.
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Try Pursed Lip Breathing
Pursed lip breathing is a technique for slowing the rate of breathing and making each breath more effective by keeping the airways open longer. When your breathing is more effective, you wont be working as hard to breathe. So any shortness of breath should improve, and that may help to reduce wheezing.
To practice this technique, start by relaxing your neck and shoulders. Inhale slowly through your nose for two counts, then pucker your lips as if you were going to make a whistling sound. Exhale slowly for four counts. Repeat this exercise several times until you feel more at ease. Your wheezing may subside or at least improve somewhat after pursed lip breathing.
Caffeinated Tea Or Coffee
The caffeine in black or green tea and coffee is believed to help treat asthma. It works similarly to the popular asthma medication theophylline, which opens up the airways.
A 2010 research review, the most recent available, found that caffeine may slightly improve breathing function in people with asthma for up to 4hours.
Still, there isnt enough evidence to show whether caffeine can improve asthma symptoms.
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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.
Medical Treatment To Stop Wheezing
Medical treatment to stop wheezing focuses on two ways. If the airway is inflamed, anti-inflammatory tablets or shots are provided to the patients to reduce the inflammation. It also removes the excess mucus blocking the airways.
The second method is about opening the breathing tract and tubes using the medications that can act quickly. Bronchodilators are often used to stop moderate to severe wheezing instantly. It also reduces a cough and soothes the respiratory tract.
Your doctor may treat you with,
- Feeding oxygen / artificial ventilation
- Bronchodilator inhaler when the wheezing and cold is caused by a bacterial infection
- Oral anti-histamines and/or anti-histamine shots for wheezing caused by allergy
Those who wheeze due to anxiety disorders should seek professional care, medicines and psychological counsel therapy to get rid of anxiety.
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Move Away From Triggers
The presence of asthma triggers wont only cause an attack, they can also make your symptoms worse. Be sure to try to get away from things that may be triggering your asthma attack.
For example, if youre in an area where people are smoking cigarettes, you should move away promptly.
Its also important to know your triggers. Common triggers include:
- Allergens, such as pet dander, pollen, or certain foods
- Irritants, such as tobacco smoke or pollution
- Stress or anxiety
- Some medications, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or beta-blockers
- Respiratory infections, such as the common cold, the flu, or mycoplasma
- Breathing in cold, dry air
Does Steam Or Vaporizer Reduce Chances Of An Asthma Attack At Night
Generally, steam or vaporizer can liquefy mucus when breathing problems are caused by an allergy or cold. This can help a person feel better. On the other hand, asthma is caused by chronic inflammation of the airways, making it difficult to breathe. Steam or vaporizer can cause irritations and worsen breathing problems.
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How Common Is Asthma Wheeze
More than 25% of infants have at least one wheezing episode.2 By age six, nearly 50% of children have had a wheezing episode.
Wheeze that starts in childhood and continues past age three years typically continues into adulthood.5 In fact, research has shown that wheezing that seems to start in adulthood probably has its origins in childhood.5 In one study, 94% of people who went to the emergency room for an asthma flare-up reported wheezing as one of their symptoms.6
Effective Ways To Treat Asthma At Home
In people with asthma, the airways become narrow and produce a lot of mucus. It triggers difficulty in breathing, wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. Several factors can increase the risk of suffering from asthma. Some of the risk factors include having a blood relative with asthma, smoking, being overweight, and passive smoking. For some people, asthma doesnt pose many problems. However, there are others who suffer from asthma attacks.
Are you tired of having to latch on to your inhaler and your asthma medications? Do not let them go just yet. Make a few changes to your lifestyle see your symptoms ease up a lot.
10 Home Remedies for Asthma are:
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What Is An Asthma Attack
Asthma is a chronic disease that affects the lungs. During an asthma attack, the airways become narrower than normal and can cause difficulty breathing.
The severity of an asthma attack can range from mild to very serious. Some asthma attacks may require prompt medical attention.
The preferred way of treating an asthma attack is to use a rescue inhaler, which contains medication that expands your airways.
But what if youre having an asthma attack and dont have your rescue inhaler available? There are several things that you can do while you wait for your symptoms to subside or for medical attention. Read on to learn more.
Yoga Exercises To Try
The following yoga poses may help people with asthma. They may assist with opening the chest, encouraging deep breathing, and controlling breathing. Although the following poses are suitable for beginners, individuals should keep their current fitness level and existing injuries in mind before starting any new exercise program.
Yoga poses that may help people with asthma include the five poses below.
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What Other Tools Can I Use For Monitoring Asthma Control
Peak Flow Meter
Sometimes doctors recommend a peak flow meter a handheld device that measures how well air moves out of your lungs. A peak flow meter, when used every day, can spot reduced airflow before you notice the signs and symptoms of an asthma episode.
Peak flow meter readings can help you monitor your asthma control. But they are just one tool. Your peak flow meter reading is not the only indicator of asthma control. Always follow your Asthma Action Plan.
Doctors use pulse oximeters to measure how much oxygen your blood is carrying. Some people with asthma may experience a drop in their oxygen levels in their blood.
Pulse oximeters you can buy online and use at home are not as accurate as medical grade devices. Monitoring your blood oxygen levels with pulse oximeters is not a recommended part of home management of asthma.
Lung Function Tests
Your allergist or pulmonologist may use different lung function tests to assess your asthma control. Learn more about the tests used to diagnose and monitor asthma.
Dont Exercise In Cold Dry Weather
For some people, exercising in dry, cold weather can cause their airways to tighten. As your breathing increases, you may start to wheeze. This is known as exercise-induced bronchoconstriction, and it can affect people both with or without chronic asthma.
If you only wheeze when exercising in cold conditions or your wheezing gets worse when you do, try moving your workout indoors when the weathers cold. Get more tips for managing asthma triggered by cold weather.
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How Is An Asthma Flare
The best thing to do first if your asthma symptoms are getting worse is to use your rescue or quick-relief medicine. Ask your doctor if you’re not sure what to use for quick-relief medicine. The usual inhaler dose is two to four puffs every 20 minutes for a total of three doses, or one nebulizer treatment if you have a home nebulizer.
You should be able to tell how serious the flare-up is after you use your quick-relief medicine. If you have a peak flow meter, check your PEF again after you use the quick-relief medicine. If your PEF is still very low, your flare-up is serious.
Your doctor may have given you a written âAsthma Action Planâ with directions for treating mild, moderate and severe flare-ups. If you don’t have an action plan, ask your doctor for written directions about treating asthma flare-ups. If you have the symptoms of a serious flare-up or if your PEF is less than 50 percent of your personal best, call your doctor right away or go directly to the nearest hospital emergency room .
What Causes Asthma Flare
People with asthma have airways that are overly sensitive to some things . Being around triggers can bring on asthma symptoms.
The most common trigger in kids are viral respiratory infections, such as colds. Other common triggers include:
- viral infections
Many people with asthma also have allergies, which are another important flare-up trigger.
If not treated, a flare-up can last for several hours or even days. Quick-relief medicines often stop the symptoms pretty quickly. A person should feel better once the flare-up ends, although this can take several days, especially if a viral infection was the trigger.
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Signs That You Need To Use Asthma First Aid
If you are experiencing any of the following signs, follow your asthma action plan. If you do not have an asthma action plan, or you are assisting someone who is experiencing an asthma attack, start asthma first aid. Do not wait until asthma is severe.
Mild to moderate asthma signs :
- able to talk in full sentences
- able to walk or move around
- may have a cough or wheeze.
Severe asthma signs :
- cannot speak a full sentence in one breath
- tugging of the skin between ribs or at base of neck
- may have cough or wheeze
- reliever medication not lasting as long as usual.
Life-threatening asthma signs :
- getting little or no relief from reliever inhaler
- may no longer have wheeze or cough.
In asthma emergencies, follow your asthma action plan.