Preventing Asthma Symptoms From Worsening
When it comes to controlling asthma symptoms, prevention can go a long way. Since asthma may be life-threatening, its critical to identify your triggers and avoid them.
Tobacco smoke is an asthma trigger for many people. If you smoke, talk to your doctor about quitting. If someone in your household smokes, talk to them about quitting. In the meantime, make sure they smoke outdoors.
You can take more steps that may help prevent asthma attacks if you:
- Create an asthma action plan with your doctor and follow it.
- Get a pneumonia and flu shot each year to avoid illnesses that could trigger asthma attacks.
- Take your asthma medications as prescribed.
- Track your asthma and monitor your breathing to identify early warning signs that your asthma is worsening.
- Use an air conditioner to reduce your exposure to dust mites and outdoor pollutants and allergens such as pollen.
- Use dust covers on your bed and pillows to reduce dust exposure.
- Reduce pet dander by regularly grooming and bathing your pets.
- Cover your nose and mouth when spending time outside in the cold
- Use a humidifier or dehumidifier to keep humidity in your home at optimal levels.
- Clean your house regularly to eliminate mold spores and other indoor allergens.
What Asthma Treatment Options Are There
You have options to help manage your asthma. Your healthcare provider may prescribe medications to control symptoms. These include:
- Anti-inflammatory medicines: These medicines reduce swelling and mucus production in your airways. They make it easier for air to enter and exit your lungs. Your healthcare provider may prescribe them to take every day to control or prevent your symptoms.
- Bronchodilators: These medicines relax the muscles around your airways. The relaxed muscles let the airways move air. They also let mucus move more easily through the airways. These medicines relieve your symptoms when they happen.
- Biologic therapies for asthma when symptoms persist despite being on proper inhaler therapy.
You can take asthma medicines in several different ways. You may breathe in the medicines using a metered-dose inhaler, nebulizer or other inhaler. Your healthcare provider may prescribe oral medications that you swallow.
Asthma Action Plans For Children
If you are a parent or carer of a child with asthma, it is important to obtain a clear, written summary of how to manage your childs asthma. This is called an asthma action plan and is an important tool for anyone caring for your child.
It provides up-to-date, detailed information to help manage your childs asthma. Give a copy of the plan to your childs school, kindergarten, childcare centre and anyone else caring for your child.When your child is old enough to understand, make sure that you explain asthma to them and encourage them to be aware of their symptoms and how to treat them.
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Stay Awake From Smoke
You probably know you shouldn’t smoke or let people light up inside your house, but smoke from a wood stove or fireplace could cause you just as much trouble. Hot, dry air tends to trigger asthma. On top of that, wood stoves emit volatile organic acids that cause even more drying. Pellet stoves, according to Dr. Lee, are slightly better for some people, in part because they’re well sealed. Keep in mind that smoke from cooking can also trigger asthma, so run the exhaust fan to clear out kitchen fumes.
Signs Symptoms And Complications
How often signs and symptoms of asthma occur may depend on how severe, or intense, the asthma is and whether you are exposed to allergens. Some people have symptoms every day, while others have symptoms only a few days of the year. For some people, asthma may cause discomfort but does not interfere with daily activities. If you have more severe asthma, however, your asthma may limit what you are able to do.
When asthma is well controlled, a person shows few symptoms. When symptoms worsen, a person can have what is called an asthma attack, or an exacerbation. Over time, uncontrolled asthma can damage the airways in the lungs.
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If In Doubt Follow Your Asthma Action Plan And Use Your Reliever To Treat Chest Symptoms
Can you get asthma after having covid. But there are steps you can take to reduce your exposure to. Loss of smell and taste Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth.
If this isnt working and you are having difficulty breathing, get medical help straight away. Based on the data from populations with prediabetes, we know this can significantly slow the progression to type 2 diabetes. Covid vaccine reaction in a patient with asthma.
According to advice from public health england, if you have covid or have recently had the virus, you should wait for at least 28 days before you have your booster. Your inhaler only works against symptoms caused by asthma. Stay at least 6 feet from people who dont live with you.
People with conditions such as asthma are encouraged to get the covid. Losing more weight can also help, but those first 15 pounds are the most important. Focus on losing 15 pounds.
When people with asthma get respiratory infections, it can trigger their asthma symptoms. But if you do get sick, your symptoms could be worse than other peoples because you already have trouble breathing. Indoor environments can contain asthma and allergy triggers.
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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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How To Treat Severe Asthma
Once your asthma specialist has determined the type of severe asthma you are suffering from, they can tailor treatment based on your specific type. Basic treatment for severe persistent asthma consists of inhaled corticosteroids. Additional long-term controller medicines, such as long-acting beta 2 agonists , montelukast or theophylline, are added if asthma is still uncontrolled. Oral corticosteroids can be added on to treatment if patients are still experiencing symptoms and flare-ups.
A personalized treatment plan may include:
Macrolide AntibioticsMacrolide antibiotics are used to help the body fight infection. These medicines control the number of white blood cells found in your airways. One study showed positive results using macrolide antibiotics in people with high counts of neutrophils in blood or sputum samples. Doctors dont suggest these medications be used long term though because side effects, such as antibiotic resistance, can be very serious.
Tips To Keep Your Asthma Under Control
May 4th, 2015
Almost three million Canadians and more than 300 million people worldwide have asthma, including many top athletes. Asthma is a common chronic lung disease that can make it difficult to breathe. Although there is no cure for asthma, those with the condition can live healthy, active lives if their asthma is under control.
For World Asthma Day , the Canadian Lung Association has some helpful tips for people with asthma.
1. Know your triggers and avoid themTriggers like allergens and irritants can make your asthma symptoms worse by irritating your airways. The best way to control your asthma is to know what your asthma triggers are and how to avoid them.
2. Take your asthma medication as prescribed by your doctorMany people think they can skip their asthma preventer medications when they don’t feel any symptoms that’s not true. Asthma is a chronic disease. If you have asthma, you have it all the time, even when you don’t feel symptoms. You have to manage your asthma every day, not just on days when you feel symptoms. Read more about asthma medications and how to use them.
3. Learn how to use your inhaler properlyYour health-care provider can show you how to use your inhaler properly so that your medicine reaches the airways. Ask him or her to watch you useyour inhaler. Your health-care provider may offer suggestions on how to improve your technique so that the medication gets to your airways. Watch our videos on how to properly use your inhalers.
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Cold Weather And Asthma
Cold weather is a common trigger for asthma symptoms.
There are things you can do to help control your symptoms in the cold:
- carry your reliever inhaler with you at all times and keep taking your regular preventer inhaler as prescribed
- if you need to use your inhaler more than usual, speak to your doctor about reviewing your treatment
- keep warm and dry wear gloves, a scarf and a hat, and carry an umbrella
- wrap a scarf loosely over your nose and mouth this will help warm up the air before you breathe it
- try breathing in through your nose instead of your mouth your nose warms the air as you breathe
How Do Healthcare Providers Diagnose Asthma
Your healthcare provider will review your medical history, including information about your parents and siblings. Your provider will also ask you about your symptoms. Your provider will need to know any history of allergies, eczema and other lung diseases.
Your healthcare provider may order a chest X-ray, blood test or skin test. Your provider may order spirometry. This test measures airflow through your lungs.
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Diagnosing Asthma In Children Younger Than 6
It can be hard to tell whether a child under age 6 has asthma or another respiratory condition, because young children often cannot perform a pulmonary function test such as spirometry. After checking a childs history and symptoms, the doctor may try asthma medicines for a few months to see how well a child responds. About 40% of children who wheeze when they get colds or respiratory infections are eventually diagnosed with asthma.
Safety And Extra Preventer Medication For Asthma
People who use a regular preventer , but still get regular asthma symptoms, may need to step up their medication.
These stronger preventers are called combination therapies because they include a second medicine and the inhaled corticosteroid. Asthma preventers should be prescribed at the lowest strength that works for you or your child. There is no extra benefit in taking medication that is stronger than you need.
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Whats An Asthma Attack
When you breathe normally, muscles around your airways are relaxed, letting air move easily. During an asthma attack, three things can happen:
- Bronchospasm: The muscles around the airways constrict . When they tighten, it makes the airways narrow. Air cannot flow freely through constricted airways.
- Inflammation: The airway linings become swollen. Swollen airways dont let as much air in or out of the lungs.
- Mucus production: During the attack, your body creates more mucus. This thick mucus clogs airways.
Get A Magnesium Boost
Not getting enough magnesium may worsen asthma symptoms. According to a study from Bastyr University in Kenmore, Wash., magnesium supplements can work as a natural asthma soother. Study participants included 55 men and women, ages 21 to 55, with mild to moderate asthma. For six and a half months, one group took a 170 milligram magnesium supplement twice a day, while the other group did not. The group who took magnesium reported better breathing, better control of their asthma, and better quality of life overall.
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Natural Remedies For Asthma
Many things get credit for being natural asthma remedies. But because studies on complementary and alternative treatments for asthma have been limited, itâs not clear how safe and effective all of them are.
These natural remedies have been studied:
Acupuncture. This traditional Chinese treatment involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body. While some people with asthma say acupuncture eases their symptoms, thereâs little proof that it works as an asthma treatment.
Biofeedback. Learning to control your heart rate may help you manage your asthma, but more studies are needed to confirm a benefit.
Herbs and natural dietary supplements. Many people use herbs, plants, and supplements, especially Chinese herbs, to treat asthma. Itâs not clear how well many of them work. More research is needed on supplements like magnesium and fish oil . But vitamins C, D, and E may help lower your risk of symptoms.
Asthma diet. If you have a food allergy, avoiding trigger foods may also help with some asthma symptoms.
Plant-based diet. Several studies have found benefits for people with asthma who follow the Mediterranean diet.It involves lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats like olive oil. You eat more fatty fish and poultry than red meat. Experts think this diet helps with asthma symptoms because it helps fight inflammation in your body. A similar eating plan called DASH may also improve asthma control.
Paying For Your Medicines
Most adults with asthma will need to pay a prescription charge for their medicines.
If you need to take a lot of medicines, paying for each item individually could get quite expensive. You may find it cheaper to get a prescription prepayment certificate. This is where you pay a one-off charge for all your prescriptions over a 3- or 12-month period.
You will not need to pay for your medicines if you do not normally pay prescription charges. For example, all under-16s are entitled to free prescriptions.
Read more about prescription costs to find out if you’re entitled to help with your prescription charges.
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The Bottom Line: Are Natural Remedies Safe For People With Asthma
Peters points out that just because studies havent established a definite benefit doesnt mean that some of these wont help some people. Each individual may react differently, and what works for some people with asthma may not work for others. But until many of these complementary and alternative options have stronger scientific evidence to back up their role, they cant be recommended on a large scale to people with asthma, says Hill.
So, if you see something marketed as a natural remedy for asthma, approach it with caution, and dont make changes to your asthma action plan without discussing it with your doctor first.
Additional reporting by Moira Lawler and Christina Vogt.
Work With Your Doctor To Get Your Asthma Under Control
For most people with asthma, it’s possible to achieve good asthma control. If you have a lot of asthma attack or a lot of symptoms, your asthma is probably not as controlled as it could be. See you doctor, and ask for help getting control of your asthma.Signs you have good asthma controlYour asthma is under control if:
- You have daytime asthma symptoms three times a week or less
- You don’t miss school or work because of asthma symptoms
- Your asthma doesnt get in the way of exercise and physical activity
- Symptoms disturb your sleep only one night a week, or not at all
- You need your rescue medicine less than four times a week
Signs your asthma is not controlledYour asthma is out of control if:
- You wake up at night because of coughing, wheezing or feeling short of breath more than once a week
- Your rescue medicine doesn’t work quickly or completely to relieve your asthma symptoms
- You are using your rescue medicine more than three times a week
- Your asthma symptoms are stopping you from doing regular activities like exercise
To take the guesswork out of managing your asthma, use an asthma action plan. Your asthma action plan tells you:
- What symptoms you should watch for
- What your symptoms mean
- How to adjust your medication according to your symptoms
- When to call the doctor or 911
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Symptoms Of Intrinsic Asthma
Symptoms of an asthma attack are similar, regardless of the type of asthma you have. These can include:
- Drastic changes in weather conditions
- Vigorous exercise
- Strong emotions
Intrinsic asthma affects more adults than children, and is more likely to be a long-term problem than extrinsic asthma.
What Is Good Asthma Control
Doctors assess recent asthma control by asking about symptoms during the previous 4 weeks.
- activities are not limited at all by asthma
- no asthma symptoms during the night or on waking up
- daytime symptoms on no more than 2 days per week
- need to take the reliever on no more than 2 days per week
- any symptoms go away quickly after using the reliever puffer.
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