Breathing Through Your Mouth
Breathing is automatic so you will need to pay attention to how you breathe. When you breathe in frosty air through your mouth, it doesnt warm up in your nasal passages which irritate the respiratory system. Its natural and healthier to breathe through your nose because it helps your body effectively use the air being inhaled.
Nose breathing also filters out foreign particles, humidify inhaled air and produces nitric oxide, a vasodilator, which means it helps to widen blood vessels. This helps improve oxygen circulation in your body.
How Do You Reduce Asthma Triggers
Taking steps to reduce your exposure asthma triggers is a key part of asthma control, including:
Is water good for asthma? Staying hydrated with plenty of fluids such as water, juice, and tea can help alleviate asthma symptoms.
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What Are My Triggers
Most people are allergic to more than one trigger and sometimes the response is different, so you could get itchy eyes around cats but a runny nose during pollen season. The severity of the allergic reaction varies between people and depends on the circumstances. A reaction may not be immediate.
Sometimes it can be fairly obvious what triggers your asthma. If you have symptoms after coming in contact with cats or dogs then pets are probably one of your triggers. The same applies for contact with smoke from cigarettes or open fires.
Triggers like pollen can be more difficult to determine because the allergens are not visible. It is important to keep a diary of when you experience symptoms and note where you were at the time, what the weather conditions were like and what things you were exposed to including stress.
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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:
- 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 and are used for intermittent and chronic asthma.
- 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 of chronic asthma.
- Biologic therapies for asthma: These are used for severe asthma when symptoms persist despite 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 another type of asthma inhaler. Your healthcare provider may prescribe oral medications that you swallow.
Foods To Avoid With Asthma
Foods rarely trigger an asthma attack. But the symptoms of a severe allergic reaction to some foods can mimic asthma symptoms. The first step is to know if you have a food allergy. Any abnormal reaction to a food is considered an adverse reaction. Adverse reactions can either be:
- Food allergy: When your immune system reacts to proteins in foods that usually are safe or harmless. Your doctor can do skin tests to find out if youâre sensitive to certain foods.
- Food intolerance: When your body responds to the food, not your immune system. Examples include food poisoning, reactions to chemicals in food or drinks such as caffeine, or reflux.
The most common foods associated with allergic symptoms are:
- Bottled lime or lemon juice
- Pickled foods
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Foods That Can Trigger Asthma Attack
People who suffer from asthma are often allergic to certain foods as well. Coming into contact with these food allergies can lead to severe allergic reactions. Signs and symptoms of asthma such as wheezing, difficulties breathing, coughing, etc., will get worse. Certain foods can cause a greater risk for a severe and life threatening asthma attack. For this reason, it is very important to avoid the foods that you are allergic to. Good news is that only few people who suffer with asthma need a special diet.
How This Attack Leads To Asthma From Food
Now, youre probably asking how everything above relates to eating food and getting an asthma attack.
Well, the outcome for developing asthma from the 1st attack from this type of parasite, the way the body reacts to the invasion determines how the bodys adaptive immune system is set up for all future attacks.
In the case of asthma, the adaptive immune system develops memory cells for employing this defence mechanism for this type of parasitic or allergen attack for all future attacks. If the body has no further attacks in a set period of time , then the memory cells may be discarded as they arent considered to be needed, but if you receive another in the next couple of years, then the memory cells are retained.
This is similar to a vaccine needing to be delivered multiple times for effectiveness.
Because the defence mechanism is based in the immune system, which works hand in hand with the circulatory system, it affects the whole body, not just 1 or 2 organs.
So every time that secretions from this type of parasite are experienced in any part of the body which employs a similar defence mechanism , then any part of the body can experience an effect, similar to an asthma attack for this part of the body as well as others.
Some examples include:
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Can I Prevent Asthma
Because the exact cause of asthma is unknown, you may not be able to prevent asthma in yourself or your children. You or your child may develop asthma when the bodys immune system is still developing.
Research suggests that you may be able to take some steps to help prevent asthma from developing. They include doing your best to keep your home free of dampness and mold, avoiding air pollution as much as possible, and making a healthy weight a priority for you and your children.
Know When To Get Help
Warning signs of a potential asthma attack include:
- Needing more rescue inhaler medication .
- A cough that gets worse.
- Feeling like you canât breathe or like someoneâs sitting on your chest.
- Waking up at night feeling like you canât breathe.
- Not being able to be active or exercise without getting winded or wheezing.
Use your asthma rescue inhaler medication as soon as you start to feel an attack come on. If it doesnât seem to work and you feel like you still canât breathe, call 911 so you can get to an emergency room right away.
If you have a steroid medicine at home , you can take it on your way to the ER.
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What Should I Know About Covid
If you have asthma that is moderate-to-severe, or if your asthma symptoms arent well controlled, youre at greater risk of having to be hospitalized if you get COVID-19. Therefore, you should wear a mask if you go to indoor spaces with other people, get vaccinated and avoid exposure to people who have the virus.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Many people live fulfilling lives with asthma. Some professional athletes with asthma have set records in their sports. Your healthcare provider can help you find the best way to manage your asthma. Talk to your healthcare provider about how to control your symptoms.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/19/2022.
Mystery Of How Eating Causes Asthma Attacks
Many people ask the question How can eating something cause me to have an asthma attack in my lungs.
The answer is simple, but to understand this question, you first must gain an understanding of what asthma is. It is also essential to understand how asthma is developed and the difference between normal respiratory defence mechanisms for fighting foreign particle attacks in the lungs in comparison to what happens in an asthma attack.
Unlike other respiratory conditions like cystic fibrosis, COPD and Bronchiectasis, asthma is actually a hypersensitivity condition. An asthma attack is actually an immune response to enzymes, proteins and anti-enzymes released by a parasite or an antigen.
As a part of the bodys immune response in an asthma attack, apart from the standard respiratory responses of inflammation and excess secretion of mucus, the body also releases a number of immune chemicals including immunoglobulin E or IgE .
The release of IgE induces constriction of the smooth muscles around the outside of the airways, also known as Bronchoconstriction. This constricts the airways more and works towards helping to amplify the cough mechanism and expel the parasite from the lungs.
We have similar defence systems in other parts of our bodies, including the large and small intestines of our digestive system. All of these systems are connected through our circulatory system where the immune system works its magic. Let me explain this further and how it all works.
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Treating A Child Who Is Having An Asthma Attack
Take your child to the ER if you notice these symptoms:
- Difficulty breathing. This includes needing to sit up because they cant breathe lying down, gasping or gulping for air, or having trouble taking a complete breath.
- Breathing with the muscles of their stomach, ribs, and neck. The muscles may look like theyre pulling inwards. It means that they are having to work extra hard to breathe.
- Wheezing constantly, even after taking their rescue medications listed on their asthma action plan.
- Lips or fingernails turning blue.
- Seeming more drowsy than normal. For example, they might fall asleep while playing. Or babies doze off feedings.
How Do I Cope With Anxiety During An Asthma Attack
Asthma can cause a shortness of breath. Being short of breath can trigger an involuntary panic attack, as well as a voluntary panic attack if you believe your survival is at risk.
You can remedy this by having rescue medication available, understanding how long it takes for your medication to work, knowing when to seek emergency help, and by calming yourself down. Its also helpful to make an action plan in collaboration with your doctor ahead of time so that you dont have to try and figure things out during an asthma attack.
Gergen says, The best stress reliever is having your medications and an action plan and knowing how to use it.
If you are concerned that asthma may prevent you from living a normal life, you may want to talk with an anxiety disorder therapist to help you address this concern as well as help you devise strategies on how to best manage asthma while living a normal life.
The combination of stress management, learning to behave less anxiously, and managing asthma well could allow you to live a normal life without any, or minimal, restrictions.
When asthma is managed well, Self-limiting isnt really necessary, says Gergen.
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Its Asthma Season Here Are 5 Things That Can Trigger An Asthma Attack
Does asthma have a season? Not really, since asthma attacks can be triggered at any time of the year. While triggers vary from person to person, however, many people suffer from more frequent and severe asthma symptoms in the spring. When a person with asthma is exposed to a trigger, their airways become inflamed, narrow, and filled with mucus. This increases airway resistance and makes breathing more difficult.
Here are five common things that can trigger an asthma attack:
This is why many people with asthma experience flare-ups in the spring. Pollen is a common allergy, and tree pollen is usually found in the air from March to May. Grass pollen can also trigger asthma attacks and is typically seen from May until the end of June. In addition, allergies to weed pollens, animal dander, mold, dust mites, and more can trigger asthma attacks as well. Approximately eighty percent of people with asthma have allergies to airborne substances like these.
2. Air pollutants
Pollen and dander are not the only airborne substances that can trigger an asthma attack. Other irritants like tobacco smoke, strong odors from perfumes, cleaning agents, smoke from fireplaces or wood-burning appliances, and more can all trigger asthma attacks. These small particles can enter your airway and irritate your lungs, exacerbating your asthma.
5. Upper respiratory infections
You are likely suffering from an asthma attack if you notice the following symptoms:
Pollen As An Asthma Trigger
Pollen is naturally released into the atmosphere by plants, trees and weeds at certain parts of the year. It is made of different types of proteins that most of people dont react to. But, the research seems to suggest that roughly one in five people will experience a hyperactive response to pollen, leading to the release of histamine into the system and the subsequent symptoms such as:
- Itchy or red eyes
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Identifying Asthma Triggers With Allergy Testing
Determining what triggers a personâs asthma is often difficult.
Allergy testing is appropriate when there is a suspicion that some avoidable substance is provoking attacks. Skin testing Skin testing Allergic reactions are inappropriate responses of the immune system to a normally harmless substance. Usually, allergies make people sneeze the eyes water and itch… read more 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.
Illnesses And Health Conditions As Asthma Triggers
Catching a cold or influenza is rather unpleasant even when you dont have an underlying chronic health condition. But for asthmatics, these usual health problems can become a source of real trouble. As these infections affect the respiratory tract, causing inflammation processes and production of excess mucus, they can easily trigger an asthma attack and a serious one at that!
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How Asthma Affects The Lungs
Normally, the bodys immune system helps fight infections. But it may also respond to other things you breathe in, such as pollen or mold. In some people, the immune system reacts strongly by creating inflammation.
When this happens, the airways swell, narrow, and may create more mucus. The muscles around the airways may also tighten. This can make it even harder to breathe. Over time, the airway walls can become thicker.
To understand asthma, it helps to understand how the lungs work.
What Causes Asthma
Researchers dont know why some people have asthma while others dont. But certain factors present a higher risk:
- Allergies: Having allergies can raise your risk of developing asthma.
- Environmental factors: People can develop asthma after exposure to things that irritate the airways. These substances include allergens, toxins, fumes and second- or third-hand smoke. These can be especially harmful to infants and young children whose immune systems havent finished developing.
- Genetics: If your family has a history of asthma or allergic diseases, you have a higher risk of developing the disease.
- Respiratory infections: Certain respiratory infections, such as respiratory syncytial virus , can damage young childrens developing lungs.
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Who Can Get Asthma
Statistics show that people assigned female at birth tend to have asthma more than people assigned male at birth. Asthma affects Black people more frequently than other races.
Medical History And Physical Exam
Your doctor will ask about your risk factors for asthma and your symptoms. They may ask also about any known allergies. This includes how often symptoms occur, what seems to trigger your symptoms, when or where symptoms occur, and if your symptoms wake you up at night.
During the physical exam, your doctor may:
- Listen to your breathing and look for symptoms of asthma
- Look for allergic skin conditions, such as eczema
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How Do I Manage Stress
Learn to change thought patterns that produce stress. What you think, how you think, what you expect and what you tell yourself often determine how you feel and how well you manage rising stress levels.
Reduce stressors . Identify the major stressors in your life: money problems, relationship problems, grief, too many deadlines, busy schedule and lack of support. Get professional help for problems that are too difficult to deal with by yourself.
Try to avoid situations that trigger stress for you. Practice effective time-management skills, such as delegating when appropriate, setting priorities, pacing yourself and taking time out for yourself.
Practice relaxation exercises. Relaxation exercises are simple to perform and combine deep breathing, releasing of muscle tension and clearing of negative thoughts. If you practice these exercises regularly, you can use them when needed to lessen the negative effects of stress. Relaxation exercises include diaphragmatic and pursed lip breathing, imagery, repetitive phrases and progressive muscle relaxation. Many commercial audiotapes and books that teach these exercises are available.
Exercise! Its an excellent way to burn off the accumulated effects of stress.
Get enough sleep. If you are not sleeping well, you will have less energy and fewer resources for coping with stress. Developing good sleep habits is very important. Here are some tips:
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