Children With Allergies Can Go On To Develop Asthma
If your child tends to get allergies theyre said to be atopic. Being prone to allergies is usually something that runs in families. And if your child has one allergy theyre more likely to get another one.
For example, children with eczema, and a family history of allergy, are more at risk of developing asthma than other children.
GPs and researchers talk about the atopic march, says Dr Andy Whittamore, Asthma UKs in-house GP. This is when allergies appear in children in a certain order, depending on their age.
Sometimes allergies overlap, and sometimes your child will switch from one allergy to another. A small child with eczema may go on to have a food allergy, and then, as they get older, hay fever, and then asthma.
Possible Risk Factors That Need More Research
Experts aren’t yet sure:
- About the effect that pets in the home have on getting asthma. A review of several studies found that having a pet cat appeared to protect against asthma, while pet dogs slightly increased the risk of asthma. The effect of other furry pets on the risk of asthma was not clear.footnote 8 If your child already has asthma and allergies to pets, having a pet in the home may make his or her asthma worse.
There Are Many Different Types Of Asthma Brought On By Many Different Triggers
If youre struggling with asthma symptoms trouble breathing, a persistent cough or tightness in the chest an allergist can help you take control by providing a diagnosis and identifying the underlying causes.
Learn about the triggers and treatment for allergic asthma and how an allergist can help you manage allergy and asthma symptoms.
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Exposure To Triggers At Work
Occupational asthma is a type of asthma caused by certain things found in the workplace, such as chemicals or dust from flour or wood.
If you havent had asthma before and then get it because of the work you do, and if your symptoms improve when youre not at work, you probably have occupational asthma.
Occupational asthma is a common cause of adult onset asthma.
How Is It Treated
There are two parts to treating asthma, which are outlined in your asthma action plan. The goals are to:
- Control asthma over the long term. Your asthma action plan tells you which medicine to take. It also helps you track your symptoms and know how well the treatment is working. Many people take controller medicineâusually an inhaled corticosteroidâevery day. Taking it every day helps to reduce the swelling of the airways and prevent attacks. Your doctor will show you how to use your inhaler correctly. This is very important so you get the right amount of medicine to help you breathe better.
- Treat asthma attacks when they occur. Your asthma action plan tells you what to do when you have an asthma attack. It helps you identify triggers that can cause your attacks. You use quick-relief medicine, such as albuterol, during an attack.
If you need to use the quick-relief inhaler more often than usual, talk to your doctor. This may be a sign that your asthma is not controlled and can cause problems.
Asthma attacks can be life-threatening, but you may be able to prevent them if you follow a plan. Your doctor can teach you the skills you need to use your asthma action plan.
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Create An Asthma Action Plan
Both adults and children need to create an asthma action plan to outline what type of medicine they should take and when. It will also provide details for what to do when a persons asthma is dangerously out of control. These instructions will help you, your child, friends and relatives know when its time to change treatments or seek emergency care.
To make this plan, discuss your treatment options with your doctor. Plan what you should do in the event of an asthma flare-up. Define at what point you need to increase treatment measures to prevent or reduce an attack.
List what triggers can be avoided and the best ways to avoid them. Share this plan with friends, relatives, and any caregivers your children may have. Together, you will be able to successfully treat your or your childs asthma and avoid future complications.
Is There An App For That
There are variety of mobile apps available for people with asthma. These can be a useful way to learn about and take control of your asthma, eg, they can help you keep track of your symptoms, triggers, peak flow readings and medication. You can also create an asthma action plan together with your doctor or nurse. The Health Navigator app library team has reviewed some asthma apps that you may like to consider. Read more about asthma apps.
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Surprising Signs Of Adult
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That persistent cough that keeps you up at night may stem from more than just a tickle in the back of your throat. It could be adult-onset asthma.
Many people experience a jolt of disbelief when they are diagnosed with asthma later in life, especially if they have never experienced symptoms before. Asthma? That condition that causes kids to wheeze?
It turns out adult-onset asthma is far more common than many people realize. Asthma is often considered a disease of children, so adults may be surprised when they are diagnosed with asthma, says pulmonologist Javier Pérez-Fernández, M.D., the critical care director at Baptist Hospital of Miami.
The number of people with asthma grows every year. Currently, more than 26 million Americans have asthma, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of those cases, more than 20 million are among adults, with the greatest number of cases among ages 35 and 65.
Asthma is a chronic inflammation of the lung airways that can lead to coughing, chest tightness, shortness of breath or wheezing. Among adults who develop asthma later in life, the symptoms may initially be more subtle than in children, which can cause patients to overlook or ignore the condition. But its important to treat symptoms as soon as possible so they dont become severe, said Dr. Pérez-Fernández, who also serves as director of pulmonology for West Kendall Baptist Hospital.
A Consumers Guide To Drug Discounts
The updated guidelines also recommend a type of drug called a long-acting muscarinic antagonist to improve symptoms for these age groups. And for young children who wheeze only when they have a respiratory tract infection , the new guidelines recommend a short course of inhaled corticosteroids plus a rescue inhaler as needed. This can prevent worsening of breathing problems and forestall the need for corticosteroid pills.
Most asthma medications are breathed in through the use of an inhaler or nebulizer. There are two main types of inhalers a metered dose inhaler , which uses a pressurized medicine-filled canister, and a dry powder inhaler , containing medicine in powdered form. A nebulizer uses a mask and delivers medication as a mist. Its important to learn the different techniques for using these devices to ensure the medicine reaches your lungs.
There are few evidence-backed natural remedies for asthma, particularly if your case is severe. But lifestyle changes, like controlling stress, and some complementary therapies, like acupuncture, may help manage symptoms.
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Research For Your Health
The NHLBI is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health the Nations biomedical research agency that makes important scientific discovery to improve health and save lives. We are committed to advancing science and translating discoveries into clinical practice to promote the prevention and treatment of heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders, including asthma. Learn about the current and future NHLBI efforts to improve health through research and scientific discovery.
What Are The Symptoms Of Asthma
The symptoms of asthma include
- Chest tightness
- Shortness of breath
- Wheezing, which causes a whistling sound when you breathe out
These symptoms can range from mild to severe. You may have them every day or only once in a while.
When you are having an asthma attack, your symptoms get much worse. The attacks may come on gradually or suddenly. Sometimes they can be life-threatening. They are more common in people who have severe asthma. If you are having asthma attacks, you may need a change in your treatment.
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The Right Medicine For You
Medicine treatment for asthma depends on your age and type of asthma, and how well the treatment is controlling your asthma symptoms.
- The least amount of medicine that controls the asthma symptoms is used.
- The amount of medicine and number of medicines are increased in steps. So if asthma isn’t controlled at a low dose of one controller medicine, the dose may be increased. Or another medicine may be added.
- If the asthma has been under control for several months at a certain dose of medicine, the dose may be reduced. This can help find the least amount of medicine that will control the asthma.
- Quick-relief medicine is used to treat asthma attacks. But if you need to use quick-relief medicine a lot, the amount and number of controller medicines may be changed.
Your doctor will work with you to help find the number and dose of medicines that work best.
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.
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Why Is Asthma Difficult To Diagnose In Older Adults
A diagnosis of asthma may be missed in an older person because symptoms of other health conditions are similar to asthma symptoms and may mask the specific symptoms. Asthma symptoms among older adults are more likely to take the form of coughing with the production of sputum from the lungs. Your physician might interpret those symptoms as being due to other illnesses, such as chronic bronchitis or congestive heart failure. In particular, heart disease and emphysema, much more common in older adults, especially smokers, can mimic asthma symptoms.
Good to know . . . One of the ways in which asthma is recognized among younger people is by the symptoms of wheezing and difficulty breathing following exercise. When older adults become inactive, the opportunity for asthma to present itself lessens. If you experience asthma symptoms wheezing, shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, chronic cough with your regular activities such as housework, shopping, gardening, or walking, be sure to talk with your physician as soon as possible.
When the asthma symptoms are not recognized correctly, they may remain untreated, likely worsening and creating very serious health risks.
Breathing Tests For Diagnosing Adult
The breathing tests for asthma include:
- Spirometry how much air you can breathe out in a set time.
- Bronchodilator reversibility this is when two spirometry tests are done before and after a one-off dose of bronchodilator medication to see if the treatment helps. A positive BDR test usually confirms an asthma diagnosis.
- Peak expiratory flow monitoring measures how fast you can breathe out. You might be asked to monitor your PEF, often referred to simply as peak flow, at home for two to four weeks.
- Fractional exhaled nitric oxide measures the level of inflammation in your airways.
- Bronchial challenge investigates how sensitive your airways are to a deliberately administered irritant . This specialist test is only done under medical supervision in hospital.
Most people need just one or two tests to reach a diagnosis. After asthma is confirmed you might have one or more allergy tests to try to identify potential triggers.
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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.
Asthma Medication Is Important
Asthma can be well-controlled with the appropriate medication in almost all people. To maintain and improve your asthma control both in the short and long term, it is important to continue to take your asthma medications and discuss any symptoms and concerns with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
The main types of medication are:
- preventers that slowly make the airways less sensitive to triggers by reducing swelling and mucus inside the airways. This medication is taken daily. There are also combination preventer medications containing two different medications.
- relievers that act quickly to relieve symptoms by relaxing the tight muscles around the airways. This medication is used during an asthma attack
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What To Think About
One of the best tools for managing asthma is a daily controller medicine that has a corticosteroid . But some people worry about taking steroid medicines because of myths they’ve heard about them. If you’re making a decision about a steroid inhaler, it helps to know the facts.
At the start of asthma treatment, the number and dosage of medicines are chosen to get the asthma under control. Your doctor may start you at a higher dose within your asthma classification so that the inflammation is controlled right away. After the asthma has been controlled for several months, the dose of the last medicine added is reduced to the lowest possible dose that prevents symptoms. This is known as step-down care. Step-down care is believed to be a better way to control inflammation in the airways than starting at lower doses of medicine and increasing the dose if it is not enough.footnote 10
Because quick-relief medicine quickly reduces symptoms, people sometimes overuse these medicines instead of using the slower-acting long-term medicines. But overuse of quick-relief medicines may have harmful effects, such as reducing how well these medicines will work for you in the future.footnote 11
You may have to take more than one medicine each day to manage your asthma. Help yourself remember when to take each medicine, such as taping a note to your refrigerator to remind yourself.
Follow Your Asthma Action Plan
- Your asthma action plan describes which controller medicines to take every day to help delay the long-term effects of asthma. The action plan also contains the steps to treat asthma attacks. See an example of an asthma action plan .
- Use an asthma diary to help manage your asthma. Record your peak expiratory flow or your symptoms, or both. Also list the cause of your symptoms and what medicines you took for quick relief.
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What Is The Cause Of Asthma
It is unknown what causes asthma but considered to be a combination of environmental impact as well as family history and genetics.
Some of the common allergens that cause asthma to trigger
Asthma symptoms and indications are being triggered by exposure to numerous allergens and chemicals that cause allergies . Asthma triggers vary from person to person, but they can include:
- Sulfites and preservatives are used in the production of some foods and beverages.
How Is Asthma Treated
While asthma cannot be cured, the correct use of medicine combined with other self-care measures means that symptoms can be well controlled in most people.
Asthma treatment aims to keep your symptoms under control and prevent asthma attacks or sudden worsening of symptoms, so that your asthma does not interfere with your daily activities and you can enjoy a full and active life.
Generally there are 2 main approaches to the treatment of asthma, depending on whether you are using a budesonide/formoterol inhaler or a steroid inhaler with/without long-acting bronchodilator.
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What Is Good Asthma Care
Your doctor or nurse will tailor your asthma treatment to your symptoms. Sometimes you may need to be on higher levels of medication than at others.
You should be offered:
- care at your GP surgery provided by doctors and nurses trained in asthma management
- full information about your condition and how to control it
- involvement in making decisions about your treatment
- regular checks to ensure your asthma is under control and your treatment is right for you
- a written personal asthma action plan agreed with your doctor or nurse
It is also important that your GP or pharmacist teaches you how to properly use your inhaler, as this is an important part of good asthma care.