Early Symptoms Of A Flare Up You Might Not Recognize
We all know the hallmark signs that we are about to experience a flare up of our autoimmune symptoms. You cant ignore the debilitating fatigue, unusual rashes, and fevers, or achy joints and muscles that announce we are under serious attack by our immune system. But did you realize that our body offers us subtle clues our immune system is gearing up for a fight long before the obvious symptoms kick in? If we can become adept at listening to our body we can offer it the extra rest and TLC it needs to prepare to win a flare up battle. Here are ten of the early symptoms of a flare-up that you might not recognize.
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Can Persistent Cough Be A Symptom Of Covid
A persistent cough can be a symptom of covid-19 along with loss of smell, fever and body pain. Cough can affect more than 46% of adults with covid-19 and is less common in children. The cough is usually dry. However, if you develop an underlying lung condition, you may cough mucus or phlegm. If you have already Tested Positive Covid-19 and is coughing green or yellow phlegm, it may be a sign of secondary bacterial infection in your lungs that requires proper treatment.
If you cough more than normal and without apparent explanation, better get tested for covid-19, self-isolate yourself and follow covid-19 protocol.
What To Do If You Have An Asthma Attack
If you think youre having an asthma attack, you should:
Never be frightened of calling for help in an emergency.
Try to take the details of your medicines with you to hospital if possible.
If your symptoms improve and you do not need to call 999, get an urgent same-day appointment to see a GP or asthma nurse.
This advice is not for people on SMART or MART treatment. If this applies to you, ask a GP or asthma nurse what to do if you have an asthma attack.
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What Is The Best Way To Live With Asthma
The key to good living with asthma is developing a strong partnership between patients, caregivers, and physicians. Practical steps include the following:
Make an asthma care management plan with your physician. An asthma management plan helps you understand what to do when specific situations arise. Each time you visit the physician, talk about your plan, and make any necessary changes.
Educate yourself. Stay informed about the latest developments in asthma and allergy care and treatment. Ask your physician about new medications or research findings that may relate to your care.
Get regular medical care. If you have asthma, you should see your physician at least once a year, even if your symptoms are under control. When you become sick, or if you have significant changes in your health, you should also talk with your physician about how your asthma could be affected.
Take your medicine. Your asthma medications will make you feel better and sometimes people think thats the time to stop. Its not! Use your medications as prescribed.
With good management, asthma symptoms can be controlled. Most people who develop adult onset asthma are able to lead normal lives. Expect success!
Having An Asthma Action Plan
You and your doctor will also put together an asthma action plan. This is a personalised set of instructions that includes a list of your usual asthma medications and doses, guidance on what to do in different situations , and your doctors contact details.
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What Kind Of Face Mask Should I Wear
There are many options for cloth face masks. You can buy disposable or reusable face masks at many major retail stores or online, or you can make your own. Fabric made from 100% cotton, such as heavy-duty quilt fabric or a knit T-shirt, can be somewhat effective.
Finding a mask that is comfortable and fits well will provide the best protection, If you feel the need to readjust or pull on your mask, it does not fit well. The CDC recommends:
- Masks with multiple layers of fabric
- Masks that fit snugly against the sides of your face without any gaps
- Masks that cover your nose, mouth, and chin
- Masks with inner filter pockets
- Masks with a metal strip or nose guard to keep air from leaking out
- Using a mask fitter or brace over a disposable or cloth mask to prevent air leaking out of the sides and top
- Wearing one disposable mask underneath a cloth mask
- Knot and tuck ear loops of a three-ply mask
Children two years and older should wear a mask that is made for children to ensure a snug without any gaps.
Do not choose masks that:
- Are made of fabric that makes it hard to breathe, such as vinyl
- Have exhalation valves or vents which allow virus particles to escape, unless the inside of the valve/vent is covered by fabric
Do not wear two disposable masks at a time or combine a KN95 mask with any other mask.
The WHO recommends masks that have three layers:
- An outer water-resistant layer
- A middle layer of non-woven fabric
- An inner layer of cotton
When To Call A Professional
- Difficulty breathing
Some children with asthma may not complain specifically of shortness of breath. However, they may flare their nostrils or use their chest and neck muscles when breathing. These are signs that they are having trouble.
If you already have been diagnosed with asthma, call your doctor if your symptoms:
- Are getting worse
- Are not being controlled by your regular medications
For example, call your doctor if you must use your rescue bronchodilator more than four times a day. Also call if your peak-flow-meter readings are in the yellow or red zones.
If you have an asthma attack and your symptoms persist despite your usual medications, seek emergency help immediately.
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What To Do When Your Asthma Flares Up
When it comes to asthma, you might have a lot of questions on your mind including What are asthma flare ups?, What causes asthma flare ups?, What to do when your asthma flares up?, Can asthma flare up during pregnancy? and Can stress cause asthma flare ups.
In this article, we provide you with some practical tips on what to do if your asthma is acting up as well as some questions that we get asked frequently about asthma flare ups.
What Types Of Asthma Are There
Healthcare providers identify asthma as intermittent or persistent . Persistent asthma can be mild, moderate or severe. Healthcare providers base asthma severity on how often you have attacks. They also consider how well you can do things during an attack.
Asthma can be:
- Allergic: Some peoples allergies can cause an asthma attack. Molds, pollens and other allergens can cause an attack.
- Non-allergic: Outside factors can cause asthma to flare up. Exercise, stress, illness and weather may cause a flare.
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Side Effects Of Asthma Medication
If you are worried about possible side effects from asthma medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop or reduce doses of medication for your child without speaking with your doctor. Common side effects from inhaled asthma medication:
- sore mouth and throat
- fungal throat infections.
Using a spacer reduces the risk of these side effects. as does rinsing the mouth with water after using an inhaler.
- fast heart beat.
What To Do During An Attack
If you are having an asthma attack, then try to stay calm. This is easier said than done, but remaining calm will keep your breath steady and make it easier for you to deal with symptoms. Your first line of defense will be a rescue inhaler or other emergency treatments given to you by your doctor. You and your doctor can also create an asthma care plan, which will be your step-by-step guide for handling flare ups.
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Who Is At Risk For Asthma
Asthma affects people of all ages, but it often starts during childhood. Certain factors can raise your risk of having asthma:
- Being exposed to secondhand smoke when your mother is pregnant with you or when you are a small child
- Being exposed to certain substances at work, such as chemical irritants or industrial dusts
- Genetics and family history. You are more likely to have asthma if one of your parents has it, especially if it’s your mother.
- Race or ethnicity. Black and African Americans and Puerto Ricans are at higher risk of asthma than people of other races or ethnicities.
- Having other medical conditions such as allergies and obesity
- Often having viral respiratory infections as a young child
- Sex. In children, asthma is more common in boys. In teens and adults, it is more common in women.
Managing Your Asthma Flare
Am Fam Physician. 1998 Jul 1 58:109-113.
See related article on asthma.
To keep your asthma under control, you need to know what to do when you have a flare-up of symptoms . First, you need to know the symptoms that tell you your asthma is getting worse . Second, you need to know how to treat your asthma when it gets worse. Early treatment of flare-ups works the best and will help get your asthma under control quickly.
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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 Asthma Action Plan 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 .
Your Gp Or Asthma Nurse Can Help Your Asthma Symptoms
Theres a lot your GP or asthma nurse can do to help stop symptoms building up to an asthma attack. Book an appointment now to get the support you need to lower your risk.
Your GP/asthma nurse can:
- Talk to you about why your asthma symptoms have got worse
- Check youre taking your preventer medicine every day. If you havent been taking it regularly, they can suggest ways to get into a good routine with it so its easier to remember.
- Look at your inhaler technique to make sure youre getting the medicine you need
- Suggest a higher dose, or more puffs, of your preventer inhaler for a while
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How Can We Help Prevent Asthma Flare
To help prevent asthma flare-ups:
- Make sure your child always has quick-relief medicine and the spacer available.
- Teach your child how to avoid asthma triggers.
- Make sure your child takes the long-term control medicine as the doctor directed. Even when your child feels well, it’s important not to skip it.
- Make sure your child gets a yearly flu vaccine, and washes his or her hands well and often to avoiding germs that lead to colds and other illnesses.
- Work with the doctor on an effective asthma action plan.
Reviewed by: Aledie Amariah Navas Nazario, MD
What Causes Adults To Develop Asthma
At least 30% of adult asthma cases are triggered by allergies. People who are allergic to cats may have an increased risk for developing adult onset asthma. Exposure to allergens or irritants such as cigarette smoke, chemicals, mold, dust, or other substances commonly found in the persons environment might trigger the first asthma symptoms in an adult.
Prolonged exposure to certain workplace materials may set off asthma symptoms in adults.
Hormonal fluctuations in women may play a role in adult onset asthma. Some women first develop asthma symptoms during or after a pregnancy. Women going through menopause can develop asthma symptoms for the first time.
Different illnesses, viruses, or infections can be a factor in adult onset asthma. A bad cold or a bout with the flu is often a factor in adult onset asthma.
Smoking does not cause adult onset asthma however, if you smoke or if you are exposed to cigarette smoke , it may provoke asthma symptoms.
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These Are The Most Common Asthma Triggers
Among those who have asthma, symptoms present in various ways and for some more often than for others. While some people experience asthma symptoms on a daily basis, others have symptoms only when they encounter specific triggers.
Some common asthma triggers are:
- Airborne allergens or irritants, including dust, pollen, mold, and pet hair
- Infections, including the flu, sinusitis, and, in some cases, upper respiratory tract infections
- Smoke or chemical fumes
Is Fatigue A Sign Of Asthma
Response from Leon C. Lebowitz, BA, RRT:
Asthma is characterized by hypersensitivity of the airways. We tend to describe the main symptoms of asthma as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness, which may include pain or pressure.3
Waking up at night and concomitant fatigue are characteristics of poorly controlled asthma. Inadequate rest and sleep during the night subsequently impacts normal functioning during the day. Again, this may manifest itself as a feeling of being tired and/or feeling constantly exhausted.3
Persistent bouts of coughing combined with increased use of one’s accessory muscles during asthma exacerbations often results in muscle fatigue and sometimes, muscle pain. The constant wheezing that can accompany exacerbations also contributes towards a feeling of being weakened, tired, and fatigued.2
The best approach to treating the fatigue that is associated with one’s asthma is to keep it under control. Signs that asthma may be out of control include more frequent use of one’s rescue inhaler, increased shortness of breath, self-limiting physical activities because of one’s asthma condition, and any other signs that are specific for the individual.2
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Fatigue And Asthma May Coexist
Response from Lorene Alba, AE-C:
Fatigue can be associated with asthma in many ways. Feeling tired can be an early warning sign that an asthma episode may be coming. Since asthma can worsen at night, symptoms can keep you from getting a good nights sleep. Fatigue is also common after having an asthma episode, so you may feel tired or even exhausted for several days or more.2
When To Seek Emergency Care For An Asthma Attack
Although some asthma attacks are mild and easily managed at home, severe cases should be taken very seriously and treated immediately by an emergency medical professional. Even more mild cases may need medical attention if the symptoms do not settle after a few minutes. If you notice the asthma sufferer is beginning to turn blue in the lips or nails or is becoming increasingly dizzy, take them to an emergency room near you as quickly as possible or call 911. Asthma medicine may need to be administered immediately.
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Case : When You Are Using Your Inhaler More Than Normal
If you feel that using your inhaler is of no much help when you use it, this signals that you have asthma flareups. You are advised to start monitoring how many times you use your inhaler on a given week. You can do so by taking a note on your phone or write it in a diary. This helps you with detecting what exactly causes your asthma flareups. For example, pollen might be the reason if you use your inhaler mostly following your outdoor activities.
Causes Of Asthma Flare
People with asthma have airways that are overly sensitive to certain things that normally dont bother those without asthma, and exposure to triggers can bring on asthma symptoms.
Common triggers include:
Many people with asthma also have allergies. In them, allergens the things that cause the allergic symptoms also can cause asthma flare-ups.
Left untreated, a flare-up can last for several hours or even several days. Quick-relief medicines often take care of the symptoms pretty quickly. A person should feel better once the flare-up ends, although it can take several days to completely go away.
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What Are Signs And Symptoms Of Adult Onset Asthma
Regardless of age, asthma symptoms can include:
Dry cough, especially at night or in response to specific triggers
Tightness or pressure in the chest
Wheezing a whistling sound when exhaling
Shortness of breath after exercise or physical exertion
Colds that go to the chest or hang on for 10 days or more
Sighing And Quick Breathing
Shortness of breath is a classic asthma symptom. Its the result of airway constriction during a flare-up.
Taking quick breaths is a more unusual asthma symptom, though. Its done as a means of getting more oxygen into the lungs.
Rapid breathing may also come in the form of constant sighing or yawning. You may not even realize youre doing it. While sighing is often due to stress or anxiety, it occasionally can be a sign of asthma.
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