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What Causes Wheezing In Asthma

Breathing In A Foreign Object

What Causes Wheezing?

If a foreign object is inhaled into your nose or respiratory tract it can get stuck and make it difficult for you to breathe. Children between the ages of 1 and 3 are most likely to breathe in foreign objects. Examples of things that might be inhaled include foods like nuts and seeds, and other small objects like buttons, beads, and marbles. This can cause choking, coughing and wheezing. It might also lead to infection and inflammation.5

What to do: If your child is having trouble breathing her airways might have become completely blocked and she might need immediate medical attention. And if symptoms like choking and coughing have gone away keep a look out for signs of infection.

An Introduction To Tight Chests And Hayfever

People afflicted by asthma may also be prone to hayfever. In fact asthma and hayfever are often grouped together and termed atopy by doctors. This is because the individual has an increased tendency to develop allergies and typical symptoms of chest tightness and wheezing often occur in both conditions. Atopic individuals can also be prone to skin allergies or eczema.

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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.

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Itchy Face And Throat

Some people with asthma may also experience an itchy face and throat in addition to the more traditional symptoms of wheezing and coughing.

These itchy sensations arent related to asthma itself but may be instead attributed to allergies. If allergens trigger your asthma symptoms, then you may have a subtype called allergic asthma.

When you have allergic asthma, you may experience more traditional asthma symptoms. along with:

  • itchy skin

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The Triggers Are In Your Environment

Wheezing : Causes and Treatment

While many different substances can trigger allergic asthma, they all have one thing in common: Theyre in the environment, not in your food or your medication.

Pet dander, dust mites, cockroaches, mold and pollen can all trigger allergic asthma, says Dr. Purcell.

If pollen or mold trigger the condition, it may occur only seasonally. If your pets or the dust mites on your bedding trigger it, you may suffer year-round, he notes.

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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.

Want to know more?

Making The Diagnosis Of Vcd

The diagnosis of VCD is definitively established by direct visualization of the vocal cords while the patient is having symptoms . Classic vocal cord dysfunction is characterized by adduction of the anterior two thirds of the vocal cords with a characteristic posterior chink observed during inspiration. Wood and Milgrom2 provide a detailed description of diagnostic laryngoscopy, including recommendations of how to differentiate true VCD from vocal cord movement induced by the procedure itself . A normal laryngoscopy in the absence of acute symptoms does not exclude the diagnosis of VCD, as approximately half of the laryngoscopies done without first provoking VCD symptoms were normal in patients ultimately diagnosed with VCD.1 Accordingly, various challenge procedures have been recommended before laryngoscopy, including methacholine or histamine, specific irritant, and exercise.2,13 If vocal cord adduction is not seen in a symptomatic patient, the diagnosis of VCD should be questioned.

Njira L. Lugogo, Monica Kraft, in, 2008

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What Is An Asthma Attack

An asthma attack may include coughing, chest tightness, wheezing, and trouble breathing. The attack happens in your bodys airways, which are the paths that carry air to your lungs. As the air moves through your lungs, the airways become smaller, like the branches of a tree are smaller than the tree trunk. During an asthma attack, the sides of the airways in your lungs swell and the airways shrink. Less air gets in and out of your lungs, and mucous that your body makes clogs up the airways.

You can control your asthma by knowing the warning signs of an asthma attack, staying away from things that cause an attack, and following your doctors advice. When you control your asthma:

  • you wont have symptoms such as wheezing or coughing,
  • youll sleep better,
  • you wont miss work or school,
  • you can take part in all physical activities, and
  • you wont have to go to the hospital.

How Does Asthma Affect You Physically

Sounds of Asthma – Wheezing Lung Sounds

When you experience a trigger, the insides of your airways swell even more. This narrows the space for air to move in and out of the lungs. The muscles that wrap around your airways also can tighten, making breathing even harder. When that happens, its called an asthma flare-up, asthma episode or asthma attack.

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Asthma Uk Community Forum

I am trying to tackle my worsening asthma by getting fitter, but because the exercise can often exacerbate symptoms, cause breathlessness or a coughing fit I take some precautionary ventolin in advance. This is usually effective . Anyway, even though my work is very sedentary, I had always thought of myself as not too unfit, although knew I wasnt the fittest around. However, when inputting my timings and exercise heart rate details into these online calculators in order to assess my progress, I have been shocked about how poor my figures are. It may simply be a combination of my persistent asthma and previous unfitness, and the fact that I am not very tall, so would cover distances less quickly than some in my age groupHowever, I am wondering whether the pre-exercise ventolin, or the seretide also, might affect my heart rate slightly, and that really I cannot compare myself therefore in normal ban dings such as these online fitness calculators.

Anyone have any knowledge or experience in this? Its a bit dispiriting.

Dont forget that the majority of people youre comparing yourself to are very fit and have been fit for a long time. Their resting heart rate is likely to be lower than most people. When I was at my fittest my resting heart rate was 48.

How high does your heart rate go? Is it dangerously high and have you talked to your gp about it?

Will take it slowly and easy. Am no spring chicken after all.

How Asthma Is Treated

While there is no cure for asthma, there are a number of treatments that can help control the condition.

Treatment is based on two important goals, which are:

  • relieving symptoms;
  • preventing future symptoms and attacks

For most people, this will involve the occasional or, more commonly, daily use of medications, usually taken using an inhaler. However, identifying and avoiding possible triggers is also important.

You should have a personal asthma action plan agreed with your doctor or nurse that includes information about the medicines you need to take, how to recognise when your symptoms are getting worse, and what steps to take when they do so.

These symptoms are often worse at night and early in the morning, particularly if the condition is not well controlled. They may also develop or become worse in response to a certain trigger, such as exercise or exposure to an allergen.

Read our page on the;causes of asthma for more information about potential triggers.

Speak to your GP if you think you or your child may have asthma. You should also talk to your doctor or asthma nurse if you have been diagnosed with asthma and you are finding it difficult to control the symptoms.

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What Is Nocturnal Asthma

Nocturnal or night-time asthma is a severe form of a chronic condition and can disrupt the sleep and overall living quality of an individual. Nocturnal asthma is common in people diagnosed with asthma and can occur in individuals with any asthma, be it allergic, exercise-induced or occupational .

Studies show that 60 per cent of people with asthma report having nocturnal asthma symptoms.

Assessment Of The Body

Wheeze in Children

People with both conditions may appear to be working hard to breathe. Those experiencing heart failure may have a hard time breathing while lying flat. Their feet and ankles may be swollen. Their stomachs may appear bloated. Asthma usually does not present with a bloated stomach or feet or ankle swelling.7-8

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Nocturnal Asthma In Children

Childhood asthma, also termed paediatric asthma, is the same as that of asthma reported in adults. When a child has asthma, the lungs and airways become easily inflamed when exposed to triggers such as inhaling pollen or catching a cold or other respiratory infection.

The symptoms of this respiratory problem can make it difficult for your child to do everyday activities such as going to school, playing and even sleeping. There is no cure for asthma in children, but there are ways through which you can prevent the triggers and hence, limit the damage to the child’s growing lungs .

According to several studies, about 40 per cent of children with asthma have nocturnal asthma as well . Most of them had moderate to severe nocturnal asthma symptoms and had poorer sleep quality. The other symptoms observed in children with nocturnal asthma are as follows :

  • Parasomnias such as hallucinations, abnormal movements, sleepwalking and extreme emotions
  • Obstructed breathing
  • Night waking

Try Deep Belly Breathing

Best for: Wheezing because of anxiety;

Deep belly breathing can help you train your diaphragm, the muscle that sits below your lungs, to take on more of the work of breathing. This can help take some of the pressure off of constricted bronchial tubes that cause wheezing.

You can try deep belly breathing by following these steps:

  • Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet on the ground.
  • Place one hand on your belly and one on your chest so you can feel them rising and falling.
  • Breathe in through your nose, feeling the hand on your stomach rise and trying to keep your chest still.
  • Purse your lips and breathe out, pulling your stomach muscles inward and keeping your chest still.
  • Repeat until your breathing slows and becomes easier. With time, you may be able to try this exercise in a sitting position.
  • Breathing exercises can help control shortness of breath and normalize your breathing pattern when you are wheezing, says Ryan Thomas, MD, a pediatric pulmonologist and professor at Michigan State University.

    “But it does not usually treat the underlying cause, unless anxiety is a trigger for asthma,” Thomas says. For some people, feeling anxious can cause rapid breathing called hyperventilating, which can worsen symptoms of asthma. Deep belly breathing may be especially helpful for people with anxiety-triggered asthma to slow their breathing.;

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    Key Points About Wheezing

    • Asthma is the most common cause, but not all wheezing is caused by asthma.

    • Wheezing that starts suddenly in people without a lung disorder may be due to inhalation of a foreign object or a toxic substance, an allergic reaction, or heart failure.

    • Pulmonary function tests can identify and measure airway narrowing.

    • Inhaled bronchodilators can help relieve wheezing, but the disorder causing wheezing must also be treated.

    Additional Help For Your Asthma Symptoms

    Asthma Symptoms: What Causes Asthma Attacks?

    Asthma can make it difficult to engage in the physical activity you used to enjoy or begin an exercise routine that will improve your overall health. Regular consultation with your doctor, as well as treatment by specialists, can help you regain and maintain a high quality of life.

    The specialists at Crystal Run Healthcare have helped many asthma sufferers to manage their condition. We work with you to develop a customized treatment plan that involves our range of comprehensive asthma and allergy treatments to reduce your symptoms so you can get back to doing what you love. For a Crystal Run Healthcare primary care provider near you, call 1-845-703-6999.

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    When To Contact A Medical Professional

    • Occurs for the first time
    • Occurs with significant shortness of breath, bluish skin, confusion, or mental status changes
    • Keeps occurring without explanation
    • Is caused by an allergic reaction to a bite or medicine

    If wheezing is severe or occurs with severe shortness of breath, you should go directly to the nearest emergency department.

    Nocturnal Asthma: Causes Symptoms Risk Factors In Children And Treatment

    A chronic disease, asthma causes inflammation and narrowing of airways in the lungs. It causes wheezing , chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing. During an asthma attack, your airway muscles constrict, and mucous membranes produce excess mucus, blocking your breathing. Allergens such as dust, spores, animal hairs, cold air, infection and even stress can trigger asthma .

    Some of the most common types of asthma are adult-onset asthma, allergic asthma, nocturnal asthma, asthma-COPD overlap, non-allergic asthma, occupational asthma and childhood asthma .

    As studies point out, asthma symptoms tend to get worse by night and can disrupt sleep . When asthma worsens at night, it is clinically termed nocturnal asthma and causes wheezing, difficulty breathing etc.

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    Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

    Smoking is considered to be the main cause of COPD. Smoking can also worsen other conditions that cause wheezing.

    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a progressive lung disease which makes breathing difficult. This can happen because the walls of your air sacs or the walls between air sacs get damaged , or the lining of your airways is constantly irritated leading to the formation of thick mucus , or both.11 Smoking is considered to be the main cause of COPD. Long-term exposure to other things that can irritate your lungs like chemical fumes, air pollution etc. can also lead to COPD. In some cases, people who are genetically deficient in a protein known as alpha-1 antitrypsin can also develop this condition. COPD is usually observed in middle-aged or elderly people.

    Other symptoms that indicate COPD include coughing with or without phlegm, shortness of breath that worsens with activity, and fatigue

    What to do: COPD causes permanent damage to your lungs, however, there are some measures which can stop this condition from getting worse and help to ease symptoms. Your doctor may prescribe medicine and inhalers that can help you breathe better. Pulmonary rehabilitation exercises can also be helpful in teaching you to breathe better.12

    How Can You Tell If You Have Asthma

    Negative Effects of Secondhand Smoke

    It can be hard to tell if someone has asthma, especially in children under age 5. Having a doctor check how well your lungs work and check for allergies can help you find out if you have asthma.

    During a checkup, a doctor will ask if you cough a lot, especially at night. He or she will also ask whether your breathing problems are worse after physical activity or at certain times of year. The doctor will then ask about chest tightness, wheezing, and colds lasting more than 10 days. He or she will ask whether anyone in your family has or has had asthma, allergies, or other breathing problems. Finally, the doctor will ask questions about your home and whether you have missed school or work or have trouble doing certain things.

    The doctor may also do a breathing test, called spirometry, to find out how well your lungs are working by testing how much air you can breathe out after taking a very deep breath before and after you use asthma medicine.

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    Can We Prevent Wheezing From Asthma

    There is some fascinating research being done surrounding wheezing and how to prevent it, mostly in children. A team of researchers in Australia were interested in the effects of fruit and vegetable consumption on chronic wheezing. The results of the meta-analysis were mixed and they suggested further research with no suggestion of treatment other than fruits and vegetables are beneficial for other reasons.3

    A separate meta-analysis looked at how daily inhaled corticosteroids affected preschoolers with a reoccurring wheeze. The results were that daily ICS had optimal effectiveness at managing the wheezing.4 The issue with consistent medications like ICS at a young age are the lasting side effects of exposure to the substance–an entirely different research question that begs for answers.


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