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What Does It Mean To Have Asthma

Global Alliance Against Chronic Respiratory Diseases

Does Wheezing Mean You Have Asthma?

The Global Alliance against Chronic Respiratory Diseases contributes to WHOs work to prevent and control chronic respiratory diseases. GARD is a voluntary alliance of national and international organizations and agencies from many countries committed to the vision of a world where all people breathe freely.

What Causes An Asthma Attack

An asthma attack can happen when you are exposed to asthma triggers. Your asthma triggers can be very different from someone elses asthma triggers. Know your triggers and learn how to avoid them. Watch out for an attack when you cant avoid your triggers. Some of the most common triggers are tobacco smoke, dust mites, outdoor air pollution, cockroach allergen, pets, mold, smoke from burning wood or grass, and infections like flu.

How To Determine Whether Asthma Is A Disability Under The Ada

The facts of a particular situation will determine whether the court considers asthma to be a disability.

Lets just say that having an asthma attack once when you were 12 likely wouldnt qualify as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act .

How do you show that your asthma is a disability? For your specific case, youre going to have to show one of three things. Under the ADA, a plaintiff must show that she:

  • has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities
  • has a record of such an impairment or
  • is regarded as having such an impairment.

In law, we often refer to lists like the above as elements. And we generally refer to all of the elements together as a test.

The test for disability is whether a plaintiff can prove one of the elements. This is an or test. As you can see, the list is separated by the word or. That is how you know that the test only requires proof of one element.

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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.

How Can You Tell If You Have Asthma

What does it mean to have mild asthma?

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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Prevention And Management Of Severe Asthma

Alongside taking your medication as prescribed, the best way to reduce the risk of severe asthma attacks and worsening symptoms is to avoid triggers as much as possible.

As part of your asthma management plan, its important to monitor your severe asthma symptoms. Its useful to keep a written record of your symptoms, when they occur and any triggers that may be involved. For example, your symptoms might be triggered by environmental factors, such as seasonal pollen. For women, a change in hormone levels may make things worse.

Further information: webinars and learning modules

What Does Air Trapping In The Lungs Mean

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How Do I Know If Its Smokers Cough

Smoking is also a major cause of persistent cough, which usually affects long-term smokers.

The toxins in the cigarette damage the airways resulting in a smokers cough. Prolonged coughing can cause hoarseness and chest pain which further leads to lung cancer.

A smokers cough is more like a forceful cough during which a person pushes out air to clear the irritants blocking the airways.

Common symptoms of smokers cough include:

  • Last longer than 2-3 weeks.
  • Wheezing or crackling sound.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Asthma

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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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Symptoms Of A Severe Asthma Attack

If you suddenly experience a severe asthma attack, then you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • A bluish tint to your lips, face or fingernails
  • Feeling that you need to stand up or sit in order to try and breathe more easily
  • Feeling confused or agitated
  • Being unable to speak in full sentences
  • Feeling very short of breath and unable to inhale or exhale fully
  • Rapid breathing
  • Symptoms that dont get better after using a reliever inhaler.

With a very severe asthma attack, the usual symptoms of wheezing or coughing might not worsen. This is because your airways may be so affected that you cant get enough air in or out of your lungs to cause wheezing sounds or make you cough.

It is a medical emergency and you should go to a hospital immediately. Compared to mild asthma attacks that may only last a few minutes, severe asthma attacks can last from hours to days and may be life-threatening if left untreated.

Assessment tools

Physical Or Mental Impairments

To be disabled under the ADA, you must have a physical or mental impairment. Not everything that keeps you from doing activities is an impairment. But, the ADA uses a broad definition.

A physical impairment is any medical disorder, condition, or loss that affects the body. These can be:

  • Neurological

A mental impairment is any mental or cognitive disorder. This includes:

  • Intellectual disability,

What qualifies for the ADA?

Physical or mental impairments covered by the ADA include:

  • AIDS, and its symptoms
  • Blindness or other visual impairments
  • Cancer
  • Bisexuality or homosexuality

Does drug addiction qualify?

Casual drug use is not an impairment. This applies to unlawful drugs and to prescription drug use. There are few situations where drug addiction qualifies under the ADA. One is if someone has a history of addiction or is thought to be addicted to drugs.The addiction could qualify as an impairment. It is not an impairment if someone has a history of addiction and is now using illegal drugs.

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Who Strategy For Prevention And Control Of Asthma

Asthma is included in the WHO Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

WHO is taking action to extend diagnosis of and treatment for asthma in a number of ways.

The WHO Package of Essential Noncommunicable Disease Interventions was developed to help improve NCD management in primary health care in low-resource settings. PEN includes protocols for the assessment, diagnosis, and management of chronic respiratory diseases , and modules on healthy lifestyle counselling, including tobacco cessation, and self-care.

Reducing tobacco smoke exposure is important for both primary prevention of asthma and disease management. The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control is enabling progress in this area as are WHO initiatives such as MPOWER and mTobacco Cessation.

Court Cases: Ada And Face Masks

Diagnosing Asthma: Mild, Moderate, and Severe

Resurrection School v. Hertel

In a ruling handed down on August 23, 2021, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, upheld a district court ruling that refused to block a mask mandate put in place by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Resurrection Catholic Elementary School sued Elizabeth Hertel, the Director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, claiming the face mask mandate was a violation of their rights to free exercise of religion, equal protection, and due process, because face masks hide faces made in Gods image and likeness. Although the mask mandate in Michigan was lifted before this decision, the Sixth Circuits decision is important in the event a new mask mandate is imposed. The court relied on a rational basis test, saying the state has a legitimate interest to keep the public safe and that the mandate applied to all elementary schools and did not single out religious education institutions.

Pletcher v. Giant Eagle Inc.

Bunn v. Nike, Inc.

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Can Asthma Be Cured

There is currently no known cure for asthma, but with proper diagnosis and asthma management it is fully possible for people with asthma to live healthy, active and symptom-free lives.

There is still much research that needs to be done to fully understand how to prevent, treat and cure asthma. Asthma Canadas National Research Program is committed to supporting leading asthma researchers and graduate student researchers working to expand our knowledge and one day, unlock a cure.

What Employers Are Covered By The Ada

Job discrimination against people with disabilities is illegal if practiced by:

  • private employers,
  • and labor-management committees.

The part of the ADA enforced by the EEOC outlaws job discrimination by:

  • all employers, including State and local government employers, with 25 or more employees after July 26, 1992, and
  • all employers, including State and local government employers, with 15 or more employees after July 26, 1994.

Another part of the ADA, enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice, prohibits discrimination in State and local government programs and activities, including discrimination by all State and local governments, regardless of the number of employees, after January 26, 1992.

Because the ADA establishes overlapping responsibilities in both EEOC and DOJ for employment by State and local governments, the Federal enforcement effort is coordinated by EEOC and DOJ to avoid duplication in investigative and enforcement activities. In addition, since some private and governmental employers are already covered by nondiscrimination and affirmative action requirements under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, EEOC, DOJ, and the Department of Labor similarly coordinate the enforcement effort under the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act.

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What We Know About Asthma And Covid

Asthma is a pre-existing lung condition affecting 1 in 13 people in the U.S. It can cause wheezing, chest tightness, coughing, and shortness of breath. Asthma can be controlled by taking medications and avoiding triggers.

COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The virus affects cells in the airways, from the nose and throat down to the deepest parts of the lungs. In the nose and throat it might cause symptoms of a cold. In the upper airways, it might cause some breathlessness and cough. When the coronavirus lodges itself deep in the lungs, this is when things can start to get serious. Here, the coronavirus commonly causes a double lung infection, or bilateral pneumonia.

Interestingly, research so far does not suggest any link between having asthma and getting a more severe COVID-19 illness, or between asthma and coronavirus deaths.

Whether this is because the SARS-CoV-2 virus doesnt affect people with asthma in the same way as other respiratory viruses, or because there simply isnt enough data yet, remains to be seen.

Do You Have An Asthma Cough

Does Wheezing Mean You Have Asthma?

Asthma cough can be challenging.

It can be embarrassing or awkward to have an ongoing cough, especially amid increased anxiety over health during COVID-19 times.

When we released a blog last year on COVID-19 and asthma coughing, it had a huge response. People with asthma told us about the stigma and social isolation they were feeling about their coughing during the pandemic.

A cough is a way the body attempts to expel irritants in the lungs. But when the cough is due to inflammation of the lungs in asthma, and exposure to triggers, then the cough can continue.

Here is what you need to know about asthma cough.

In asthma, the airways are inflamed and overly responsive to triggers, such as cold and dry air, colds and flu, smoke, dust, and pollens. For some people, the coughing can start after exercise.

The amount and severity of cough can change depending on the weather and the season.

Taking your preventer medication as prescribed, and in line with your , may improve the cough symptoms by reducing the inflammation in the airways.

We encourage you if you are experiencing any asthma symptoms, to speak with your doctor as it may indicate that you are due for an asthma review.

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The Americans With Disabilities Act

This federal law demands that employers give workers with disabilities full access to everything that a worker without a disability may have. Employees can also request that policies or practices within the company that discriminate against employees with disabilities be altered. The ADA prohibits employers from discriminating against employees with disabilities in all employment areas and requires that reasonable accommodations be considered through an interactive process.

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.

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Explaining Your Symptoms To Your Gp

Its a good idea to start a diary of your symptoms before speaking to your GP. Taking note of when symptoms flare-up may help you to understand your triggers. This diary will then help your GP to understand and properly assess your condition. You could also try filming your symptoms if they are hard to describe.

There are several different tests for asthma – so your GP wont be able to diagnose you straightaway. Our advice on diagnosing asthma explains this process in more detail.

Surprising Signs Of Adult

What is Severe Asthma?

This post is available in: Spanish

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 , 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.

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Asthma Signs & Symptoms

People with asthma experience symptoms due to inflammation in the airways. They might only occur when you encounter an asthma trigger. Common symptoms that can lead to a diagnosis of asthma include:

  • Persistent or recurring coughing: which often occurs at night or early in the morning, although it can happen at any time. Coughing is a major feature of asthma, especially in children and can sometimes be the only sign of asthma.
  • Wheezing: is difficulty breathing accompanied by a whistling sound coming from your airways
  • Shortness of breath: gives you the feeling that you cant get enough air into your lungs, and may even find it difficult to eat, sleep or speak
  • Chest tightness: an unpleasant sensation of heaviness or pressure in the chest that can make it hard to breathe
  • Increased mucus production: is characterized by high levels of thick fluid or phlegm accumulating in your airways
  • Difficulty breathing while exercising: having trouble breathing while performing physical activities can be a sign of asthma
  • Losing Sleep: Being unable to sleep through the night because of breathing troubles

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