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What Happens If You Don’t Treat Asthma

How Do I Open My Airways

How does asthma work? – Christopher E. Gaw

If you have asthma, the best way to keep your airways open is to use your asthma medications as directed by your doctor. These medications can open your airways using a variety of mechanisms, including relaxing airway muscles or reducing inflammation.

Long-term control medications can help prevent the airways from narrowing and leading to asthma symptoms. When asthma symptoms do occur, quick-relief medications like your rescue inhaler can help to quickly open your airways.

In addition to using your asthma medications as directed, some other things that may help to open your airways include practicing breathing exercises or trying steam inhalation.

Do You Need Any Special Tests If You’re Pregnant And Have Asthma

If your asthma is under control and mild, you may not need any special tests. If your asthma is not well controlled or if your asthma is moderate to severe, your provider may recommend repeated ultrasounds to check to make sure your babys growing normally. Ultrasound uses sound waves and a computer screen to show a picture of your baby inside the womb. Your provider may start these at around 32 weeks of pregnancy.

Your provider also may recommend taking your babys heart rate with a fetal heart monitor. This allows him to check on your babys well-being.

Test results can alert your provider if you or your baby needs special care.

Asthma Uk Is Here To Support You

We have expert advice on how to manage your asthma well and what to do if you have an asthma attack.

We also have lots of tips on living with asthma, from doing sports and going on holiday, to studying with asthma and having relationships.

Explore our health advice web pages and . The more you know about your asthma, the better youll be able to work with your GP or asthma nurse to manage it well.

Speak to someone about your asthma

You can also call our Helpline on 00 222 5800 to speak to a respiratory nurse specialist. Or you can WhatsApp them on 0307378 606 728.

You can ask them anything from symptoms and treatments to living life without asthma getting in the way.

Next review due February 2024

You should not use Ventolin if you are allergic to albuterol.

Ventolin is not approved for use by anyone younger than 4 years old.

Albuterol may increase the risk of death or hospitalization in people with asthma, but the risk in people with obstructive airway disease or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is not known.

To make sure this medicine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • diabetes or

  • low levels of potassium in your blood.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known whether albuterol will harm an unborn baby. However, having uncontrolled asthma during pregnancy may increase the risk of premature birth, low birth weight, or eclampsia . The benefit of preventing bronchospasm may outweigh any risks to the baby.

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Asthma Control Severity And Unresponsiveness

For the majority of patients with asthma, control can be achieved with conventional therapy, and indeed some patients enjoy complete freedom from asthma symptoms using such therapy.10,11 Unfortunately, surveys in Canada and elsewhere have shown that many patients, perhaps the majority, fail to achieve adequate disease control.4,12 It is widely believed that this is not a consequence of intrinsically severe asthma, but rather of inadequate management, poor patient education or a combination of these 2 factors.4,13

A separate issue from symptom control is the definition of asthma severity.6,14 Frequent symptoms and exacerbations are not synonymous with severe disease. Patients with mild disease may have frequent symptoms or exacerbations if adequate maintenance therapy has not been prescribed or they are not taking their prescribed medications. Conversely, patients with severe disease may be free of symptoms and exacerbations if they have been given appropriate therapy. A simple guide to a patients degree of asthma severity is the minimum amount of medication that he or she needs to maintain disease control.15

What Is Asthma Anyway

What Happens During an Asthma Episode

First up, a little anatomy refresher: Your airways, which extend between your nose and mouth and your lungs, have the very important job of carrying air in and out of your body, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute . When you have asthma, triggers like animal fur, pollen, mold, cold air, cigarette smoke, exercise, and respiratory infections like colds cause your airways to get inflamed, according to the NHLBI. That inflammation can cause swelling, which in turn can prompt the muscles around your airways to tighten, making it hard to get air in and out. At the same time, your airways might also expel more mucus than they usually do, making it even harder to breathe.

Experts dont know exactly what causes some people to get asthma when others dont, but its pretty safe to assume that its probably a combination of environmental factors and genetic factors. For example, if someone in your immediate family has asthma, youre more likely to have it too, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Beyond that, the general cause is a stronger-than-normal response from your immune system to certain triggers, which is why you get all that inflammation when people without asthma dont, says the NHLBI.

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Reduce The Dangers Of Untreated Asthma

At the New York Asthma Allergy and Sleep Center, we work closely with patients, families and caregivers to keep asthma under control. We understand the barriers that families face in ensuring that their children have access to good care and the medications they need. Our team will work with you and follow up closely to ensure that your child is breathing better and is less at risk for serious exacerbation. Dr. Shukla and his staff aim to achieve the highest level of control at the lowest possible dose of medication.

How Do Healthcare Providers Diagnose Asthma

Your healthcare provider will review your medical history, including information about your parents and siblings. Your provider will also ask you about your symptoms. Your provider will need to know any history of allergies, eczema and other lung diseases.

Your provider may order spirometry. This test measures airflow through your lungs and is used to diagnose and monitor your progress with treatment. Your healthcare provider may order a chest X-ray, blood test or skin test.

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How Do You Monitor Asthma Symptoms

You should keep track of your asthma symptom. Its an important piece of managing the disease. Your healthcare provider may ask to use a peak flow meter. This device measures how fast you can blow air out of your lungs. It can help your provider make adjustments to your medication. It also tells you if your symptoms are getting worse.

Whats An Asthma Flare

Help a child suffering from an asthma attack #FirstAid #PowerOfKindness

An asthma flare-up is when asthma symptoms get worse, making someone wheeze, cough, or be short of breath. An asthma flare-up can happen even when asthma is controlled.

Asthma flare-ups are also called asthma attacks or exacerbations.

Triggers like allergies, respiratory infections , cigarette smoke, exercise, or even cold air can cause a flare-up and make asthma symptoms worse.

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Is It Safe To Take Asthma Medicine During Pregnancy

Asthma symptoms that dont stop or that get worse can be a risk to your and your baby. If you were taking asthma medicine before pregnancy, dont stop taking it without talking to your provider first.

If youre diagnosed with asthma during pregnancy, talk to your provider about the best way to treat or manage it.

If youre already getting allergy shots, you can keep taking them during pregnancy. But if you arent getting allergy shots, dont start taking them when youre pregnant because you could have a serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.

How Should I Use Albuterol Inhalation

Use albuterol inhalation exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use albuterol inhalation in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

You may need to prime your albuterol inhaler device before the first use. Your medicine comes with directions for priming if needed. You may also need to shake your albuterol device just before each use.

Keeping your inhaler clean is important to ensure you are receiving the medication. Clean the plastic actuator with the canister removed at least once a week. Your medicine comes with directions for properly cleaning your device.

Follow all medication instructions very carefully.

Do not allow a young child to use albuterol inhalation without help from an adult.

The usual dose of albuterol inhalation is 2 inhalations every 4 to 6 hours. To prevent exercise-induced bronchospasm, use 2 inhalations 15 to 30 minutes before you exercise. The effects of albuterol inhalation should last about 4 to 6 hours.

Seek medical attention if you think your asthma medications are not working as well. An increased need for medication could be an early sign of a serious asthma attack.

ProAir HFA, Proventil HFA, or Ventolin HFA must be shaken before each use. You do not need to shake ProAir RespiClick before using.

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How Can My Gp Or Asthma Nurse Help Me

If youre worried your asthma is difficult to control, its important to make an appointment with your GP or asthma nurse.

At your appointment, your GP or asthma nurse can:

  • talk about the medicines or doses youve been prescribed
  • check and update your asthma action plan
  • check your inhaler technique
  • check your peak flow and talk to you about monitoring your peak flow at home
  • talk through anything making your asthma worse, including possible allergies or triggers, including triggers at work
  • discuss any other health conditions youre managing alongside your asthma
  • give stop smoking advice if you smoke or advice about exercising or losing excess weight if this would help you
  • give advice about breathing, and suggest breathing exercises
  • answer any questions you may have write these down before you go so you dont forget anything you want to ask.
  • In some cases, there may be other conditions causing your symptoms. Your GP or asthma nurse can check to make sure youve been correctly diagnosed with asthma.

Can I get extra medicines to help my symptoms?

If youre taking your preventer inhaler every day as prescribed, and avoiding your triggers as much as possible, but your asthma is still difficult to control, your GP or asthma nurse may decide you need a different treatment plan.

This may include:

Whenever your GP makes a change to your usual prescription, you should get another appointment four to eight weeks later to check the new medicines are working and are right for you.

What Can I Do To Get Back In Control Of My Asthma Symptoms

6 things to do if you

Most of the time, with the right medicines and support you can improve your asthma symptoms.

You can help things along by:

  • taking your preventer inhaler every day, and any other medicines and treatments youve been prescribed
  • using a agreed with your GP or asthma nurse. Keep it up to date by taking it along to each appointment.
  • keeping a peak flow diary alongside a diary of your triggers and symptoms.
  • getting support to quit smoking and avoiding being around others who smoke
  • being open about how you feel stress, anxiety and depression are common for people with difficult asthma.

Use your preventer inhaler every day

You should notice a real difference to your symptoms if you use your preventer inhaler every day as prescribed. Your preventer inhaler works away in the background to prevent inflammation and swelling in your airways. Taking it every day means youre less likely to react to your asthma triggers, get symptoms, and have asthma attacks.

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Before Taking This Medicine

You should not use Ventolin if you are allergic to albuterol.

Ventolin is not approved for use by anyone younger than 4 years old.

Albuterol may increase the risk of death or hospitalization in people with asthma, but the risk in people with obstructive airway disease or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is not known.

To make sure this medicine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • diabetes or

  • low levels of potassium in your blood.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known whether albuterol will harm an unborn baby. However, having uncontrolled asthma during pregnancy may increase the risk of premature birth, low birth weight, or eclampsia . The benefit of preventing bronchospasm may outweigh any risks to the baby.

If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry to track the effects of albuterol on the baby.

It may not be safe to breastfeed while using Ventolin HFA. Ask your doctor about any risk.

A. Bettina Lopez-Lam, MS, CCC-SLP contributes to topics such as Speech-Language Pathology.

Having trouble breathing is always a scary experience. But if youve been diagnosed with asthma, and your inhaler doesnt help during these attacks, it can be frustrating, too.

Patients experiencing asthma symptoms can be misdiagnosed when in fact they are suffering from vocal cord dysfunction .

VCD causes many of the same symptoms as asthma:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest and throat tightness
  • Trouble breathing

Determine If You Have A More Severe Form Of Asthma

If your asthma is uncontrolled or partially controlled despite taking high-dose inhaled steroids plus a second controller medication, or taking oral corticosteroids, you may have severe asthma, according to guidelines from the American Thoracic Society and European Respiratory Society. Severe asthma doesnt respond to standard treatments, but there may be other options for you.

For instance, nearly half of people with severe asthma have high levels of eosinophils in their lungs and blood, according to the NHLBI. These white blood cells can build up and cause inflammation and swelling in your airways, and today, medications called biologics can be prescribed to target those eosinophils. To diagnose eosinophilic asthma, your doctor will perform a blood test, a sputum induction test, or a bronchial biopsy to measure your level of eosinophils.

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Know The 4 Steps Of Asthma First Aid

Its important for everyone in the community to know the 4 steps of asthma first aid.

One of the most common reliever medications in Australia is salbutamol, often known as your blue puffer. These are available over the counter from a chemist.

If you are not sure if someone is having an asthma attack, you can still use blue reliever medication because it is unlikely to cause harmCall triple zero immediately if:

  • the person is not breathing
  • their asthma suddenly becomes worse or is not improving
  • the person is having an asthma attack and theres no reliever medication available
  • the person is unsure if it is asthma
  • the person is known to have anaphylaxis. If this is the case, ALWAYS GIVE ADRENALINE AUTOINJECTOR FIRST, and then reliever, even if there are no skin symptoms.

What Else Should I Know

Pediatric Asthma â Pediatrics | Lecturio

Involving kids in their asthma care will help them take their medicines on time, every time. Explain how the medicines work and how much your child must take. Having an asthma action plan can help both of you learn what you need to know.

It’s also important to stress to kids that:

  • They should take their long-term control medicines as directed, even when feeling well.
  • They must keep their quick-relief medicine on hand, no matter where they are.
  • You can help by reminding your child to take the long-term control medicine as directed and to carry the quick-relief medicine when leaving the house. Also make sure that you don’t run out of medicine.

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    Do I Need To Stock Up On Medication

    Rizzo advises consumers to check with their pharmacy to find out what they know regarding the availability of all asthma medication, and keeping enough asthma medication on hand to see an individual through an illness that could possibly keep them housebound for several weeks.

    Sometimes patients pay ahead of time and get a three-month supply at a time, says Rizzo. A lot depends on how much patients can afford and what their insurance will cover.

    In April, the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology issued a statement to asthma patients warning that certain areas of the country were experiencing shortages of albuterol inhalers and that the shortage may spread. The shortage occurred as COVID-19 patients increasingly have turned to the inhalers to help with respiratory issues. Often called rescue inhalers, these devices work quickly to relieve the symptoms of an asthma attack.

    In response to the shortage, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first generic albuterol inhaler in April.

    Generic versions of albuterol products should make it easier for most patients, pharmacies, and hospitals to access adequate medication, says Meadows.

    To his knowledge, manufacturers have increased albuterol production to make up for the extra need by COVID-19 patients.

    The ACAAI advises patients:

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    What Happens To Your Body When You Dont Treat Sleep Apnea

    If youve been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea you may be hesitant to move forward with treatment. There are, however, a variety of treatments for sleep apnea. Finding one thats right for you is crucial but treating your sleep apnea is imperative. Without treatment for your sleep apnea, you run the risk of the following health complications.

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