Stress And Anxiety Management
Anxiety that builds up can lead to panic attacks. If you experience frequent anxiety, consider seeking help from a mental health professional. They can help you work through your anxiety and reduce the likelihood of external stressors triggering a panic attack.
Even if you dont have an anxiety disorder, stress itself is a fact of life. However, stress can also trigger your asthma, so its important to manage it as best as you can.
Some steps you can take to reduce everyday stress include:
- relaxation techniques, such as meditation and deep breathing exercises
- regular physical exercise
- reduced intake of alcohol and caffeine
- getting enough sleep
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What Are The Best Places To Live With Asthma
The best places to live with asthma depends on your triggers. There are many potentialasthma triggers, including allergens,weather, andpollution. Most likely, not all of them bother you, so focus on the ones that do. You may be tempted to move away from certain triggers. Unfortunately, it is hard to anticipate what new triggers or allergies you may discover at your new home.
In the United States, asthma is more common in the Northeast and Midwest than in the South and West. However, people with asthma who live in the West and South report more asthma attacks than residents of the Midwest and Northeast.1,2
Every year, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America compiles a list of The Most Challenging Places to Live withAsthma. The list is based on statistics for rates of asthma, emergency room visits, and mortality. The AAFA also considers risk factors such as poverty, air quality, access to specialists, and pollen counts.3,4
The 5 best places to live with asthma in 2019 were:3
- Cape Coral, Florida
- Hartford, Connecticut
- McAllen, Texas
Asthma outbreaks have been linked tothunderstorms, especially during pollen season. The storms moving air and rain bring pollen to the ground level and causes it to burst open into small, inhalable particles. This increases the number of people who seek medical care for asthma attacks. These outbreaks are rare but may be something worth considering before moving to subtropical regions.6
Severe Asthma Attacks Often Have Symptoms Similar To Those Of Milder Attacks But They Are More Severe And May Not Respond To Treatment
A diagnosis of asthma is categorized as mild, moderate, or severe depending on the severity of the symptoms, how often the symptoms occur, and how well they respond to treatment, says , an allergist and immunologist at Ben Sawyer Primary Care in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, which is part of the Medical University of South Carolina Health System.
For any category of asthma, symptoms can either be intermittent or persistent , Dr. Streck explains.
Anyone with asthma is at risk of having an asthma attack , when the muscles around the airways contract and the airways produce more mucus, which narrows the bronchial tubes through which we breathe, according to Mayo Clinic. Other asthma symptoms tend to worsen during an asthma attack.
An asthma attack may be considered minor if symptoms get better with home treatment an attack is considered severe when they do not. Anyone with asthma can experience a severe asthma attack.
Even if someone has baseline mild asthma, they can have a severe exacerbation or attack, says Streck. Sometimes people with a mild case of asthma that is generally very well-controlled can have attacks that are very severe, she says.
There are three main components to an asthma attack, says Streck.
An attack is severe if it is difficult to control and manage with at-home treatment.
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What Are Tips For Asthma Sufferers During Coronavirus
It is important also that your asthma symptoms are well controlled so that those around you do not misconstrue coughing as a symptom of coronavirus when in fact the cough is non infectious from asthma. The following recommendations are important for those with asthma particularly those with persistent moderate to severe asthma. Following these added precautions will decrease your chance of getting coronavirus and having your asthma flare with coronavirus.
Acute Asthma Attack Symptoms
An acute asthma attack is a medical emergency youll must seek immediate medical help and go to hospital.
Acute asthma attack symptoms to be aware of include:
- Rapid breathing that doesnt ease with use of a reliever inhaler
- Extreme shortness of breath being unable to inhale or exhale fully
- An inability to speak in full sentences
- Confusion or agitation
- Developing a blue tint on the face, lips or fingernails.
If you dont seek treatment for an acute asthma attack, your life could be in danger. Find out more about acute asthma by reading our guide to severe asthma.
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What Asthma Feels Like:
Knowing if you have asthma, or even if you should be worried, can be tricky since the symptoms are often very ambiguous. Its also common to be entirely asymptomatic unless youre having an attack. Typically, asthma feels like a tightness in your chest, often accompanied by wheezing or coughing. Of course, the problem with this is that other lung conditions like COPD, or even allergies can trigger the same symptoms.
If your symptoms arent serious and you arent going to seek medical help, there are some signs to look for that distinguish between allergies and asthma. Allergies are often accompanied by other symptoms that asthma does not cause, such as congestion, runny nose, and sinus. That being said, its possible to have allergies and asthma, not to mention certain allergens that can trigger asthma attacks. If symptoms continue or worsen you should see a doctor.
Allergies Trigger My Asthma Symptoms
I have allergic asthma that mostly causes asthma symptoms during the allergy season in the spring. I normally have a couple of asthma attacks a year. I have sometimes had asthma attacks during the night as well or if I have spent time in a place full of dust or mold. Besides pollen allergy, I have several food allergies, too.
When I get an asthma attack, first I feel my throat tighten and my breathing becomes difficult. Then comes the panic.
I think that often my asthma and allergies are mixed and sometimes its hard to tell whether my symptoms are purely caused by asthma or more by a severe allergic reaction, or anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis normally means a need for calling an ambulance. I also carry an Epipen with me.
Once I was having a breakfast at a hotel when I started to cough a lot. I felt that I couldnt breathe because my throat was swelling up. Even the inhaler didnt seem to help much because I couldnt inhale enough. It was probably an allergic reaction that led to an asthma attack. It took several hours to recover after it.
I am mindful of my asthma triggers but dont let the asthma itself limit my life. Normally the reliever inhaler comes to the rescue and makes me feel better. I tend to panic easily, so I try to stay calm and remember that the attacks always pass even though at that moment it can feel terrifying.
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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
What Are The Symptoms
Asthma can be different for everyone. Asthma symptoms can also vary over time, with few or no symptoms when asthma is well controlled. The common signs and symptoms of poorly controlled asthma include:
- Shortness of breath
- Trouble sleeping because of breathing difficulty
- Being unable to take part in physical activities without breathing difficulty
These symptoms can occur slowly over hours or days, or they can come on as sudden, recurring attacks after which the symptoms can persist for some time before disappearing. If left untreated, asthma can cause permanent structural changes in your airways called airway remodelling, which is why it is important to get your asthma under control and keep treating it over the long term.
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Uncontrolled Asthma Vs Severe Asthma: How To Get The Right Diagnosis
- Lung Health and Diseases
More than 25 million Americans struggle with asthma, a chronic condition that makes breathing difficult. Whether you have lived with asthma since childhood or developed it later in life, it is important to monitor your symptoms and avoid your triggers to manage the disease. Many times, regular flare-ups can be treated with a combination of quick-relief and controller medications. Unfortunately, this may not be enough to get your symptoms under control.
If you feel asthma is interfering with your life, it can be frustrating to know what to do next. This is when it may be time to talk to your doctor about the possibility of severe asthma.
Daily symptoms, such as chest tightness, shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing, are signs of uncontrolled asthma and may require the use of quick-relief medication a few times a week or even daily. In addition, you may commonly experience nighttime flare-ups and may even have to visit the emergency room. As you might expect, with these symptoms you may miss work, stop exercising, and have difficulty performing daily tasks. If you have signs of uncontrolled asthma as listed above, you will want to discuss this with you physician because you may be able to find a solution.
But what if you continue to struggle?
Who Can Get Asthma
Anyone can develop asthma at any age. People with allergies or people exposed to tobacco smoke and secondhand smoke are more likely to develop asthma.
Statistics show women tend to have asthma more than men, and asthma affects Black Americans more frequently than other races.
When a child develops asthma, healthcare providers call it childhood asthma. If it develops later in life, its adult-onset asthma.
Children do not outgrow asthma. They may have fewer symptoms as they get older, but they could still have an asthma attack. Your childs healthcare provider can help you understand the risks.
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What To Do If You Have An Asthma Attack
If you think you’re 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.
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.
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What Is A Chest X
By viewing your lungs on an X-ray, your doctor can see if you have another health condition that may be causing asthma-like symptoms. Asthma may cause a small increase in the size of your lungs , but a person with asthma will usually have a normal chest X-ray. Patients with COPD will also have hyperinflation, but emphysema causes holes in lung tissue, called blebs or bullae, which are evident on a chest X-ray. A chest X-ray can also make sure you don’t have pneumonia or lung cancer, particularly in smokers.
What Causes An Asthma Flare
Things that can cause you to have an asthma flare-up are called “triggers.” Different kids have different triggers. Common triggers include:
- breathing in things that cause allergies , such as dust, pollen, dander from animals, and mold
- breathing in things that irritate your airways, like cigarette smoke, perfume, and chalk dust
- infections, like a cold or the flu
- breathing in cold air
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What If I Have Asthma And Coronavirus
Though asthma does not in itself put you at greater risk to contract coronavirus, those individuals with some forms of asthma may be at risk for complications and may get sicker from coronavirus. The Surgeon General of the United States, recently brought this to the attention of the American public. However, according to the CDC, this concern applies only to individuals with persistent moderate to severe asthma though there is no published data that actually supports this assertion at this time. Fortunately, the vast majority of individuals with asthma have intermittent asthma meaning they have infrequent symptoms and use a rescue inhaler less than 2x/week not including preventative use before exercise. Individuals with moderate persistent asthma are usually on a maintenance inhaler which contains moderate to high doses of inhaled steroids with or without long acting bronchodilators. Individuals with severe persistent asthma are on higher doses of inhaled steroids with or without biologic therapy and have significant limitations in lung function.
Since coronavirus can infect your respiratory tract , the COVID-19 respiratory virus, like other respiratory viruses like influenza, can precipitate an asthma attack and possibly lead to a viral pneumonia and in the worse case acute respiratory failure from ARDS .
Asthma Is A Complex Condition
Occasionally, people with asthma experience what are known as silent symptoms. This is where the signs of the tightening of the airways dont result in the familiar asthma sounds of wheezing and coughing. If you or someone you live with, work with, or care for experiences silent symptoms, it is important they consult a doctor for an ongoing Asthma Action Plan. People around the person with asthmasuch as co-workers, school teachers or daycare educators should know about the silent symptoms so they can respond if needed. Asthma can start at any age, and can be more of a problem when it starts in older adults. Dont assume if you never had asthma as a child that its not possible to develop symptoms now. Being breathless is not a normal part of getting older, it should always be checked out by a doctor.
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Whats It Like Living With Asthma
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In her post What Does An Asthma Attack Feel Like?, Theresa, a fellow asthmatic and asthma writer, explains — and quite well I must add — what its like having an asthma attack. In this post, I would like to make an attempt at articulating what its like living day after day with a chronic disease like asthma.
After An Asthma Attack: Changing Your Asthma Management Or Asthma Attack Treatment
After an asthma attack evaluation, your doctor may want to step up treatment, step down treatment, change treatment, or increase your doctor visits, said Bernstein.
Some signs that your treatment plan may need to change include:
- Frequent asthma attacks
- Needing to take more asthma medication than prescribed
- Waking up at night with asthma symptoms
- Daytime activity limited by asthma
- Continued cough, congestion, and mucous production
- Poor peak flow rates
Knowing what to do after an asthma attack is part of learning how to manage your asthma. Each asthma attack is a chance to learn more about your asthma triggers and your asthma medications. Sharing this information with your doctor gives you and your doctor the opportunity to make the right adjustments to your asthma action plan â and that could mean fewer asthma attacks in your future.
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