Asthma Is Not For Laughs
Medical Matters: For those of us who do not suffer from asthma, there is understandably a perception that winter is the worst season for the disease. The many viruses and bacteria that circulate during the winter months certainly trigger acute symptoms in the vulnerable patient with asthma.
But the summer months can be troublesome also. Many patients with asthma are also prone to hayfever, reflecting the common allergic pathway shared by both disease processes. A high pollen count may cause wheezing as well as the streaming eyes and nose of hayfever.
Our recent weather conditions can also be bothersome. The heavy, humid and overcast day is one that certain people with asthma do not look forward to. The airless conditions combined with an “inverted” type of atmospheric weather pattern can push an otherwise stable patient into acute wheezing and breathlessness.
There was some interesting research into asthma presented at a recent conference of the American Thoracic Society . A study of 235 patients at the New York Medical Centre found that more than half developed asthma symptoms in response to laughter.
Prof Stuart Garay said he was surprised to discover how common a trigger factor laughter was. “It’s as common as some of the most well-known asthma triggers, such as grasses, pollen and fumes, and it’s even more common than dust mites, allergy to animals and moulds. It’s a little-appreciated trigger factor.”
Surprising Signs Of Adult
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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 Javier Pérez-Fernández, 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.
Can It Occur Without Exercise
EIB can occur without exercise, too. Anything that results in breathing in and out rapidly can trigger it, particularly in the asthmatic. This is how asthma came to be mistakenly called an emotional disease: a hundred years ago, when their laughing or crying child started wheezing, parents were convinced the asthma attacks were emotional. But we know now that asthma is not an emotional disease.
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Useful Information About Asthma
- In Canada, asthma is the third-most common chronic disease. It is estimated that over 3.8 million people in Canada currently have asthma.; Approximately 850,000 of those are children under the age of 14;
- Canadians have a two in five chance – or a 40% risk – of being diagnosed with asthma before age 40;
- Asthma is the most common childhood respiratory disorder. Those most affected in Canada are children and asthma continues to be a major cause of hospitalization for children in Canada;
- Asthma accounts for ¼ of the reasons for absences from school;
- Asthma affects people to varying degrees – ranging from mild to severe;
- People with severe asthma may experience difficulties with routine daily activities.
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.
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Sinusitis And Other Upper Respiratory Infections
Much like asthma causes inflammation in the lining of your airways, sinusitis causes inflammation in the mucus membranes that line your sinuses. This makes the membranes put out more mucus. If you have asthma and your sinuses get inflamed, your airways may too. Prompt treatment of a sinus infection can relieve asthma symptoms.
Laughter Found To Be A Trigger Of Asthma Attacks
More than half of people with asthma have symptoms that are triggered by laughter, researchers have found.
Laughter is one more trigger in a long list of triggers for asthma, said study author Dr. Stuart Garay of the New York University Medical Center in New York.
However, among people with symptoms brought on by laughter, nearly half said they could laugh attack-free when their asthma was under better control. To Garay, this suggests that people who get asthma symptoms from laughing should consider tweaking their medicine to improve control of their condition. Laughter-induced asthma may be a sign that you need some adjustment in your medication, he said.
Garay and colleagues asked 235 people with asthma if laughter affected their asthma. They found that 56% of people developed symptoms after laughing, most commonly cough and chest tightness.
However, 47% of people with asthma brought on by laughter said that when their asthma was under good control, they could laugh all they want, and have no symptoms. When their asthmas not controlled, its easier to bring out these symptoms, Garay said.
He emphasized that no one should try to live without laughter to avoid an asthma attack.
The researchers presented their findings last week at the American Thoracic Society International Conference in San Diego.
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How Do You Monitor Asthma Symptoms
Monitoring your asthma symptoms is an essential piece of managing the disease. Your healthcare provider may have you 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 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.
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What Are Asthma Triggers
People with asthma have airways that are more sensitive to some things that may not impact other people without asthma. The things that set off or start symptoms are called triggers. Every person with asthma has a different experience, and everyone may have a different trigger.
Common triggers include cold and flu, dust mites, smoke, exercise and pollen. Remember,; for most people with asthma, triggers are only a problem when asthma is not well-controlled with preventer medicine. See Living with asthma;for help with this.
Triggers including exercise, sex and laughter should not be avoided by people with asthma, although you may need support from a health professional to help manage your asthma while exercising.;Other triggers including pollen, dust mites and cigarette smoke can be managed by avoiding your exposure to them.;
Unfortunately, triggers like colds, flu, air quality and thunderstorms are impossible to avoid. This is why it is best to focus on getting your asthma under control with the right preventer medicine and always carrying your blue reliever with you in case you are exposed and react to a trigger.;There are many products advertised to reduce asthma triggers, but most of these have not been proven to make any difference to asthma symptoms or reduce flare-ups. Asthma Australia strongly advises you do careful research on any products you are considering using. Call an Asthma Educator on 1800 ASTHMA or email to discuss specific products further.;
How Asthma Attacks Happen
When you have an asthma attack, your airways narrow and it gets hard to breathe. This can result from spasms of the muscles around the airways, inflammation and swelling of the mucosal membrane that lines them, or high amounts of mucus inside them. You might have shortness of breath, wheeze or cough as your body tries to get rid of mucus.
Why do you have asthma and your friend doesn’t? No one knows for sure. Allergies play a role for many people, as do genetics.
If you or a loved one has asthma, it’s important to understand what your triggers are. Once you figure that out, you can take steps to avoid them. As a result, youâll have fewer and less severe asthma attacks.
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Why Does Exercise Trigger Bronchospasm
When we exercise, we need more air to keep our muscles oxygenated and working properly. This requires more rapid breathing. In susceptible folks, this triggers release of chemicals from mast cells that cause narrowing of the airways in the lungs . The more rapid the breathing, the more severe the attack might be. Thus, running is more likely to provoke an attack than jogging, and jogging more so than walking.
The mechanism is related to cooling and drying of the airways; hence, running in cold, dry air is worse than warm, humid air. The underlying state of the airways might make it worse, too. For example, some asthmatics only have problems with EIB during their pollen allergy seasons, after an upper respiratory infection, or when they have been previously exposed to a cat or other irritant. Irritants also can come into play when exercise is performed on days with poor air quality due to pollution.
Typically, the airways dilate during exercise. About 5 to 10 minutes post-exercise is when the airways narrow and bronchospasm occurs. It will usually spontaneously resolve in 30 minutes or so.
Side Effects Of Steroid Tablets
Oral steroids carry a risk if they are taken for more than three months or if they are taken frequently . Side effects can include:
- easy bruising ;
- muscle weakness
With the exception of increased appetite, which is very commonly experienced by people taking oral steroids, most of these unwanted effects are uncommon.
However, it is a good idea to keep an eye out for them regularly, especially side effects that are not immediately obvious, such as high blood pressure, thinning of the bones, diabetes and glaucoma.
You will need regular appointments to check for these.
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Food Additives And Asthma
Food preservatives, food colorings, and flavoring agents have been found to cause asthma attacks in some people, so make sure to read food labels. Sodium bisulfite, potassium bisulfite, sodium metabisulfite, potassium metabisulfite, and sodium sulfite are all potential triggers. Sulfites are the most common, Zitt explains. “Some people have trouble with delicatessen meats that are high in nitrites, while others may experience asthma symptoms from monosodium glutamate or from yellow food coloring containing tartrazine. Still, he adds, the scientific evidence regarding some of these potential triggers remains in dispute.
What Asthma Treatment Options Are There
You have options to help manage your asthma. Your healthcare provider may prescribe medications to control symptoms. These include:
- Anti-inflammatory medicines: These medicines reduce swelling and mucus production in your airways. They make it easier for air to enter and exit your lungs. Your healthcare provider may prescribe them to take every day to control or prevent your symptoms.
- Bronchodilators: These medicines relax the muscles around your airways. The relaxed muscles let the airways move air. They also let mucus move more easily through the airways. These medicines relieve your symptoms when they happen.
- Biologic therapies for asthma when symptoms persist despite being on proper inhaler therapy.
You can take asthma medicines in several different ways. You may breathe in the medicines using a metered-dose inhaler, nebulizer or other inhaler. Your healthcare provider may prescribe oral medications that you swallow.
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.
Types Of Asthma That Might Completely Surprise You
If one of the questions at your next trivia night is about types of asthma, youre in luck. You probably already know of what many people see as regular asthma, like the kind that might go haywire when youre exposed to allergens that bother your respiratory system. But, like many health conditions, there are different variations of asthma, including some youve probably never heard of before.
All types of asthma follow the same general process, Raymond Casciari, M.D., a pulmonologist at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, California, tells SELF. Asthma impacts your airways, which extend between your nose and mouth to your lungs, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute . Your airways can get inflamed in response to triggers, and the swelling can cause the surrounding muscles to tighten, restricting your air intake even more. In this instance, your airways may also create more mucus than they usually do, which typically makes it even harder to breathe.
Though different types of asthma have that same overarching M.O., they can each flare up for different reasons. Here are a few surprising types of asthma to keep on your radar.
If youve got a persistent coughone that lasts for over eight weeks, as it can with cough-variant asthmayoull want to see your doctor.
Anyone can develop occupational asthma, but the U.S. National Library of Medicine says these people are at the greatest risk:
- Laboratory workers
- Metal workers
- Plastics workers
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Laughter Or Crying And Asthma
Extreme emotional states like heavy laughter or intense crying can prompt an asthma attack by changing breathing patterns and restricting airflow. Its a form of hyperventilation, which, like exercise, tends to trigger an asthmatic response in people with underlying airway inflammation, Zitt says.
Laughter Induced Asthma Symptoms
especially in children, Knowing that theres a ton of triggers, anxiety, although strong emotions such as laughter or crying, excitement), Knowing that theres a ton of triggers, You should discuss this with your doctor, fear, anger,Cold air or wind may cool and dry airways and trigger symptoms, your laughter will involve large inhalations of airIf your childs asthma is controlled, crying and laughter can lead to
Risk Factors Of Asthma
Although it cant be said for sure what causes asthma in some people and not in others, however, there can be some triggers. One of the reasons for asthma can be being exposed to elements such as:;
- Airborne allergens such as pollen or dust mites
- Respiratory infections such as common cold
- Chilly air
Additionally, youll be at a greater risk for asthma if:;
- Youre overweight
- You have a family history of asthma
- You get exposed to passive smoking
- You have any form of allergy
- You are exposed to fumes and other types of pollutants
- You are exposed to harmful substances at work such as chemicals;
Now that youre aware of the causes of bronchial asthma, lets look at the asthma symptoms and treatment.;
Is Laughing Too Much Bad For You
While death from laughing is possible, its an unlikely possibility. Laughing remains a mostly good thing with several short-term and long-term health benefits.
Short-term benefits include decreasing your stress level. It can also stimulate circulation, easing tension and helping your muscles relax. Laughter can even boost your intake of oxygen-rich air. This is beneficial to your heart and lungs.
As far as long-term benefits, laughing may curb depression and anxiety, helping you feel better.
Dispelling negative thoughts and reducing stress can also strengthen your immunity and lessen the risk of illness. In addition, the more you laugh, the more endorphins your brain releases.
These are feel-good hormones that not only improve mood, but also relieve pain.
Because laughing too hard can cause problems in certain people, pay attention to your body and health. See a doctor if you develop any unusual symptoms before or after a laughing fit.
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