Will My Doctor Test For Conditions Other Than Asthma
If your doctor thinks you have something other than asthma or related to asthma, they may run other tests. These might include a chest X-ray, acid reflux test, sinus X-rays, or other specialized tests. Your doctor may also perform allergy tests. Allergy tests are not used to find out if you have asthma. But if you have allergies, they may be triggering your asthma.
There are other conditions that have similar symptoms to asthma. Your health care provider may also assess you for conditions such as:
- Abnormal airways
What Are Common Asthma Attack Triggers
You can have an asthma attack if you come in contact with substances that irritate you. Healthcare providers call these substances triggers. Knowing what triggers your asthma makes it easier to avoid asthma attacks.
For some people, a trigger can bring on an attack right away. For other people, or at other times, an attack may start hours or days later.
Triggers can be different for each person. But some common triggers include:
Symptoms Of Asthma Include:
People at risk for asthma often have a family history of asthma but it can occur in patients with any family history of the disease. Although it was previously thought that the onset of asthma only occurred in childhood, we now know that there are patients for whom asthma starts in adulthood. In fact, patients with asthma that starts in adulthood tend to have more severe disease that does not respond as well to treatment. Asthma is more common in those who have a history of allergies or atopy . When asthma starts in childhood it may resolve in the late teens and early 20s. Patients will report that they have grown out” of their asthma. However, in some cases, there is a period of minimal asthma symptoms as a young adult but a recurrence of asthma later in life. Therefore, patients that grow out of their asthma must recognize the possibility of a recurrence and pay attention to any asthma symptoms that return later in life and should seek treatment if this occurs. While boys are more likely to have asthma during childhood, more females have asthma as adults.
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Alternative To An Inhaler: Nebulizer
A nebulizer is a machine that turns the asthma medication into a fine mist. A nebulizer can be used for rescue medications and control medications.2 Nebulizing can be expensive and time-consuming.2 The machines are bulky. For these reasons, nebulized medication is mainly used for people who cannot use a metered-dose inhaler with a valve holding chamber and face mask.2 The advantage of using a nebulizer is that the person can breathe in and out like normal. The nebulizer can be used with a mouthpiece or snug-fitting face mask.2
General guidelines for using a nebulizer are:3
What type of asthma inhaler do you use? Do you use a spacer or valved holding chamber with it? Let us know in the comments below!
How Are Asthma Types Defined
Asthma is a variable condition with differences in severity, treatment responses, and triggers. Some experts say asthma is a single condition that presents in different ways. Other experts say different types of asthma are separate diseases that cause common symptoms.1
Ongoing research has begun to classify these types of asthma. Some of the ways experts define asthma types include:1
- Medical history and physical exam
- Response to medicines tried in the past
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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.
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The Importance Of Controlling Your Asthma
Regardless of the type or severity of asthma you have, your physician should focus on controlling it. You cannot control the type or severity of asthma you have BUT you can focus on achieving control of your disease.
Uncontrolled asthma is defined as:
- Poor symptom control OR
- More than two exacerbations/year OR
- At least one hospitalization or ICU stay per year OR
- Low lung function
Achieving asthma control is the central focus in the management of patients with asthma. Your goal should be to be able to live a productive and symptom-free life with asthma.
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Will Medicine Help Me Sleep Better
Yes, if you have nighttime asthma symptoms. Many people wake up with asthma symptoms such as coughing or wheezing. You can control nighttime symptoms by taking asthma medicines as directed by your doctor.
Removing triggers where you sleep may help you sleep better. Many people are allergic to dust mites and mold found in bedding materials. Using mattress or pillow encasements can help contain those allergens. Dehumidifiers can also be helpful to reduce the humidity in your home that dust mites and mold need to exist. Using air cleaners in your bedroom may also help reduce your exposure to allergens and irritants .
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When And How Are Types Of Asthma Diagnosed
Asthma is diagnosed based on symptoms, a physical examination, and lung function tests.1 Your health care provider will ask about the type and frequency of your asthma symptom and attacks. Tell your provider if you have had eczema, food allergies, hay fever , long-term nasal congestion , heartburn, or reflux in the past.
Inhaled corticosteroids are usually used to treat people with asthma. For some people, these medications do not work well. The first thing to do is to make sure you are taking them properly. If you still have symptoms, more tests may be needed to know which type of asthma you have.4 The results can help your provider recommend another treatment.
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Can Medicine Alone Help My Asthma
Not usually. Although medicines help a lot, they may not be able to do the job alone. You have to avoid the things that cause or trigger your asthma symptoms as much as you can. Asthma triggers can be found outside or inside your home, school, or workplace.
Improving the indoor air quality in your home is an important part of asthma control. Your indoor air can be more polluted than outside air. Our interactive Healthy Home can show you ways to improve the indoor air quality of your home. A healthier home can reduce your exposure to allergens and irritants.
Why Is My Asthma Worse At Night
Asthma that gets worse at night is sometimes called nighttime asthma or nocturnal asthma. There are no definite reasons that this happens, but there are some educated guesses. These include:
- The way you sleep: Sleeping on your back can result in mucus dripping into your throat or acid reflux coming back up from your stomach. Also, sleeping on your back puts pressure on your chest and lungs, which makes breathing more difficult. However, lying face down or on your side can put pressure on your lungs.
- Triggers in your bedroom and triggers that happen in the evening: You may find your blankets, sheets and pillows have dust mites, mold or pet hair on them. If youve been outside in the early evening, you may have brought pollen in with you.
- Medication side effects: Some drugs that treat asthma, such as steroids and montelukast, can affect your sleep.
- Air thats too hot or too cold: Hot air can cause airways to narrow when you breathe in. Cold air is an asthma trigger for some people.
- Lung function changes: Lung function lessens at night as a natural process.
- Asthma is poorly controlled during the day: Symptoms that arent controlled during the day wont be better at night. Its important to work with your provider to make sure your asthma symptoms are controlled both day and night. Treating nighttime symptoms is very important. Serious asthma attacks, and sometimes deaths, can happen at night.
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What Are The Different Types Of Asthma
There are two kinds of asthmaallergic and nonallergic. Both types cause the same asthma symptomslike wheezing, shortness of breath and mucus production. But allergic and nonallergic asthma have different triggers, and the treatments for each can be different. So its important to identify which kind of asthma you have its the first step toward getting better control over your condition.
How Do Doctors Diagnose Asthma In Children
Diagnosing asthma in children under age 5 is a little different. It involves a careful process of history taking, physical exam, and diagnostic studies. Children this age usually are not given a breathing test. Instead, the doctor asks about certain signs and symptoms of asthma . The doctor may prescribe a bronchodilator if they think your child might have asthma. If the bronchodilator helps reduce your childs symptoms, that is a sign that your child may have asthma.
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Other Types Of Asthma
You may also hear other asthma types mentioned, such as nocturnal asthma or cough-variant asthma. Nocturnal asthma is asthma that gets worse at night. It may wake you from sleep. This type is very common. Your doctor may adjust your medications to give you more asthma control at night. Cough-variant asthma has persistent coughing as the main symptom, rather than wheezing. This type is treated the same way as other types.
Sometimes you will also hear about levels of asthma. These levels classify the condition by its severity. The levels include intermittent, mild, moderate or severe.
- Intermittent asthma causes symptoms less than twice a week
- Mild persistent asthma causes symptoms two or more days a week
- Moderate persistent asthma causes symptoms at least every day and wakes you up one or more nights a week
- Severe persistent asthma causes symptoms every day and wakes you up every night.
Work with your doctor to find out which type of asthma you have, so you can develop the asthma treatment plan thats best for your particular condition. Remember that its likely you have more than one type.
Various Types Of Asthma
There are various Types Of Asthma. On the basis of how symptoms are seen in a person, asthma can be classified into 4 types, that is:
There is one more classification of Types Of Asthma, which is on the basis of how asthma affects a persons regular life, what is its impact. On this basis, it has the following two categories, i.e. well-controlled asthma and poorly controlled asthma.
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Conditions That Make Asthma Worse
There are also other conditions that can make asthma worse, including gastroesophageal reflux disease, obstructive sleep apnea, vocal cord disorders , smoking, anxiety or depression, allergic rhinitis/sinusitis, nasal polyps, menstruation and bronchiectasis . These other conditions are called comorbidities.
Different Types Of Asthma
Asthma is an inflammation and obstruction of the bronchial tubes the passages that let air enter and exit the lungs. When an asthma attack occurs, the muscles that are around the bronchial tubes constrict and create problems as the air passages become narrow, making it difficult to breathe. Asthma can occur in all ages from adults to childhood asthma. There are many different types of asthma that one can experience from allergic asthma, adult-onset asthma, exercise-induced bronchoconstriction , and even occupational asthma.
- Adult-onset Asthma: Asthma can sometimes only appear later in life in your adulthood, and this is known as adult-onset asthma. The causes of this type of asthma can be from a number of different factors but ultimately it will be from first time exposure to an asthma trigger.
- Allergic Asthma: The close tie between allergies and asthma is allergic asthma. This type of asthma will be triggered by allergens in the environment such as pollen, pet dander, dust, and even mold spores in the air.
- Exercise-Induced Bronchoconstriction : Exercised-induced bronchoconstriction is the term used to describe asthma that is induced by physical exercise. As much as 90 percent of people with asthma have EIB, but not everyone with EIB has asthma. EIB is caused by the loss of heat, water, or both from the airways during exercise when quickly breathing in the air.
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What Is An Asthma Attack
When you breathe normally, muscles around your airways are relaxed, letting air move easily and quietly. During an asthma attack, three things can happen:
- Bronchospasm: The muscles around the airways constrict . When they tighten, it makes your airways narrow. Air cannot flow freely through constricted airways.
- Inflammation: The lining of your airways becomes swollen. Swollen airways dont let as much air in or out of your lungs.
- Mucus production: During the attack, your body creates more mucus. This thick mucus clogs airways.
When your airways get tighter, you make a sound called wheezing when you breathe, a noise your airways make when you breathe out. You might also hear an asthma attack called an exacerbation or a flare-up. Its the term for when your asthma isnt controlled.
What Are The Common Treatment Options For Asthma
Long-term control and prevention are key methods to stop asthma attacks before they start. Treatment usually involves recognizing and avoiding the triggers as much as possible.
There is currently no cure for asthma, but treatment can help control the symptoms, so patients may be able to live a normal, active life. The following are treatments commonly used for asthma.
- Inhalers: This may relieve symptoms when they occur and stop symptoms developing . Some people need an inhaler that does both . The inhalers are generally beta-agonists such as salbutamol, salmeterol or a combination of beta-agonist and steroid.
- Tablets: Patients may also need to take tablets if using an inhaler alone is not helping control their symptoms.
- Leukotriene receptor antagonists : LTRAs are the main tablets used for asthma. They also come in the syrup and powder form.
- Theophylline: Theophylline may also be recommended if other treatments are not helping to control the symptoms.
- Steroid tablets: Steroid tablets may be recommended if patients are unable to take any of the above medications to control the symptoms. They may be given as an immediate treatment or every day or as a long-term treatment to prevent the symptoms.
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Find Out More About Severe Asthma
Severe persistent asthma affects roughly 5% to 10% of all asthma sufferers and can have a significant impact on daily life. Long-term treatment is necessary, but with the help of your doctor, severe asthma can be controlled. These doctors are specially trained to treat asthma. They can help you find the right combination of medication and self-care to help manage your asthma.
What Are The Three Types Of Asthma
The three common types of asthma are as follows:
Other types of asthma include the following:
- Occupational asthma: This is common in carpenters, hairdressers, animal breeders, and farmers who are exposed to allergens at their workplace. Medication and counseling may be needed.
- Cough variant asthma: Severe coughing is the main feature of this asthma rather than wheezes. It may be triggered by infections or exercises.
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How To Treat And Manage All Types Of Asthma
No matter what type of asthma you have, symptoms can be managed with the help of medications. Some of them are breathed in with an inhaler, while others are taken as a pill. According to the CDC, asthma meds provide either quick relief or long-term control .
A maintenance inhaler administers controller meds that are taken daily to keep asthma symptoms in check, while a rescue inhaler delivers quick-relief medications to rapidly open the airways and relieve asthma symptoms during a flare-up. A combination inhaler is used by people with severe asthma for long-term control of symptoms. As providers, we want to understand as much as we can to identify what type of asthma you have so we can target our therapies toward the offending agents, Dr. Bose says.
But medications arent the only solution. Recognizing your triggers and avoiding them as much as possible is one of the best ways to limit the effects of your asthma, according to the CDC. So, while asthma cant be cured, it can be managedand just knowing that should help you breathe a bit easier.