What Is An Asthma Attack
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, asthma attacks occur when an inflammation or obstruction of the bronchial tubes exists. Since these tubes allow air to enter and leave the lungs, asthma happens when air movement in and out of the lungs is restricted.
Asthma attacks are most commonly recognized by severe wheezing, consistent coughing and rapid breathing. However, people experiencing asthma attacks may also notice tightness in their chest and neck. If not enough oxygen reaches their lungs, then they may turn pale and their lips and fingernails could turn blue.
Asthma symptoms vary from person to person, but you can control them with a proper prevention routine. If your asthma is under control, then the likelihood of you experiencing an asthma attack decreases, Carrillo said.
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.
Other Tips For Sleeping With Asthma
Other ways to reduce asthma symptoms at night include:
- Cut down on allergens in your bedroom. Consider using an air purifier next to your bed and keep airflow in your room through the night.
- Wash your bedding in hot water every 1-2 weeks to get rid of dust mites and other irritants that may be on your sheets.
- Consider switching to bedding made of natural cotton, as opposed to synthetic polyester depending on your allergies.
- Keep pets off your bed, especially when youre in it.
- Keep asthma medication on your nightstand or another easily accessible place, and take them as directed by your doctor.
- Set the thermostat in your bedroom slightly higher in the evenings. Sleeping in a cold environment can be an asthma trigger.
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What Causes Nighttime/nocturnal Asthma
Lung function changes throughout the day for people with healthy lungs. Lung function is at its best around 4 pm and at its lowest around 4 am.
People with nighttime asthma usually have lower lung function overall, and the difference in lung function between day and night is greater than normal.2 Your health care provider may want to evaluate changes in lung function throughout the day in order to make a diagnosis.5 This step is also important for monitoring how effective treatments are.5
The cause of wide fluctuations in lung function is not clear. Some studies have shown that people with nocturnal asthma have more inflammation at night.2 They also have more airway and lung resistance. More airway resistance means that it is harder for air to get in and out of the lungs.
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.
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Treatment Of Bronchial Asthma
Treatment of bronchial asthma, including nocturnal asthma,268,282 consists of judicious use of bronchodilators and corticosteroids, preferably inhaled in a compressor oral theophylline, maximizing the serum concentration at around 4:00 am when most nocturnal attacks occur and, for a small subset of patients who show the lowest plasma cortisol levels accompanied by the lowest PEF at night or in the early morning, nocturnal steroids.303 Other measures include treating the reversible factors such as allergens, nasal congestion, or bronchopulmonary infections, and using a humidifier.282
In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study, Kraft et al.304 and Wiegand et al.305 reported that salmeterol, an inhaled 2-agonist with a prolonged duration of action, improved the number of nocturnal awakenings with nocturnal asthma. Wiegand et al.305 found that salmeterol was superior to theophylline in maintaining nocturnal FEV1 levels and in improving morning and evening PEF, and in an improvement in patient perception of sleep but not in PSG measures of sleep architecture. Previously, several studies showed efficacy of salmeterol in nocturnal asthma, primarily in combination with inhaled corticosteroids.306310
Neil J. Douglas, in, 2011
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.
What Should I Do If I Think I Have Asthma
If you suspect you might have asthma, you should see your doctor for a professional diagnosis. Dont ignore it if you do have asthma, the sooner you get it under control, the faster you can get back to living a full and active life. For more information on how Asthma Australia is helping people with asthma to breathe so they can live freely, visit About Us.
When Should I Call My Doctor
If your child suffers from NA regularly, call your child’s doctor to talk about making changes to their treatment plan.
Sometimes medications used to take care of asthma can cause sleep problems. Talk to your child’s doctor if your child can’t sleep because of their asthma medication.
The information provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be medical advice or a substitute for professional health care. You should consult an appropriate health care professional for your specific needs.
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Get Tested For Sleep Apnea
People with asthma have a high risk of developing sleep apnea. Congestion from asthma causes snoring and may halt breathing for a few seconds at a time. If you wake up feeling tired, moody, and sore each morning, despite getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep, talk to your doctor about getting tested for sleep apnea.
If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to long-term effects, like excessive daytime sleepiness and more serious medical conditions, like insomnia and acid reflux Worlds largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible.View sourceor GERD).
How To Ease Breathing Problems At Night
- Keep allergens at bay: your difficulty breathing at night may be caused by tiny particles in your bedding. Eliminate house dust mites and dust mite allergens from your sleep environment by cosying up in a wool bedding set. This natural fibre is highly effective at repelling dust mites and keeping them out of your bed, so you can get a better nights sleep.
- Sleep on extra pillows: if lying down flat seems to trigger an episode of wheezing and coughing at night, try propping yourself up on an extra pillow or two. This can help to ease problems associated with catarrh and reduced lung capacity.
- Maintain a good sleeping routine: while a regular bedtime routine wont alleviate the symptoms of an asthma cough at night, it can help you to settle down to sleep more easily, increasing your chances of getting a good nights rest.
- Watch out for other triggers: pet hair, pollen and stress can all cause difficulty breathing at night. Its important to identify any triggers that cause breathing problems at night for you so you can take steps to minimise these.
- Ask your GP or asthma nurse about changes to medication: if you regularly experience coughing and wheezing at night, or if your symptoms get worse, see your GP or nurse to review your medication. If possible, take along a record of your recent peak flow readings for them to better understand your sleep and asthma issues.
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Video: Asthma And Your Sleep
Transcript for Asthma and your sleep
0:04 We hear from a lot of people on our
0:07 helpline and on social media that asthma does
0:10 interrupt their sleep on a
0:11 regular basis. As a health care
0:13 professional I know that unfortunately,
0:14 this means that your asthma is not quite
0:16 as well controlled as it can be. And it’s
0:18 worth making appointment with your GP or
0:20 your practice nurse to see what we can
0:21 do to help relieve those symptoms and
0:24 actually improve your quality of sleep.
Can Asthma Reappear In Adults After Disappearing Years Ago
Asthma is usually diagnosed in childhood. In many patients however, the symptoms will disappear or are significantly reduced after puberty. After age 20, symptoms may begin to reappear.
Researchers have tracked this tendency for reappearing asthma and found that people with childhood asthma tend to experience reappearing symptoms through their 30s and 40s at various levels of severity.
Regardless of whether your asthma is active, you should continue to avoid your known triggers and keep your rescue medications or prescriptions up-to-date and handy in case you need them.
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What Is Nocturnal Asthma
Asthma is a long-term, chronic respiratory disease, caused by the inflammation of the airways. When this condition worsens overnight, we call it nocturnal asthma or nighttime asthma. Regardless of the type of asthma you have, including allergic, non-allergic, occupational, and exercise-induced asthma, nocturnal asthma can occur more than once a month.
Over the past decade, the prevalence of asthma in adults and children has increased in the United States. The California Health Interview Survey states that 15.9% of asthma cases were reported in Orange County in 2015-2017. Although there is no cure for asthma, the symptoms can be managed through long-term medications and short-term quick-relief inhalers. A few home remedies and other tips can also help patients with nocturnal asthma sleep better.
What To Do When Asthma Stops You From Sleeping
- Firstly, sit up straight and take your inhaler, as prescribed. Its always best to keep your inhaler next to your bed so that you dont have to search it in the middle of the night when you have a problem.
- Some people find propping themselves up with extra pillows helps as it allows your lungs to open up more fully when you breathe.
- Try to adjust the temperature of the room as per your comfort if in any case your asthma is made worse when the air in a room is too hot or too cold.
- A glass of water or a cup of herbal tea, such as peppermint or chamomile, can help ease a dry throat.
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Feeling Good Night And Day
Why do asthma symptoms tend to get worse during the night? For most people, its a combination of factors including increased exposure to allergens, cooling of airways, and even just the act of lying down flat, and going to sleep.
When we sleep our airways tend to get narrow which may cause increased airflow resistance, or wheezing. This can trigger coughing in some people, which further tightens the airways, and could even lead to an asthma attack.
If youre having sleeping difficulties, it could be a reminder to cut down on those late nights. However, nocturnal flare ups could also be a sign that your asthma is not being correctly controlled.
If sleep disruption persists for more than a few days, it would be wise to check in with your doctor to see if your medication needs adjusting.
Treatment Of Nocturnal Asthma
Important treatment considerations for nocturnal asthma are listed in Box 225, and general asthma guidelines are listed in Table 227. Reducing the burden of allergen exposure by keeping the bedroom free of dust may help. The foundation of treatment of chronic persistent asthma is inhaled corticosteroids. Weersink and colleagues80 studied a group with nocturnal asthma and patients were treated with inhaled fluticasone, salmeterol , or the combination. The three treatments all reduced the circadian variation in peak flow to less than 10% , improved the bronchial hyperresponsiveness to methacholine both day and night, and improved cognitive performance during daytime testing. Thus, the usual practice is to start with inhaled steroids and add a long-acting inhaled beta agonist if symptoms persist .
M. Innes Asher BSc, MBChB, FRACP, â¦ Eamon Ellwood DipTch, DipInfo Tech, in, 2012
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Ginger For Asthma Cough At Night Remedy
Ginger acts as an anti inflammatory drug and offers multiple benefits for your body and health. Its also considered as a superfood and is very effective against asthma. Add pomegranate, honey and ginger in equal proportions and consume it 2-3 times a day to get beneficial results.
Care Advice For Asthma Attack
What Are Common Asthma Attack Triggers
An asthma attack happens when someone comes in contact with substances that irritate them. 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. Sometimes, an attack may start hours or days later.
Triggers can be different for each person. But some common triggers include:
- Air pollution: Many things outside can cause an asthma attack. Air pollution includes factory emissions, car exhaust, wildfire smoke and more.
- Dust mites: You cant see these bugs, but they are in many homes. If you have a dust mite allergy, they can cause an asthma attack.
- Exercise: For some people, exercising can cause an attack.
- Mold: Damp places can spawn mold. It can cause problems for people with asthma. You dont even have to be allergic to mold to have an attack.
- Pests: Cockroaches, mice and other household pests can cause asthma attacks.
- Pets: Your pets can cause asthma attacks. If youre allergic to pet dander , breathing in the dander can irritate your airways.
- Tobacco smoke: If you or someone in your home smokes, you have a higher risk of developing asthma. The best solution is to quit smoking.
- Strong chemicals or smells.
With asthma, you may not have all of these symptoms. You may have different signs at different times. And symptoms can change between asthma attacks.
Simple Tips To Stop Asthma Waking You At Night In The Long
You dont have to just accept your night-time asthma symptoms as normal.
- Using your preventer inhaler every day, as prescribed, will build up protection in your airways and keep your asthma symptoms under control, so theyre less likely to wake you at night.
- If youre having asthma symptoms at night or noticing asthma symptoms when you first wake up, you should make a same day appointment to see your GP or asthma nurse. Symptoms that keep you awake at night are one of the signs you might be at risk of an asthma attack.
Its also important to:
- Use your written asthma action plan to help you understand how to manage your symptoms and what to do if they get worse.
- Go for regular asthma reviews with your GP or asthma nurse. They can check youre using your inhalers correctly. Its also a chance to talk about any triggers that might be affecting your sleep.
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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.