Dont Be Friendly To Mold
Mold and mildew are two big asthma triggers. You can prevent flare-ups from these triggers by being aware of damp places in your kitchen, bath, basement, and around the yard. High humidity increases the risk for mold and mildew growth. Invest in a dehumidifier if humidity is a concern. Be sure to toss out any shower curtains, rugs, leaves, or firewood with mold or mildew.
About Nitrogen Dioxide And Asthma
Nitrogen dioxide is an odorless gas that can irritate your eyes, nose and throat and cause shortness of breath. Indoor NO2 can come from using appliances that burn fuels such as gas, kerosene and wood.
In people with asthma, exposure to low levels of NO2 may cause increased bronchial reactivity and make young children more susceptible to respiratory infections. Long-term exposure to high levels of NO2 can lead to chronic bronchitis. Studies show a connection between breathing elevated short-term NO2concentrations, and increased visits to emergency departments and hospital admissions for respiratory issues, especially asthma.
What To Do When Having An Asthma Attack
If you have asthma, then its important that you know what to do and not do if you have an asthma attack.
Its hard to predict exactly when an asthma attack will occur, so its also important to discuss your condition with your family, friends and employer. Its essential that they all become better acquainted with what happens and how to react and help if you have an asthma attack.
What Are Respiratory Viruses
While viruses are responsible for causing many diseases, the viruses we are concerned about are the ones that cause the common cold and . They include the rhinovirus, influenza/parainfluenza virus, adenovirus, and coronavirus.7 So, of the 400,000 species of viruses thought to exist, we are only concerned with four .
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, and other lung diseases.
Your healthcare provider may order a chest X-ray, blood test or skin test. Your provider may order . This test measures airflow through your lungs.
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.
What Types Of Asthma Are There
Healthcare providers identify asthma as intermittent or persistent . Persistent asthma can be mild, moderate or severe. Healthcare providers base asthma severity on how often you have attacks. They also consider how well you can do things during an attack.
Asthma can be:
- Allergic: Some peoples can cause an asthma attack. Molds, pollens and other allergens can cause an attack.
- Non-allergic: Outside factors can cause asthma to flare up. Exercise, stress, illness and weather may cause a flare.
Do We Still Need To Wear Face Masks To Prevent The Spread Of The Coronavirus
In July 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provided new mask guidance due to the spread of delta variant of the coronavirus and rising COVID-19 cases. They now recommend that everyone in areas of high transmission wear a mask in public indoor places, even if you are fully vaccinated.
You are fully vaccinated two weeks after getting your second Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna shot or two weeks after getting one Johnson & Johnson shot.
If you have a condition or are taking medicines that weaken your immune system, talk with your doctor about which activities are safe to do.
On Aug. 23, 2021, the FDA approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for ages 16 and older. It has been named Comirnaty . Experts expect the FDA to authorize more COVID-19 vaccines as they complete clinical trials. If you have not received a COVID-19 shot yet, plan to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
How To Prevent An Asthma Attack
Preventing an asthma attack is easier to do if you know what triggers your asthma.
Avoidance of the triggers can help prevent an asthma attack in many cases, says David Stempel, MD, Senior VP of Clinical and Medical Affairs at Propeller Health. Asthma attacks can be further mitigated by taking preventative medications such as inhaled corticosteroids and in some cases using a short-acting bronchodilator, like albuterol, 15 minutes prior to exposure to a trigger like exercise.
How Long Do Asthma Attacks Last
There is no set time for how long an asthma attack lasts. As a guideline, you might only have a mild asthma attack for a matter of minutes before you manage to get your symptoms under control and they begin to ease off.
If you have severe asthma, an asthma attack can last longer, from hours to days. Severe asthma is harder to get under control and often doesnt respond in the same way to medications as mild asthma. A severe asthma attack is a medical emergency and you need to call for help for emergency help straight away.
What Are My Triggers
Most people are allergic to more than one trigger and sometimes the response is different, so you could get itchy eyes around cats but a runny nose during pollen season. The severity of the allergic reaction varies between people and depends on the circumstances. A reaction may not be immediate.
Sometimes it can be fairly obvious what triggers your asthma. If you have symptoms after coming in contact with cats or dogs then pets are probably one of your triggers. The same applies for contact with smoke from cigarettes or open fires.
Triggers like pollen can be more difficult to determine because the allergens are not visible. It is important to keep a diary of when you experience symptoms and note where you were at the time, what the weather conditions were like and what things you were exposed to including stress.
How Is Asthma Diagnosed
Your health care provider may use many tools to diagnose asthma:
- Physical exam
- Medical history
- Lung function tests, including spirometry, to test how well your lungs work
- Tests to measure how your airways react to specific exposures. During this test, you inhale different concentrations of allergens or medicines that may tighten the muscles in your airways. Spirometry is done before and after the test.
- Peak expiratory flow tests to measure how fast you can blow air out using maximum effort
- Fractional exhaled nitric oxide tests to measure levels of nitric oxide in your breath when you breathe out. High levels of nitric oxide may mean that your lungs are inflamed.
- Allergy or tests, if you have a history of allergies. These tests check which allergens cause a reaction from your immune system.
What Are The Treatments For Asthma
If you have asthma, you will work with your health care provider to create a treatment plan. The plan will include ways to manage your asthma symptoms and prevent asthma attacks. It will include
- Strategies to avoid triggers. For example, if tobacco smoke is a trigger for you, you should not smoke or allow other people to smoke in your home or car.
- Short-term relief medicines, also called quick-relief medicines. They help prevent symptoms or relieve symptoms during an asthma attack. They include an inhaler to carry with you all the time. It may also include other types of medicines which work quickly to help open your airways.
- Control medicines. You take them every day to help prevent symptoms. They work by reducing airway inflammation and preventing narrowing of the airways.
If you have a severe attack and the short-term relief medicines do not work, you will need emergency care.
Your provider may adjust your treatment until asthma symptoms are controlled.
Sometimes asthma is severe and cannot be controlled with other treatments. If you are an adult with uncontrolled asthma, in some cases your provider might suggest bronchial thermoplasty. This is a procedure that uses heat to shrink the smooth muscle in the lungs. Shrinking the muscle reduces your airway’s ability to tighten and allows you to breathe more easily. The procedure has some risks, so it’s important to discuss them with your provider.
What Are The Symptoms Of Asthma
The symptoms of asthma include
- Chest tightness
- Shortness of breath
- Wheezing, which causes a whistling sound when you breathe out
These symptoms can range from mild to severe. You may have them every day or only once in a while.
When you are having an asthma attack, your symptoms get much worse. The attacks may come on gradually or suddenly. Sometimes they can be life-threatening. They are more common in people who have severe asthma. If you are having asthma attacks, you may need a change in your treatment.
Common Asthma Triggers And How To Avoid Them
Common asthma triggers
Asthma triggers are materials, conditions, or activities that either worsen asthma symptoms or cause an asthma flare-up. Asthma triggers are common, which is precisely what makes them so troublesome.
In some cases, avoiding all of your asthma triggers can be difficult. However, with a little planning, you can learn to prevent exposure to your triggers and reduce your risk for an asthma flare-up or attack.
Look Beyond The Obvious
There are some well-known and obvious triggers you should avoid when you have asthma cold air, dust mites, pollen, tobacco smoke, mold, and pet dander among them. But what about your favorite candle, thunderstorms, , or even traffic? Several odd or unusual things can trigger an asthma attack. If you have asthma, its important to identify your own particular triggers so you can try to avoid or at least be better prepared for a potential attack.
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, 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.
About Chemical Irritants And Asthma
Chemical irritants are found in some products in your house and may trigger asthma. Your asthma or your child’s asthma may be worse around products such as cleaners, paints, adhesives, pesticides, cosmetics or air fresheners. Chemical irritants are also present in schools and can be found in commonly used cleaning supplies and educational kits.
Chemical irritants may exacerbate asthma. At sufficient concentrations in the air, many products can trigger a reaction.
What Does A Virus Do To The Cell
It essentially turns it into a virus making a factory. The Rhinovirus is the most common virus to cause asthma . So, to keep it simple, well just focus on the Rhinovirus. Once it binds to a respiratory epithelial cell, it forces the cell to take it in. Once inside, the capsid separates itself from the genome . This RNA strand enters the cells nucleus and integrates itself to the cells DNA. The cell then replicates the viral RNA over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.4,6
What Are The Signs Of An Asthma Flare
Asthma flare-ups can vary in strength and length. They can happen without warning, causing sudden coughing, shortness of breath, and wheezing.
Flare-ups should be treated right away. So it’s important to know their early warning signs, including:
- restless sleep or coughing that prevents sleep
- mild chest tightness or wheezing
If the flare-up is severe, a kid might:
- struggle to breathe or have fast breathing even when sitting still
- be unable to speak more than a few words at a time without pausing
- have retractions while breathing in
Because they can be life-threatening, flare-ups demand attention. Your child might need to take quick-relief medicine , visit the doctor, or even go to the hospital.
Do I Have To Wear Face Masks On Public Transportation
Masks are still required for travel on all public transportation even if you are fully vaccinated.
As of Aug. 27, 2021, the updated mask guidance from CDC says that masks are still required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation. This includes traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.
Acute Exacerbation Of Asthma Risk Reduction
One of the most important steps that may be taken to reduce the risk of asthma exacerbations is to learn what triggers symptoms and avoid them. For example, if dry, cold air causes symptoms, it may be useful to cover your nose with a scarf in cold weather. Other strategies that can help to reduce the risk of acute asthma exacerbations include:
- Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face to prevent getting colds or other respiratory infections.
- Make sure you take each asthma medication as prescribed by your physician.
- Regularly monitor your lung function using a peak flow meter and record your results.
- Use your rescue inhalers as soon as you develop symptoms of an asthma attack.
- Identify whether your use of quick-relief inhalers has increased lately. This could mean that your doctor needs to modify your treatment or adjust your doses. Never modify your treatment or self-medicate without talking to your health care provider first.
- If a physical activity triggers an attack, stop immediately and use your rescue inhaler as prescribed.
- Dont stop taking your treatment or reduce your doses without discussing it with your doctor first, even if you feel that your symptoms are improving.
Sinusitis And Other Upper Respiratory Infections
Much like asthma causes inflammation in the lining of your airways, causes inflammation in the mucus membranes that line your . 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.
Asthma Attack Causes And Symptoms
Asthma affects about 235m people worldwide, including both adults and children. The symptoms of asthma can be well controlled by regular medications and lifestyle choices, but sometimes an Asthma Attack occurs where the symptoms suddenly get worse.
Read on to discover the facts about asthma attacks, what causes them, the symptoms to look out for and common asthma attack triggers.
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What Triggers Asthma Attacks
When you experience an asthma attack, your airways narrow and it gets more difficult to breathe. An asthma attack can come on slowly and gradually, for example, if your usual symptoms arent so well controlled or if youve not been using your preventer inhaler as regularly as you should be. If youve got an upper airway infection then this can also trigger an asthma attack.
Other factors that can trigger asthma attacks include a sudden change in the temperature and cold weather, environmental factors, allergens and even stress or certain foods and drinks.
What Kind Of Face Mask Should I Wear
There are many options for cloth face masks. You can buy disposable or reusable face masks at many major retail stores or online, or you can make your own. Fabric made from 100% cotton, such as heavy-duty quilt fabric or a knit T-shirt, can be somewhat effective.
Finding a mask that is comfortable and fits well will provide the best protection, If you feel the need to readjust or pull on your mask, it does not fit well. The CDC recommends:
- Masks with multiple layers of fabric
- Masks that fit snugly against the sides of your face without any gaps
- Masks that cover your nose, mouth, and chin
- Masks with inner filter pockets
- Masks with a metal strip or nose guard to keep air from leaking out
- Using a mask fitter or brace over a disposable or cloth mask to prevent air leaking out of the sides and top
- Wearing one disposable mask underneath a cloth mask
- Knot and tuck ear loops of a three-ply mask
Children two years and older should wear a mask that is made for children to ensure a snug without any gaps.
Do not choose masks that:
- Are made of fabric that makes it hard to breathe, such as vinyl
- Have exhalation valves or vents which allow virus particles to escape, unless the inside of the valve/vent is covered by fabric
Do not wear two disposable masks at a time or combine a KN95 mask with any other mask.
The WHO recommends masks that have three layers:
- An outer water-resistant layer
- A middle layer of non-woven fabric
- An inner layer of cotton
The One Trigger You Shouldnt Avoid
Exercise can be a common asthma trigger, but this is one trigger you shouldnt avoid. Physical activity is important for your overall health, and its a risk worth taking.
Be wise about incorporating physical activity, exercise, and outdoor activities into your life. If exercise-induced asthma is a concern, talk with your doctor about medications that help prevent asthma flare-ups when youre physically active.
Do Children Need To Wear Face Masks
COVID-19 vaccines are now available in the U.S. for everyone 12 years old and older. Children in this age range should get vaccinated as soon as possible so they are protected from COVID-19.
The CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status.
Children with a disability that keeps them from safely wearing a mask and children under 2 should not wear masks.
Asthma Triggers: Gain Control
This video features medical professionals, families and children living with asthma.
Americans spend up to 90 percent of their time indoors, and indoor allergens and irritants play a significant role in triggering asthma attacks. Triggers are things that can cause asthma symptoms, an episode or attack or make asthma worse. If you have asthma, you may react to just one trigger or you may find that several things act as triggers. Be sure to work with a doctor to identify triggers and develop a treatment plan that includes ways to reduce exposures to your asthma triggers.
On this page:
Allergies Can Trigger Asthma Symptoms
Allergies may be one trigger of asthma, in fact, allergic asthma, is the most common form of asthma. Exposure to airborne allergens like pollen, dust mites, pet dander, and mold can trigger an attack. Even food allergies can lead to an asthma attack.
If allergies are triggering an asthma attack, it is essential to identify the allergens you are allergic to, to help you avoid them if possible. Some allergies are unable to be avoided so medication and immunotherapy may be recommended to help lessen the irritation of the allergens.
Air Pollutants Can Irritate Your Airways
Exposure to air pollution such as second-hand tobacco smoke, smoke from fire, dust, and exhaust can increase your chance of an asthma attack. Small particles can get into your lungs and irritate your airways making your asthma worse.
During the summer months, ozone action days or days with higher pollution levels can lead to asthma attacks. Monitoring the weather, pollen, and pollution levels can help you prepare for the day.
Triggers Of Asthma Attacks
An asthma attack can be triggered by:
- Animal protein such as dander, urine, oil from skin
- House dust or dust mites
- such as perfumes, household cleaners, cooking fumes, paints, and varnishes
- Chemicals such as coal, chalk dust, or talcum powder
- Air pollutants
- Wood smoke from heating stoves and fireplaces
- Changing weather such as changes in temperature, barometric pressure, humidity, or strong winds
- Exposure to
- Medications such as aspirin, other non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen, indomethacin, naproxen
- Sulfites used as preservatives in food and beverages
Medical History And Physical Exam
Your doctor will ask about your risk factors for asthma and your . They may ask also about any known allergies. This includes how often symptoms occur, what seems to trigger your symptoms, when or where symptoms occur, and if your symptoms wake you up at night.
During the physical exam, your doctor may:
- Listen to your breathing and look for of asthma
- Look for allergic skin conditions, such as eczema
Physical Exertion During Exercise Can Trigger Asthma Symptoms
Exercise can also trigger asthma symptoms due to the increased breathing rate that brings drier air into your lungs. This causes your airways to narrow making it harder to breathe leading to decreased endurance, coughing, wheezing, and other asthma symptoms.
This is called exercise-induced bronchoconstriction , or commonly exercise-induced asthma. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, 90% of people with asthma have EIB, but not everyone with EIB has asthma. Many professional athletes compete with EIB; the goal of an asthma treatment plan is to let you enjoy your exercise and sports.
What Should I Do If I Have A Severe Asthma Attack
A severe asthma attack needs immediate medical care. The first step is your rescue inhaler. A rescue inhaler uses fast-acting medicines to open up your airways. Its different than your normal maintenance inhaler, which you use every day. You should only use the rescue inhaler in an emergency.
If your rescue inhaler doesnt help or you dont have it with you, go to the emergency department if you have:
- Anxiety or panic.
- Bluish fingernails, bluish lips or gray or whitish lips or gums .
- Chest pain or pressure.
About Wood Smoke And Asthma
Smoke from wood-burning stoves and fireplaces contains a mixture of harmful gases and small particles. Breathing these small particles can cause asthma attacks and severe bronchitis, aggravate heart and lung disease and may increase the likelihood of respiratory illnesses. If you’re using a wood stove or fireplace and smell smoke in your home, it probably isn’t working as it should.
Symptoms After An Asthma Attack
How you feel after an asthma attack will depend on how severe the attack was and what triggered it.
If the attack was triggered by an irritant, such as cold weather, pollutants or allergens such as pollen, animal fur or dust, you should recover relatively quickly.
If your asthma attack was caused by an infection, such an upper airway infection, then it might take longer for you to recover. You may have symptoms such as fatigue and exhaustion after your asthma attack.
Do follow any recovery guidance given to you by a doctor or medical professional. Rest, drink plenty of fluids, take your medication and attend any necessary follow-up appointments.
If you havent seen your doctor or asthma nurse for a routine appointment recently, book one as soon as possible.