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.
Etiology Of And Risk Factors For Asthma
Asthma comprises a range of heterogeneous phenotypes that differ in presentation, etiology and pathophysiology. The risk factors for each recognized phenotype of asthma include genetic, environmental and host factors. Although a family history of asthma is common, it is neither sufficient nor necessary for the development of asthma.14
The substantial increases in the incidence of asthma over the past few decades and the geographic variation in both base prevalence rates and the magnitude of the increases support the thesis that environmental changes play a large role in the current asthma epidemic. Furthermore, environmental triggers may affect asthma differently at different times of a persons life, and the relevant risk factors may change over time.
Short-term studies of risk factors may suggest a lower likelihood of asthma, whereas the same factors may be associated with greater risk if follow-up is more prolonged. This pattern may relate to overlap between different wheezing phenotypes in early childhood, only some of which persist as asthma in later childhood and adulthood. Because of this phenomenon, we examine here the risk factors for persistent asthma at different ages, specifically the prenatal period, infancy, childhood and, briefly, adulthood.
About Secondhand Smoke And Asthma
Secondhand smoke is the smoke from a cigarette, cigar, or pipe, that is exhaled by a smoker. Secondhand smoke contains more than 4,000 substances, including several compounds that cause cancer.
Secondhand smoke can trigger asthma episodes and increase the severity of attacks. Secondhand smoke is also a risk factor for new cases of asthma in pre-school-aged children. Children’s developing bodies may make them more susceptible to the effects of secondhand smoke. Due to their small size, they breathe more rapidly than adults, thereby taking in more secondhand smoke. Children receiving high doses of secondhand smoke, such as those with smoking parents, run the greatest relative risk of experiencing damaging health effects.
You May Like: What Is Shortness Of Breath In Asthma
Bronchiolitis And Croup In Babies And Young Children
If your child has had a few episodes of bronchiolitis, they could be more at risk of getting asthma as they get older.
Bronchiolitis is caused by a virus, usually the respiratory syncytial virus . Its mostly babies and young children under two years old who get bronchiolitis. It leads to swelling in the lungs and airways, cough, and wheeze.
Your baby is more at risk of bronchiolitis if you smoke.
Find out more about bronchiolitis at our sister charity the British Lung Foundation.
Children with a history of croup may also be more at risk of developing asthma. Like asthma, croup has symptoms like coughing and feeling breathless.
Sometimes asthma gets missed because parents think its croup. But croup is very rare after the age of five, so if your child is still being treated for croup after this age, your GP should check to see if they have asthma.
Physical Symptoms Of Asthma
Asthma symptoms and severity vary substantially from person to person. Most people with asthma do not have symptoms constantly. Bothersome asthma symptoms can mean that asthma is not controlled sufficiently or that an acute asthma episode may be starting. Common asthma symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Awakening in the night from coughing or wheezing
If you do not have asthma, you can help yourself imagine what it feels like to have an asthma episode:
Dont Miss: Can Agent Orange Cause Asthma
Don’t Miss: How Do You Get Asthma As An Adult
Low Levels Of Vitamin D
Some studies suggest a link between very low levels of vitamin D and children with wheeze, allergic rhinitis, and asthma. Good levels of vitamin D during early pregnancy have been found to lower the risk of early wheezing in children.
Its thought that vitamin D deficiency may be adding to the numbers of people with asthma and other allergies.
Your GP can do a blood test to check your vitamin D levels. If they are low they may suggest supplements.
Find out more about taking vitamin D.
Side Effects Of Asthma Medication
If you are worried about possible side effects from asthma medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop or reduce doses of medication for your child without speaking with your doctor. Common side effects from inhaled asthma medication:
- sore mouth and throat
- fungal throat infections.
Using a spacer reduces the risk of these side effects. as does rinsing the mouth with water after using an inhaler.
- fast heart beat.
Read Also: Can A Child Outgrow Asthma
The Ever Increasing Burden Of Copd In India And How Can Digital Health Technologies Helpyour Browser Indicates If Youve Visited This Link
India is among countries with lowest quit rates for smoking. The quit rates for men are less than 20%. Additionally, the study indicates 37% Indian respondents showed desire to change behavior with plan to quit smoking A child born before the completion of 37 weeks in pregnancy or three weeks before the due date is known to a preterm or premature baby who requires special care due to the organs being underdeveloped.
Some scientists believe that asthma and vitamin deficiency are integrally linked. Researchers have looked into the role that certain vitaminslike vitamin D, vitamin C, and vitamin Eplay in the occurrence and severity of the disease. While it is clear that diet does influence the incidence and prevalence of asthma, what is less clear is whether vitamin supplementation can prevent asthma or improve its symptoms.
How To Tell If Your Asthma Is Severe
Doctors differentiate severe asthma from other, milder forms of asthma according to the frequency and intensity of a persons symptoms.
For starters, severe asthma is persistent, which doctors define as asthma that causes symptoms more than twice a week, explains Patricia Takach, MD, an associate professor of clinical medicine in the section of allergy and immunology at the University of Pennsylvanias Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia. For many severe asthma sufferers, symptoms occur daily.
Don’t Miss: Can You Smoke If You Have Asthma
Epidemiology Of Asthma: An Overview
The recent substantial increase in the reported prevalence of asthma worldwide has led to numerous studies of the prevalence and characteristics of this condition.2 Foremost among these are 2 major international initiatives that have collected data using validated questionnaires, one among children, the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood,3 and the other among young adults, the European Community Respiratory Health Survey.4 Follow-up investigations for both of these studies5,6 have examined temporal trends within and across populations. During a mean of 7 years following phase I of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood, which in most participating countries was conducted between 1991 and 1993, the prevalence of asthma was stable or decreased in some areas of the world but increased substantially in many other areas, especially among children 1314 years of age .5
Changes in prevalence of diagnosed asthma and asthma symptoms over time among children and young adults. Reproduced, with permission, from Eder W, Ege MJ, von Mutius E. The asthma epidemic. N Engl J Med 2006 355:222635. Copyright 2006 Massachusetts Medical Society.2
What Are The Symptoms Of Asthma
While symptoms vary from person to person, the most common signs of mild asthma include:
- difficulty breathing feeling breathless, even while resting, or being unable to finish full sentences before needing to take another breath
- wheezing making a whistling sound while breathing
- coughing either at specific times or after certain activities
During a severe asthma attack, you may notice more serious symptoms, such as:
- feeling very distressed, exhausted or even limp from trying to breathe
- deep sucking motions at the throat or chest while trying to breathe
Don’t Miss: Dr Sebi Cure For Asthma
The Cell Biology Of Asthma
- Abbreviations used in this paper:
Rho-associated coiled-coil containing protein kinase
SAM-pointed domaincontaining Ets-like factor
signal transducer and activator of transcription 6
J Cell Biol
David J. Erle, Dean Sheppard The cell biology of asthma. J Cell Biol 9 June 2014 205 : 621631. doi:
The clinical manifestations of asthma are caused by obstruction of the conducting airways of the lung. Two airway cell types are critical for asthma pathogenesis: epithelial cells and smooth muscle cells. Airway epithelial cells, which are the first line of defense against inhaled pathogens and particles, initiate airway inflammation and produce mucus, an important contributor to airway obstruction. The other main cause of airway obstruction is contraction of airway smooth muscle. Complementary experimental approaches involving cultured cells, animal models, and human clinical studies have provided many insights into diverse mechanisms that contribute to airway epithelial and smooth muscle cell pathology in this complex disease.
What Are The Complications Of Asthma
Poorly-controlled asthma can have a negative effect on your quality of life. Complications may include:
- being less productive at work or while studying
- an inability to exercise and be physically active
- reduced lung function
- poor mental health
Taking your medications exactly as prescribed is important. If you feel that your asthma is affecting your quality of life, contact your doctor for a medicines review.
Don’t Miss: What To Do For An Asthma Attack Without Inhaler
Can I Prevent Asthma
Because the exact cause of asthma is unknown, you may not be able to prevent asthma in yourself or your children. You or your child may develop asthma when the bodys immune system is still developing.
Research suggests that you may be able to take some steps to help prevent asthma from developing. They include doing your best to keep your home free of dampness and mold, avoiding air pollution as much as possible, and making a healthy weight a priority for you and your children.
What Does Asthma Do To The Body
You already know that the muscles in your lungs tighten during an asthma episode. The bronchial tubes may become swollen or otherwise irritated. What else does asthma do to the body? Thats a great question.
According to American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology, asthma causes a semi-permanent inflammation in the lungs airways. That means your airways are swollen and red. Theyre characterized as being in a hypersensitive state that can be irritated by any small trigger. Some of these triggers, outlined in Asthma Attacks: Triggers and Treatments, include pet dander, smoke, chemicals, dust, cold or warm weather, pollen, stress, and illness.
Unfortunately, its very normal for someone to be scared or fatigued after suffering an asthma attack. Even seconds of this frightening breathlessness can feel like hours, and your body needs time to recover from the shock of what happened.
Thats why you will have to take care of yourself in the days following an asthma attack. Your lungs are in a weakened state, which makes you more susceptible to a second or third attack. This risk is high over several days, so keep your asthma care a high priority.
Recommended Reading: Is Asthma Chronic Lung Disease
Recommended Reading: What Is The Pathophysiology Of Asthma
What Causes Allergic Asthma
The cause of asthma isnt known. However, for those with allergic asthma, the reason symptoms start is related to allergens. This is the main difference between allergic asthma and other types of asthma allergens are inhaled and trigger asthma symptoms. When you experience severe asthma symptoms, its called an asthma attack.
Who Is At Risk For Asthma
Asthma affects people of all ages, but it often starts during childhood. Certain factors can raise your risk of having asthma:
- Being exposed to secondhand smoke when your mother is pregnant with you or when you are a small child
- Being exposed to certain substances at work, such as chemical irritants or industrial dusts
- Genetics and family history. You are more likely to have asthma if one of your parents has it, especially if it’s your mother.
- Race or ethnicity. Black and African Americans and Puerto Ricans are at higher risk of asthma than people of other races or ethnicities.
- Having other diseases or conditions such as obesity and allergies
- Often having viral respiratory infections as a young child
- Sex. In children, asthma is more common in boys. In teens and adults, it is more common in women.
Don’t Miss: What Is An Asthma Flare
Medical Conditions In Adults
- This list is presented in alphabetical order and not in order of risk.
- CDC completed an evidence review process for each medical condition on this list to ensure they met criteria for inclusion on this webpage.
- We are learning more about COVID-19 every day, and this list may be updated as the science evolves.
Read Also: Should You Run If You Have Asthma
Research For Your Health
NHLBI-supported research on asthma has led to more and better treatment options to improve the health of people who have asthma. Through our current research, we hope to better understand how our genes and the environment we live in affect our risk for developing asthma.
You May Like: Do Asthma Patients Live Long
Why Do Animals And Pets Trigger Asthma Symptoms
People often think their asthma is triggered by animal hair, but if pets are a trigger for you, youre probably allergic to proteins found in the animals flakes of skin , saliva, urine or even fine particles from bird feathers known as feather dust.
Touching or inhaling these allergens causes your immune system to overreact, leading to your asthma symptoms getting worse.
Lots of pets can trigger allergic asthma symptoms, from cats, dogs and horses, to rabbits, hamsters, mice and gerbils, and birds. You might be allergic to just one type of animal or more than one.
Animal allergies can develop at any stage of life. Even if you had a pet when you were younger and didnt react to it, you could be allergic to the same type of animal now.
Read Also: Is Asthma A Serious Medical Condition
Exposure To Substances At Work
Occupational asthma is a type of asthma caused by certain things found in the workplace, such as chemicals or dust from flour or wood.
If you havent had asthma before and then get it because of the work you do, and if your symptoms improve when youre not at work, you probably have occupational asthma. See your GP as soon as possible for advice. If they think there is an occupational cause for your asthma they should refer you to a specialist.
Occupational asthma is a common cause of adult-onset asthma.
Find out more about occupational asthma.
Don’t Miss: Allergy And Asthma Center Grants Pass
Asthma Diagnosis In Children
Asthma is a clinical diagnosis. However, there are some tests that can be used to help support a diagnosis of asthma, depending on the age of the child and the clinical situation. To diagnose asthma, your childs health care provider may recommend these tests:
- Spirometry. A spirometer is a device used to check lung function. It can typically be done starting around age 5.
- Peak flow monitoring. A peak flow meter is used to measure the amount of air a child can blow out of the lungs. This measurement can be helpful in some, particularly older, children.
- Chest X-rays. This diagnostic test uses invisible energy beams to make images of internal tissues, bones and organs on film. This can help rule out other conditions that appear similar to asthma, but may appear normal if the child has asthma.
- Allergy tests. Allergy tests can help identify triggers for asthma, but are not themselves diagnostic of asthma.
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.
Read Also: Fairfield County Allergy And Asthma Stamford
Everyday Treatment For Asthma In Children
The main aims of day-to-day asthma treatment are to:
- keep symptoms under control
- keep lungs as healthy as possible
- stop asthma from interfering with school or play
- help your child enjoy a full and active life.
Your doctor will help you to develop a plan to manage your childs asthma which will include an asthma action plan , and will prescribe the correct medication to help you do so.
Food And Food Additives Trigger Asthma
Food allergies can cause mild to severe life-threatening reactions. They rarely cause asthma without other symptoms. If you have food allergies, asthma can be part of a severe, life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis. The most common foods associated with allergic symptoms are:
Food preservatives can trigger isolated asthma, especially sulfite additives, like sodium bisulfite, potassium bisulfite, sodium metabisulfite, potassium metabisulfite, and sodium sulfite, which are commonly used in food processing or preparation.
Read Also: Is Asthma Covered Under Ada