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Why Are People Born With Asthma

What Should I Know About Covid

How does asthma work? – Christopher E. Gaw

If you have asthma that is moderate-to-severe, or if your asthma symptoms arent well controlled, youre at greater risk of having to be hospitalized if you get COVID-19. Therefore, you should wear a mask if you go to indoor spaces with other people, get vaccinated and avoid exposure to people who have the virus.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Many people live fulfilling lives with asthma. Some professional athletes with asthma have set records in their sports. Your healthcare provider can help you find the best way to manage your asthma. Talk to your healthcare provider about how to control your symptoms.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/19/2022.


Using Medicine As Prescribed Can Prevent Asthma Attacks

  • Inhaled corticosteroids and other control medicines can prevent asthma attacks.
  • Rescue inhalers or nebulizers can give quick relief of symptoms
  • But . . . about half of children who are prescribed asthma control medicines do not use them regularly.

SOURCE: National Health Interview Survey, 2013.

The Federal government is

  • Working with state, territorial, private and non-government partners to support medical management, asthma-self management education, and, for people at high risk, home visits to reduce triggers and help with asthma management. ,
  • Providing guidelines, tools such as asthma action plans, and educational messages to help children, their caregivers, and healthcare professionals better manage asthma.
  • Promoting policies and best practices to reduce exposure to indoor and outdoor asthma triggers such as tobacco smoke and air pollution.
  • Tracking asthma rates and assuring efficient and effective use of resources invested in asthma services.

Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers are

Some payers/health insurance plans are

Parents and children are

Schools are

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.

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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.

Will Your Child Outgrow Asthma

What To Do When Your Child Is Diagnosed With Asthma

Once a persons airways become sensitive, they remain that way for life. About half of the children who have asthma have a noticeable decrease in symptoms by the time they become adolescentsâtherefore, appearing to have outgrown their asthma. However, about half of these children will develop asthma symptoms again in their 30s or 40s. Unfortunately, there is no way to predict whose symptoms will decrease during adolescence and whose will return later in life.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/01/2019.


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Can Babies Have Asthma

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We dont always know why a baby develops asthma but some causes can be:

  • Family history of asthma, allergies or eczema
  • Premature birth
  • A viral infection , especially when the baby is less than 6 months old
  • A mother who smokes during pregnancy

As many as 80% of children that will have asthma develop signs and symptoms before the age of 5.

How Is Asthma In Children Treated

Based on your child’s history and how severe the asthma is, the healthcare provider will develop a care plan called an “Asthma Action Plan,â which describes:

  • When and how your child should use asthma medication.
  • What to do when asthma gets worse.
  • When to seek emergency care for your child.

Make sure you understand this plan and ask your child’s provider any questions you may have. The Asthma Action Plan is important to the success of asthma control. Keep it handy to remind you of your child’s daily asthma management plan and to guide you when your child develops asthma symptoms. In addition to following the Asthma Action Plan, try to limit exposure to asthma triggers.

Asthma medications that adults and older children take can also safely be prescribed for toddlers and younger children. In the case of inhaled medications, a different delivery device based on the child’s age and ability may be required.

If your infant or child is having asthma symptoms that require treatment with a rescue inhaler more than twice a week, your provider may prescribe a daily controller therapy .

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How Is Asthma Diagnosed In A Baby

It can be difficult for doctors to diagnose asthma in infants because it is not easy to measure lung function in children who are of preschool age or younger. Diagnosis will rely on the parents and the symptoms they report, as well as the familys medical history.

The doctor will ask about when your baby coughs or has trouble breathing. It may be helpful to take notes at home about the time of day and what your baby is exposed to when symptoms are present. Tell the doctor about any family members that have asthma or allergies.

Drugs And Food Additives

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Beta blockers, which often are prescribed for high blood pressure, glaucoma, migraine headaches and angina, can cause bronchospasm, an airway tightening. Patients with asthma should consult their allergist about the use of these medications.

Food additives rarely trigger asthma. The most common food trigger for asthma is sulfite, a preservative used in such products as frozen potatoes and some beers and wines.

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Breathing: Normal Airways Vs Asthma Airways

Normal: In someone with optimal lung function, air is inhaled through the nose and mouth, passing through the trachea before moving into the bronchi . The bronchi branch into smaller tubes, ending in many small sacs called alveoli. Its in the alveoli that oxygen is passed to the blood and carbon dioxide is removed.

Asthma: In someone with asthma, the airways are inflamed, and when triggered, can constrict even more, obstructing airflow to the lungs.

How Is Asthma Treatment Different For Older Children

Sometimes when asthma is suspected, the doctor will put your child on a trial of asthma medication to see if it helps. If your child gets better while taking the medicine, it can be a signal that your childs symptoms are due to asthma. The medication will depend on how severe your childs symptoms are and how often they occur.

The goal of treatment for children include:

  • Managing the childs environment to avoid triggers
  • Treating the airway inflammation and bronchospasm with medication
  • Keeping asthma in control so activity does not need to be limited
  • Teaching the child about asthma, their medications and how to be as healthy as possible in a way they can understand

When administering medication to your child, make sure to follow the instructions given to you by your doctor and on the package insert.

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What Types Of Asthma Are There

Asthma is broken down into types based on the cause and the severity of symptoms. Healthcare providers identify asthma as:

  • Intermittent: This type of asthma comes and goes so you can feel normal in between asthma flares.
  • Persistent: Persistent asthma means you have symptoms much of the time. Symptoms can be mild, moderate or severe. Healthcare providers base asthma severity on how often you have symptoms. They also consider how well you can do things during an attack.

Asthma has multiple causes:

  • Allergic: Some peoples allergies can cause an asthma attack. Allergens include things like molds, pollens and pet dander.
  • Non-allergic: Outside factors can cause asthma to flare up. Exercise, stress, illness and weather may cause a flare.

Asthma can also be:

  • Adult-onset: This type of asthma starts after the age of 18.
  • Pediatric: Also called childhood asthma, this type of asthma often begins before the age of 5, and can occur in infants and toddlers. Children may outgrow asthma. You should make sure that you discuss it with your provider before you decide whether your child needs to have an inhaler available in case they have an asthma attack. Your childs healthcare provider can help you understand the risks.

In addition, there are these types of asthma:

Can Asthma Reappear In Adults After Disappearing Years Ago

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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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First World/third World Difference

Another observation that may hold clues to the causes of asthma is that asthma is much more common in industrialized nations such as the United States than in the developing world. We still do not know why this is so. It is unlikely to be related to the genetic makeup of the populations, since descendants of immigrants from developing nations to industrialized ones have similar asthma rates to those in their adoptive country.

Several explanations have been suggested to explain the higher prevalence of asthma in industrialized nations:

  • Higher rates of different infectious diseases in the developing world from measles to malaria, bacteria to parasitic worms may somehow affect people’s immune systems in a way that is protective against asthma.
  • Spending more time indoors than their developing nation counterparts may expose children in industrialized nations to allergens or pollutants that contribute to asthma.
  • Excess body weight may be a risk factor for asthma. And children in developing nations are thinner than children in industrialized nations.

Will My Child Outgrow Asthma

Asthma is rarely outgrown it often persists into adulthood. However, some parents see the symptoms of asthma go away as their child grows. This could be the result of the childs lungs growing larger or the immune system adapting over time. However, sensitivity to allergens as an asthma symptom trigger may still remain. And for many, symptoms often reappear years later.

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What Should You Do If Your Child Has An Asthma Attack

If your child is showing symptoms of an asthma attack:

  • Give your child their reliever medicine according to the asthma action plan.
  • Wait 15 minutes. If the symptoms go away, your child should be able to resume whatever activity they were doing. If symptoms persist, follow the Asthma Action Plan for further therapy.
  • If your child fails to improve, or if you arenât sure what action to take, call your care provider.

The danger signs of an asthma attack are:

  • Severe wheezing.
  • Trouble walking and/or talking,
  • Blue lips and/or fingernails.

If your child has any of these danger signs/symptoms, go to the nearest emergency department or call 911.

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Asthma – it’s no monkey business!

Asthma can be more difficult to control in adults for several reasons:

  • Asthma medications can be less effective later in life, particularly for those who are obese.
  • Oral steroids can worsen glaucoma, cataracts and osteoporosis.
  • Being on beta-blockers for heart problems can increase the severity of asthma.
  • The lungs and chest walls are stiffer and the muscles supporting deep breathing are weaker in adults.

For these reasons, adults with asthma are at increased risk for flare-ups and even hospitalization.

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Most Recent National Asthma Data

These tables feature the latest national and state statistics on the burden of asthma among children and adults. The data are from national and state surveillance systems administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Links to sources are provided with each table to assist with finding additional information on the data and relevant tables and reports.

National Current Asthma Prevalence

Characteristic2 Weighted Number With Current Asthma1 Percent
Below 100% of the poverty threshold 4,035,715
100% to less than 250% of the poverty threshold 7,828,911
250% to less than 450% of the poverty threshold 6,004,868
450% of poverty threshold or higher 7,387,644 6.7

Abbreviations: NH = Non-Hispanic, SE = Standard Error1Persons who answered yes to the questions Have you EVER been told by a doctor or other health professional that you had asthma? and Do you still have asthma?2Numbers within selected characteristics may not sum to total due to rounding and missing values.3Persons who answered male or female to the question Are you male or female?4Poverty level is based on family income and family size using the U.S. Census Bureaus poverty thresholds. Poverty level was calculated separately using 10 imputed income files.Source: 2020 National Health Interview Survey Data .

Current Asthma1 Prevalence by Race and Ethnicity
NationalPrevalence of Asthma Attacks1 Among People With Current Asthma2 by Age
Asthma Mortality

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.

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Sometimes Asthma Can Cause Long

Airway Remodeling If you have asthma, your airways become inflamed, which causes them to swell and produce extra mucus. Unless youre able to control this inflammation with medication, it can ultimately lead to a permanent narrowing or other structural changes in the lungs bronchial tubes, Dr. Rosenstreich says.

This airway remodeling is irreversible and can affect how well you breathe. Some people may ultimately need to use an assistive device, like an oxygen machine, to breathe.

Its believed that everyone who has asthma experiences airway modeling to some degree, however, severe airway remodeling is rare. When inflammation in the lungs isnt properly controlled by therapy with corticosteroids or bronchodilators, scar tissue can form and the airways are no longer able to open up, even after using an inhaler, Rosenstreich says. It can begin shortly after the onset of asthma, which is why we encourage people to stick to their prescribed therapy.

Anxiety and Depression As with some other chronic diseases, asthma may increase your risk for anxiety and depression. Some research has found that people with asthma are nearly twice as likely to develop depression as those without asthma.

Some research suggests the psychological stress and negative emotions associated with asthma are what put individuals with asthma at higher risk for these mood disorders. Sleep disturbances and inflammatory factors associated with asthma may also contribute.

What To Know About Asthma And Genetics

Asthma: Whoâs at Risk?

Genetic predisposition is one of the strongest risk factors for developing asthma.

While no one is born with asthma itself, you may be born with genes that dictate whether youll get it as an infant or young child.

In fact, its estimated that children are up to 3 times more likely to develop asthma if their mothers have it, and 2.5 times more likely if their fathers do.

However, theres no guarantee that a genetic disposition will automatically mean you get asthma.

One study on twins with asthma found that 66 percent of cases were linked to environmental factors, while the other 34 percent were genetic. Another 2019 review states that the risk of twins developing asthma because of their genes ranges between 55 and 90 percent.

Other supports the fact that while one sibling might get asthma from their parents, other siblings may not.

Due to the fact that asthma is

Even if asthma doesnt run in your family, its still possible to develop this condition at some point in your lifetime.

Other possible causes and risk factors for asthma development include:

  • having a personal or family history of allergies
  • a history of autoimmune diseases
  • having hay fever or eczema
  • premature birth
  • smoking or frequent exposure to cigarette smoke
  • regular exposure to air pollution, gasses, and chemical fumes
  • hormonal changes in women during menopause

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Are You Born With Asthma

Asthma results from a breathing condition caused by swollen airways that constrict the passage of air. Common symptoms include dry cough, shortness of breath, and wheezing. Its a common childhood condition, affecting over eight percent of children in the United States.

However, people of all ages develop asthma. Childhood asthma may disappear for good in adolescence for some people, while it reemerges for others. Asthma can be controlled, but it cant be cured, so visiting an asthma specialist like Alpha Internal Medicine is your best choice for limiting the effects of the disease on your life.

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