Saturday, May 18, 2024
HomeAttackWhy Do I Keep Having Asthma Attacks At Night

Why Do I Keep Having Asthma Attacks At Night

What Causes Nocturnal Asthma

Symptoms of Asthma

During sleep, the airways often narrow, which can cause an increased resistance to airflow.

This can trigger coughing at night, which can in turn tighten the airways even more.

Sinusitis with asthma is quite common, as increased drainage from the sinuses can trigger the condition if you have sensitive airways.

Those who work night shifts may find they have breathing attacks during the day, when theyre asleep.

Existing research has shown that breathing becomes more difficult for those with nocturnal asthma around four to six hours into sleep, which suggests there is an internal trigger.

Breathing in colder air at night, or having an air-conditioned bedroom, can result in a loss of heat from the airways.

A cooling of the airways, along with moisture loss, are key triggers of exercise induced asthma, and they are also seen in nocturnal asthma.

Those with heartburn may find that the reflux of stomach acid through the esophagus, up to the larynx, can cause a bronchial spasm.

Stomach acid can irritate the lower esophagus, leading to the airways becoming restricted.

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

Keep Your Inhaler Handy

Fast-acting inhalers can reduce inflammation in the airways and lungs quickly, helping you breathe easier within minutes. If you wake up suddenly from an asthma attack in the middle of the night, it would be helpful to have your inhaler right by your side to avoid a frantic search for it while you struggle to breathe.

These solutions may not work for everyone, but they may help reduce the severity or the frequency of your symptoms.

Read Also: Is Asthma An Auto Immune Disease

Can Nocturnal Asthma Be Treated

There is no cure for nocturnal asthma but symptoms can be controlled so you can live a more comfortable, symptom-free life. Daily asthma medications, including inhaled steroids, can reduce the inflammation caused by an asthma attack. Your doctor may prescribe a longer acting asthma inhaler with a bronchodilator aimed to prevent nocturnal asthma symptoms.

For GERD sufferers, doctors may prescribe a medication to reduce stomach acid production, in addition to an inhaled corticosteroid. Avoiding potential allergy triggers, such as the feathers in a down comforter, can also help.

What To Do During An Asthma Attack Without An Inhaler At Night

What Triggers Asthma Attacks At Night

Follow these tips to survive a night-time asthma attack without an inhaler:

  • Sit straight to keep your airways open
  • Stay calm, as stress or panic can worsen your symptoms
  • Take long, deep breaths to reduce symptoms
  • Asthma can be triggered by dust, cigarette smoke, and other allergens. Stay away from triggers and go to any area with clean air.
  • A cup of coffee can open up your airways and provide you some relief
  • Seek emergency medical attention if symptoms persist

Also Check: What’s The Best Air Purifier For Asthma

Nighttime Asthma And Sleep Disturbance

The chances of experiencing asthma symptoms are higher during sleep. Nocturnal wheezing, cough, and trouble breathing are common yet potentially dangerous. Many doctors often underestimate nocturnal asthma or nighttime asthma.

Studies show that most deaths related to asthma symptoms such as wheezing happen at night.

Common Asthma Attack Triggers

An asthma trigger is an irritant that causes the airways to become inflamed and constrict. Constriction of airways marks the start of an asthma attack and can cause other symptoms like wheezing.

There isnt one single trigger of asthma. What triggers an asthma attack for one person might not be the same for another. Youll know what causes an asthma attack for you if youre exposed to an irritant and have shortness of breath or start wheezing. The most common triggers are:

  • Medications such as beta-blockers
  • Recommended Reading: What Medication Is Used For Severe Asthma

    Know Why Infections Trigger Asthma Symptoms

    Sometimes a virus or bacterial infection is an asthma trigger. For instance, you might have a cold virus that triggers your asthma symptoms. Or your asthma can be triggered by a bacterial sinus infection. Sinusitis with asthma is common.

    Itâs important to know the signs and symptoms of respiratory tract infections and to call your health care provider immediately for diagnosis and treatment. For instance, you might have symptoms of increased shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, or wheezing with a bronchial infection. In people who donât have asthma, the bronchial infection may not trigger the same debilitating symptoms. Know your body and understand warning signs that an infection might be starting. Then take the proper medications as prescribed to eliminate the infection and regain control of your asthma and health.

    For more detail, see WebMDâs article Infections and Asthma.

    Show Sources

    Donât Miss: A Common Pathological Finding In Patients With Asthma Is

    Vaping And Lung Damage

    5 Things to Do During an Asthma Attack | Health
    • Talk with your teen about the dangers of vaping.
    • Vaping can cause severe lung damage. It can become permanent.
    • Vaping can even cause death .
    • Vaping tobacco also causes nicotine addiction.
    • For these reasons, the legal age to purchase vaping products is 21 in the US.
    • Encourage your teen to not start vaping or to give it up.
    • Warning: home-made or street-purchased vaping solutions are the most dangerous.

    You May Like: Why Did My Asthma Get Worse

    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.

    Having An Asthma Action Plan

    You and your doctor will also put together an asthma action plan. This is a personalised set of instructions that includes a list of your usual asthma medications and doses, guidance on what to do in different situations , and your doctors contact details.

    Read Also: How Does Asthma Affect Homeostasis

    Heres Why Your Asthma Gets Worse At Night

    Having your sleep interrupted is annoying at best and, especially if it happens often, meltdown-inducing at worst. But when you wake up in the middle of a coughing fit or because you feel like youre breathing through a straw, the whole experience can take a terrifying turn.

    Unfortunately, thats what some people with asthma have to deal with. It is very common for asthma to get worse at night, pulmonologist Ryan Thomas, M.D., director of the Multidisciplinary Severe Asthma Team at Michigan State University, tells SELF. This phenomenon, which experts sometimes refer to as nocturnal asthma, can make it far too difficult to get the amount of rest you need. It can also be a sign that you need to take steps to subdue your asthma before it gets even worse.

    Your airways, which extend between your nose and mouth and your lungs, carry air in and out of your body, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute . Pretty key job, huh? But if you have asthma, those airways can get all puffy and inflamed when youre exposed to triggers like animal dander , pollen, mold, cold air, cigarette smoke, exercise, and respiratory infections like the flu, the NHLBI says. That swelling can then cause the muscles around your airways to tighten, and your airways may also expel more mucus than they usually do. The end result is the opposite of breathing easy: You might experience asthma symptoms like wheezing , coughing, shortness of breath, and chest pain or tightness.

    What Happens During An Asthma Flare

    Khloe Kardashian makes

    During a flare-up, you might have:

    • trouble breathing
    • a whistling sound when you breathe

    Flare-ups happen when the airways in the lungs get more irritated and swollen than usual. Your lungs might make a sticky mucus, which clogs the airways. The muscles around the airways will also tighten up, making them really narrow. This clogging and narrowing make it tough to pull air in and push air out.

    Some flare-ups are mild, but others are serious. If the flare-up is severe, a person might:

    • struggle to breathe or have fast breathing even when sitting still
    • not be able to speak more than a few words at a time without pausing
    • have retractions while breathing in

    Flare-ups can happen suddenly. They also can build up over time, especially if you havent been taking your asthma medicine.

    Also Check: Whats An Asthma Attack Feel Like

    Read Also: Does Asthma Affect Lung Capacity

    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.

    Does A Cpap Help In Asthma Attack At Night

    If there is an issue of carbon dioxide retention during an asthma attack, your doctor is more likely to recommend a BiPAP , as opposed to a CPAP . However, many patients with mild asthma have reported of using a CPAP machine without any problems.

    Visit your doctor as soon as you suspect that you have asthma or asthma-like symptoms. Seeking immediate medical attention from an urgent care near you can also help you control an asthma attack and manage the symptoms. Visit our Woodbridge Walk-In Urgent Care in Irvine, Fountain Valley Urgent Care, or Costa Mesa Urgent Care to get seen.

    Read Also: How Does Asthma Affect The Cells In Your Body

    Symptoms And Dangers Of Nocturnal Asthma

    The chances of having asthma symptoms is higher during sleep. Nocturnal asthma symptoms of a tight chest, shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing accompanied by sleep disturbance is commonplace, but serious. Most deaths related to asthma happen during the nighttime.

    A child with nocturnal asthma is chronically sleepy during the daytime making them more susceptible to falling asleep at school, suffering from decreased concentration and performance. In addition, when a child is overtired, they can be cranky and misbehave.

    Parents are likely sleep deprived too, so speak with Kids First Pediatrics of Raeford and Fayetteville about specific treatments for nocturnal asthma.

    No one knows exactly why it is worse during sleep, but there are some known triggers.

    When To See A Specialist

    Why Certain People Get Asthma

    Did you know that you are not able to sneeze when you are asleep? This means that one of the most important ways of ridding your body from allergens, sneezing, is unavailable while you sleep. This can lead to a worsening of symptoms that will wake you up.

    Keeping your sleeping environment, your body, and your sleep clothes clear from allergens certainly cannot hurt you and often is enough to give you a comfortable nights sleep. But, for some, it isnt enough and the only available option is allergy medication.

    If your allergies are making it difficult to sleep at night, contact Carolina Asthma and Allergy Center today. Since 1952, Carolina Asthma and Allergy Center has served the Charlotte metropolitan area. Today, the center has 12 offices in and around Charlotte. All the 14 allergists at the center are board certified by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology. To make an appointment at an office near you call .

    Recommended Reading: What’s It Like To Have Asthma

    What Is Considered A Severe Asthma Attack

    Tami Frank | Answered April 21, 2021

    Certain herbal teas may help relieve asthma symptoms. Research suggests that ginger tea, green tea, black tea, eucalyptus tea, fennel tea, and licorice tea may reduce inflammation, relax your respiratory muscles, and boost your breathing, among other benefits.Sep 2, 2020

    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.

    Also Check: Can Allergic Asthma Go Away

    Your Gp Or Asthma Nurse Can Help Your Asthma Symptoms

    Theres a lot your GP or asthma nurse can do to help stop symptoms building up to an asthma attack. Book an appointment now to get the support you need to lower your risk.

    Your GP/asthma nurse can:

    • Talk to you about why your asthma symptoms have got worse
    • Check youre taking your preventer medicine every day. If you havent been taking it regularly, they can suggest ways to get into a good routine with it so its easier to remember.
    • Look at your inhaler technique to make sure youre getting the medicine you need
    • Suggest a higher dose, or more puffs, of your preventer inhaler for a while

    How Do I Handle An Asthma Flare

    Audible Audiobooks

    If you feel like a flare-up is about to happen, stay calm. Let people around you know whats going on. Then remember your asthma action plan. Thats the written plan that tells you what to do next.

    Stay calm and focus on what your asthma action plan says. Your doctor probably told you to use your quick-relief medicine, so do that first.

    If you can figure out what triggered your symptoms , remove the trigger or yourself from the area. Sometimes thats all you need to get your asthma under control again.

    If a flare-up is more severe, you might need to get help.

    You May Like: First Aid Asthma Attack Without Inhaler

    You May Like: Can You Die From Allergic Asthma

    Tips To Sleep Better With Severe Asthma At Night

    Nocturnal asthma is associated with poor sleep quality. This condition of sleeplessness and its effects are worse for children. The average total sleep quality score of children affected by asthma is 51, which is above the clinical cut off of 41, but it indicates the pervasive sleep disturbances among this population.

    Here are a few tips that can help you sleep better with asthma at night:

    How Do You Know If You Are Having An Asthma Attack

    An asthma attack happens when the body is exposed to a triggerlike pollen or smokethat causes the airways to become inflamed and swollen.

    Asthma attacks are uncomfortable to experience and can be frightening, especially for children. If you or someone you know is having any of the following symptoms, they may be having an asthma attack:

    • Difficulty breathing
    • Chest tightness or pain
    • Coughing or wheezing

    An asthma attack may go away after a few minutes with proper treatment, but symptoms can last longer and become life-threatening if untreated. Seek medical attention immediately if you or someone you know is having a severe asthma attack with one or more of the following symptoms:

    • A feeling of panic about the asthma attack
    • Pale and sweaty face
    • Lips or fingernails that are turning blue
    • No improvement in symptoms after using an inhaler

    Don’t Miss: Can Tylenol Help With Asthma

    What Drink Is Good For Asthma

    Stacey Schneider | Answered April 19, 2021

    Certain herbal teas may help relieve asthma symptoms. Research suggests that ginger tea, green tea, black tea, eucalyptus tea, fennel tea, and licorice tea may reduce inflammation, relax your respiratory muscles, and boost your breathing, among other benefits.Sep 2, 2020

    RELATED ARTICLES

    Most Popular