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Why Does An Asthma Attack Occur

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

Asthma attacks explained

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

Triggers For Asthma In Children

Asthma triggers are substances, conditions or activities that lead to asthma symptoms. These include :

  • wheezing whistling noise when breathing
  • coughing .

Your child may have all of these symptoms or just a few. Symptoms are often worse at night, in the early morning, during exercise or due to other triggers.

Fatigue And Asthma May Coexist

Response from Lorene Alba, AE-C:

Fatigue can be associated with asthma in many ways. Feeling tired can be an early warning sign that an asthma episode may be coming. Since asthma can worsen at night, symptoms can keep you from getting a good nights sleep. Fatigue is also common after having an asthma episode, so you may feel tired or even exhausted for several days or more.2

Recommended Reading: How Long Do Asthma Symptoms Last

Occupational Asthma Is Triggered By An Irritant Youre Exposed To At Work

If your asthma started when you changed jobs, improves when youre away from your work environment, or is triggered by chemicals that make it difficult to breathe, then you may be suffering from occupational asthma.

Occupational factors are associated with up to 15 percent of disabling asthma cases in the United States. An estimated 11 million workers in a wide range of industries are exposed to at least one of the numerous agents known to be associated with occupational asthma.

More than 250 manufacturing substances have been known to exacerbate occupational asthma, such as:

  • Paints

Tips For When You Dont Have An Inhaler

How to Cure Asthma: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Mild to moderate asthma attacks can occur at inopportune times. You may be able to manage your asthma more effectively with these tips. If these dont work CALL AN AMBULANCE.

  • Sit upright. This opens your airway. Dont bend over or lie down, as doing this constricts your airway even more.
  • Slow down your breathing by taking long, deep breaths. Breathe in through your nose. Exhale through your mouth. You want to prevent hyperventilation.
  • Stay calm. Anxiety tightens your chest and back muscles, which makes it more difficult to breathe.
  • Get away from the trigger. If you can get away from your trigger, do so. Move into clean air, preferably an air-conditioned environment, and try to take slow, deep breaths once youre in a safe place.
  • Drink a warm, caffeinated beverage, such as coffee or tea. Caffeine has similar properties to some asthma medications and can help temporarily improve airway functions.
  • Get medical help. If you cant get the wheezing, coughing or breathing difficulties under control, its important to get help.
  • Also Check: Illness Induced Asthma

    What Are The Symptoms Of An Asthma Attack

    The most common symptoms include:

    Mild to Severe

    • Disrupted sleep due to asthma symptoms & breathing difficulty
    • Daytime symptoms 4 or more times per week
    • Inability to exercise normally without breathing issues
    • Getting a cold/flu

    If you experience any of the above symptoms, book an urgent appointment with your healthcare provider. An asthma attack could be on its way. The timely help can prevent dangerous consequences.


    • Excessive cough, wheeze and chest tightness
    • Difficulty speaking due to asthma
    • Experiencing shortness of breath at rest
    • Lips or nail beds turning blue
    • Reliever medication isnt helping
    • Sweating

    What Will Happen To Asthma Post

    Were used to tolerating a certain level of many infectious diseases in the community, particularly things like common colds, strep throat, even glandular fever and the flu.

    For many of us, this is no big deal and the only effects are feeling not great for a few days or weeks of the year.

    But for many others, these sorts of common infectious illnesses can be deadly. Think about someone with cystic fibrosis, which severely damages the lungs and digestive system. If they get a cold or the flu, it can seriously knock them around, or even kill them. Same with someone who takes medications to depress their immune system, for example people with rheumatoid arthritis.

    These infections result in many hospitalisations, which puts pressure on the whole hospital system.

    From COVID, we know there are simple measures we can take to substantially reduce the transmission of these seemingly benign diseases, including wearing masks, not going to work or socialising when youre sick, and washing/sanitising your hands regularly.

    Weve reached the milestone of having more than 80% of Australians over 16 fully vaccinated against COVID, and international travel is resuming. Returning travellers are likely to bring with them new flu strains that were totally unprepared for.

    Usually flu vaccines for Australia are designed to tackle strains from the Northern Hemisphere winter so were prepared for when the new strain arrives in our winter.

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    When Mucus In Throat Can Become A Serious Issue

    The color of your mucus in throat is a strong indicator of how severe the health problem is. Generally, thin and clear is the safest, and other colors could indicate a particular infection. Here are some guidelines to know when mucus in throat is a serious issue.

    Thin and clear: Sign of cold or allergies, it could also be a sign of medication side effect or a reaction to certain food.

    Thick and colored: If mucus is very thick, it could be a sign of dryness, which can be caused by heating systems. If mucus appears green, yellow, or brownish, it could indicate a bacterial infection.

    Rattling sound in chest: If mucus is dripping down to your chest, it may be difficult to swallow and may cause a rattling sound, which may be pointing to .

    Burning sensation: If mucus is burning, it could be a result of a heartburn or .Paying attention to your mucus can help offer insights into your overall health and give you indications on how to treat the mucus.

    Follow Your Asthma Action Plan And Keep It Updated

    How does asthma work? – Christopher E. Gaw

    Its a good idea to have an asthma action plan. This plan should include what medication you should take, what are your possible triggers , and what emergency steps youll take during an asthma attack. Its important to know what the action items are for when you need them.

    This plan should also be that might happen in your life. For example, if you start taking a different type of medicine or develop a food allergy.

    It can also be helpful to have your loved one, close friend or colleague know about your plan so they can help out when needed. If possible, send them a copy of your asthma action plan.

    Also Check: High Ige Levels Asthma

    How Do You Get Asthma

    • Doctors know, however, that asthma can sometimes run in families.
    • Asthma attacks can be set off by many different things, these are called triggers. Examples include cold air, vigorous exercise and stress.
    • These triggers may also include ‘allergens’. These are present in the environment and contain chemicals that trigger allergic reactions.
    • Allergens include, for example, pollen, animal danders, house dust, pollution, some foods, perfumes and cigarette smoke.
    • Allergens cause the lining of the airways to become swollen and inflamed. It produces extra mucus and the muscles of the airways tighten. There is then less room for the air to pass in and out.
    • Attacks may be more frequent or severe in people who have a chest infection.

    What Triggers An Asthma Attack

    People with asthma have different triggers. Some people are triggered due to exposure of allergens like dust mites or grass. Other people can be triggered by irritants in the air like chemicals or strong odors. Carrillo notes that respiratory illnesses with mucus drainage like sinus infections or colds increase the likelihood of an asthma attack. Exercise and changes in the weather also trigger attacks as well. Some people may find that more than one thing increases their chances of having an attack, and any type of asthma can get worse at night.

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    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.

    Following the instructions in your child’s asthma action plan can help you know what to do when a flare-up happens.

    Side Effects Of Steroid Tablets

    Health &  Fitness: Nocturnal Asthma

    Oral steroids carry a risk if they are taken for more than three months or if they are taken frequently . Side effects can include:

    • easy bruising
    • muscle weakness

    With the exception of increased appetite, which is very commonly experienced by people taking oral steroids, most of these unwanted effects are uncommon.

    However, it is a good idea to keep an eye out for them regularly, especially side effects that are not immediately obvious, such as high blood pressure, thinning of the bones, diabetes and glaucoma.

    You will need regular appointments to check for these.

    Want to know more?

    Also Check: Can Asthma Symptoms Last For Weeks

    Does Steam Or Vaporizer Reduce Chances Of An Asthma Attack At Night

    Generally, steam or vaporizer can liquefy mucus when breathing problems are caused by an allergy or cold. This can help a person feel better. On the other hand, asthma is caused by chronic inflammation of the airways, making it difficult to breathe. Steam or vaporizer can cause irritations and worsen breathing problems.

    Vaping And Lung Damage

    • 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.

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    What Are The Signs Of A Severe Asthma Attack

    Asthma may lead to a medical emergency.

    Rescue inhalers can help you: otc inhalers

    Seek medical help immediately for:

    • Fast breathing with chest retractions
    • Cyanosis which is tissue color changes on mucus membranes and fingertips or nail beds – the color appears grayish or whitish on darker skin tones and bluish on lighter skin tones
    • Rapid movement of nostrils
    • Ribs or stomach moving in and out deeply and rapidly
    • Expanded chest that does not deflate when you exhale
    • Infants with asthma who fail to respond to or recognize parents

    After An Asthma Attack: What To Do At Home

    Stop asthma attack and snoring during sleep

    How quickly you recover at home depends on how severe your attack was and what triggered it, said Khatri. If your attack was caused by an irritant, you should recover quickly. If your attack was caused by an infection, it may take a few days. In either case, you should follow all of your doctors instructions, keep your follow-up appointments, rest, and drink plenty of fluids as you gradually return to normal activities.

    However, you should get some help for an asthma attack or after an asthma attack if:

    • Your asthma symptoms get worse
    • Your peak flow numbers are not getting better or are going down
    • You are struggling to walk or talk because of trouble breathing
    • You are struggling to breathe
    • Your quick-relief medicine is not helping
    • Your lips or fingernails turn blue

    Also Check: What’s An Asthma Attack Feel Like

    So What Are The Symptoms You Should Watch Out For

    Which signs of asthma you might experience differs from person to person and some are more common than others, Raymond Casciari, M.D., a pulmonologist at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, California, tells SELF. Its possible that youll have such a mild reaction to one of your personal asthma triggers that you dont take much note of it. But if the effects get worse, they can turn into an asthma attack, which is a potentially life-threatening exacerbation of asthma symptoms. Thats why its so important to know the common signs of asthma, including the more subtle ones.

    These are classic asthma signs you should know:

  • Shortness of breath: This is an obvious complication that happens when you cant get enough oxygen due to the way your airways and their surrounding muscles are reacting to asthma triggers, Sadia Benzaquen, M.D., a pulmonologist and associate professor in the department of internal medicine at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, tells SELF.

  • Cough: When an irritant gets into your throat or airways, it stimulates nerves that prompt your brain to make the muscles in your chest and abdomen expel air from your lungs with a cough, according to the Mayo Clinic. Since a sensitivity to irritants can cause asthma symptoms, coughing is a hallmark sign of this condition, says Dr. Benzaquen. In fact, its the most common sign of asthma Dr. Parikh has seen people ignore.

  • Some people may have these less common signs of asthma:

    If You Suspect You Might Have Asthma Definitely Head To The Doctor

    Your doctor will probably give you a physical exam first to examine the general state of your health. After that, theyll likely put you through some lung function tests, such as a spirometry, which checks how much air you can exhale after taking a deep breath as well as how fast you can expel air, according to the Mayo Clinic. Or they may do a peak flow test, which measures how hard you can breathe out. If you cant exhale enough air or breathe out quickly, it may be a sign your lungs arent working well, which could point to asthma, Dr. Benzaquen says.

    There are other exams they can use, too, like exposing you to methacholine, a known asthma trigger, to see if your airways narrow, or allergy testing, since allergies and asthma are so often connected.

    If you are diagnosed with asthma, itll be within one of four categories, according to the Mayo Clinic. Mild intermittent asthma means you have minimal asthma symptoms for up to two days a week and up to two nights a month, while mild persistent asthma means youre experiencing symptoms more frequently than twice a week, but not more than once on any given day. Moderate persistent asthma ups the ante: Youre dealing with symptoms once a day and more than one night a week. Finally, severe persistent asthma involves constant symptoms most days and frequently at night too.

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    Impact On Asthma Treatment

    While there is no cure for asthma, treatment can control its symptoms and slowif not entirely stopits progression.

    With the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of asthma in mind, doctors can recommend strategies to either minimize or normalize the response, or prevent it from happening altogether. Given the variety of elements involved in these processes, your asthma management plan will very likely be multi-pronged.

    Visit your doctor regularly so they can monitor your respiratory health and alter your treatment plan over time, as needed.

    Asthma Symptoms May Lead To Fatigue

    What Is Asthma? Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment ...

    Response from Lyn Harper, MPA, BSRT, RRT:

    Yes! A person may be fatigued from the strain caused by labored breathing and shortness of breath. Quite simply, being unable to catch your breath is exhausting! However, you may also experience fatigue from lack of sleep due to other asthma symptoms coughing, anxiety, and shortness of breath. Fatigue is also a symptom of oxygen levels in the blood being low, which can happen when were experiencing an exacerbation of symptoms.2

    Response from John Bottrell, RRT:

    Asthma affects every asthmatic differently. For some of us, feeling tired is an early warning symptom. When you feel it, you know it’s time to take swift actions to prevent a full-fledged asthma attack. This is true even when you have controlled asthma.

    Fatigue may be more common when asthma is poorly controlled. In such cases, asthma can affect your sleep. And, just feeling short of breath can make you feel tired, even exhausted. So, it’s always a good idea to pay attention to what your body is saying earlier rather than later.2

    The earlier you take action the easier it is to reverse this and other symptoms, so you can feel normal once again. It’s also a good idea to work with your doctor to develop a daily treatment regimen so you don’t feel this symptom very often. Plus, it’s also a good idea to work with your doctor on developing a plan so you know what to do when you feel this and other asthma symptoms.

    Also Check: Are Chihuahuas Good For Asthma

    How Can I Prevent Asthma Flare

    Asthma flare-ups can be handled, but it’s even better if you can prevent them from happening. To do that:

    • Take asthma medicines as directed. If your doctor prescribed a long-term control medicine, take it each day, even when you feel fine. It needs to be taken exactly as your doctor tells you to keep protecting you against flare-ups.
    • Get a flu shot each year before flu season starts.
    • Avoid triggers. By knowing and avoiding your triggers, you might be able to prevent some flare-ups.

    It’s important to plan ahead and know what to do. Work with your doctor to build and update your asthma action plan. That way, you know what to do if a flare-up happens and you’re in control if things get serious.


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