Wash Your Bedding Weekly
If you can, wash your bed sheets and blankets in hot water once a week. A water temperature of at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit kills most allergens and bacteria. After bedding is washed, dry it on the hottest setting possible. The high heat kills any remaining allergens and sterilizes the material.
Dont place the clean bedding back on the mattress unless its completely dry. Damp bedding can lead to mold and mildew growth, triggers of nighttime asthma symptoms.
Youre Coughing And Wheezing More During The Day
Another sign that your severe asthma may be getting worse is if youre coughing or wheezing more often. Talk to your doctor about adjusting your treatment plan if you constantly feel like youre about to cough. If you find yourself wheezing with a whistle-like sound more than once a day, seek your doctors opinion as well.
When To See A Specialist
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 704-372-7900.
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When To See The Doctor
A good rule of thumb is you should visit your doctor if you have asthma and you wake up in the night more than once per week after using treatments. Your doctor can evaluate what may be causing your symptoms and help modify your treatment plan. Checking your breath in a peak flow meter at night may also be helpful.
If you are not diagnosed with asthma but have asthma-like symptoms at night, you should report the episodes to your doctor. While you may not have asthma, your doctor can point you in the right direction for treatment.
Does Honey Treatment Help In Improving Sleep With Asthma
Coughing is one of the symptoms of nocturnal asthma, which can be reduced by taking two teaspoons of honey with warm water or cinnamon before you go to bed. Honey can increase saliva production, which can ease your cough by lubricating your airways and reduce inflammation in the bronchial tubes that causes breathing difficulty.
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Youre Using Your Inhaler More Than Usual
If youve been having to use your quick-relief inhaler more often than usual, or youve started to feel like it doesnt help as much when you do use it, your severe asthma may be getting worse.
It can be hard sometimes to keep track of exactly how many times you use your inhaler during a given week. You may want to start keeping track of your usage in a journal or in the note-taking app on your phone.
Keeping a log of your inhaler usage can also help to identify what may be triggering your severe asthma symptoms. For example, if you mainly use your inhaler after being outdoors, an outdoor trigger like pollen may be causing your asthma to flare up.
Why Have Your Asthma Symptoms Got Worse
Before your appointment, have a think about your symptoms and why you think theyve got worse. Itll help you and your GP to work out whats going on with your asthma.
Ask yourself these questions to help you:
Have I been taking my preventer inhaler every day?
Preventer medicines stop inflammation building up in your airways. But they can only do this if you take them every day.
If you stop taking them you wont have full protection. And your symptoms will come back.
Have you been taking yours every day? Or have you found it hard to get into a good routine?
Do I know the best way to take my inhalers?
Even if youve been taking an inhaler for years, its easy to slip into bad habits. If you havent been taking your inhaler correctly you will have been missing out on the full dose of asthma medicine.
Are you confident youre taking your inhalers in the right way? Watch our inhaler videos to see if youre doing it right. And ask your GP or asthma nurse to check it at your appointment.
Have I been around more of my usual asthma triggers?
Maybe youve caught a cold, or its pollen season and your hay fevers bad. Think about your usual triggers and if they might be affecting you more.
Have I come across a new trigger?
Have you been around an animal or pet? Did you start a new job, or go on holiday? Tell your doctor if youve spotted a new trigger. They can help you deal with it.
What else has been going on in my life lately?
Have I noticed hormonal changes?
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How Do I Know If A Flare
Here’s a good way to see how bad a flare-up is: measure your peak expiratory flow using a peak flow meter. Your doctor can show you how to use a peak flow meter to keep track of your asthma. A peak flow meter costs less than $30, and you only have to buy it one time. First, you find out your personal best peak flow. This is the highest reading you can get on the meter over a two-week period when your asthma is under good control.
Here are some general guidelines you can use to find out how serious an asthma flare-up is:
During mild flare-ups, you may notice shortness of breath when you walk or exercise, but when you sit still, you feel okay. You can usually breathe well enough to talk in complete sentences. You may hear some wheezing, mostly at the end of exhaling . Your peak flow readings will be 80 to 100 percent of your personal best.
During moderate flare-ups, you may feel short of breath when you talk or lie down, but if you sit quietly, you feel better. You may talk in a few words rather than using whole sentences because you’re short of breath. You may feel anxious or tense. You may be using your neck muscles to help you take deeper breaths. You may hear loud wheezing, especially when you breathe out. Your peak flow readings will be about 50 percent to less than 80 percent of your personal best.
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.
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How Asthma Is Treated
While there is no cure for asthma, there are a number of treatments that can help control the condition.
Treatment is based on two important goals, which are:
- relieving symptoms
- preventing future symptoms and attacks
For most people, this will involve the occasional or, more commonly, daily use of medications, usually taken using an inhaler. However, identifying and avoiding possible triggers is also important.
You should have a personal asthma action plan agreed with your doctor or nurse that includes information about the medicines you need to take, how to recognise when your symptoms are getting worse, and what steps to take when they do so.
These symptoms are often worse at night and early in the morning, particularly if the condition is not well controlled. They may also develop or become worse in response to a certain trigger, such as exercise or exposure to an allergen.
Read our page on the causes of asthma for more information about potential triggers.
Speak to your GP if you think you or your child may have asthma. You should also talk to your doctor or asthma nurse if you have been diagnosed with asthma and you are finding it difficult to control the symptoms.
Can The Weather Affect My Child’s Asthma
Yes. Weather conditions can bring on asthma symptoms. Some kids’ asthma symptoms get worse at certain times of the year. For others, a severe storm or sudden weather change can trigger a flare-up.
Hot, humid air also can be a problem. In some places, heat and sunlight combine with pollutants to create ground-level ozone. This kind of ozone can be a strong asthma trigger.
Wet weather and windy weather can cause problems too. Wet weather encourages mold growth, and wind can blow mold and pollen through the air.
If you think weather plays a role in your child’s asthma, keep a diary of asthma symptoms and possible triggers and discuss them with your doctor. If pollen, mold, or other allergens make asthma symptoms worse, ask about allergy testing.
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Improving Asthma At Night
Although you cannot control certain factors, such as your hormone levels, there are several things you can do to improve your asthma symptoms at night. Consider the tips below for suppressing flareups.
Certain things in your bedroom might be triggering an increase in asthma symptoms. Make your bedroom as allergen-free as possible. By decreasing allergens, you may reduce nighttime symptoms.
Keep your bedroom free of dust and clean your bedroom often. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter, which works well to trap dust. Get rid of items that easily collect dust, such as books or knickknacks.
You should also wash your bedding in hot water about once a week to get rid of dust mites. Consider using hypoallergenic pillowcases and sheets, which can help decrease allergens as well.
If pet dander is an issue, dont let your four-legged friends sleep in your room. Pet danger can become trapped in the carpet, which can lead to an increase in symptoms.
Sleep with Your Head Elevated
An increase in mucus from your sinuses may trigger asthma symptoms, such as coughing. Acid reflux, which is very common, can also trigger coughing and other asthma symptoms.
If postnasal drip, increased mucus, or acid reflux is an issue, consider sleeping with the head of your bed elevated. Place a wedge pillow under your head or use a few pillows while you sleep.
Medication and/or Treatment Changes
You Wake Up Coughing And Wheezing During The Night
If youre ever jolted awake in the middle of the night by a fit of coughing or wheezing, you may need to modify your severe-asthma management plan.
Properly managed asthma shouldnt wake you up from sleep more than one or two nights a month. If youre losing sleep due to your symptoms more than this, it may be time to discuss treatment modifications with your doctor.
Your peak flow readings are a measurement of how well your lungs are functioning at their best. This measurement is usually tested at home with a handheld device called a peak flow meter.
If your peak flow levels drop below 80 percent of your personal best, thats a sign that your severe asthma is poorly managed. Another sign that your asthma is getting worse is if your peak flow reading varies greatly from day to day. If you notice low or inconsistent numbers, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
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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.
You Sometimes Have Trouble Speaking
If you find it difficult to speak a full sentence without having to pause to take a breath, you should make an appointment with your doctor. Trouble speaking is usually the result of an inability to take enough air into your lungs to allow you to let it out at the slow, deliberate rate required for speech.
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Your Chest Constantly Feels Tight
Minor chest tightness is common for people with asthma. But frequent and intense chest tightness can mean your severe asthma is getting worse.
Chest tightness is often the result of the muscles surrounding your airways contracting in reaction to asthma triggers. It may feel as though theres something squeezing or sitting on top of your chest.
What Is Nocturnal Asthma
Asthma is a long-term, chronic respiratory disease, caused by the inflammation of the airways. When this condition worsens overnight, we call it nocturnal asthma or nighttime asthma. Regardless of the type of asthma you have, including allergic, non-allergic, occupational, and exercise-induced asthma, nocturnal asthma can occur more than once a month.
Over the past decade, the prevalence of asthma in adults and children has increased in the United States. The California Health Interview Survey states that 15.9% of asthma cases were reported in Orange County in 2015-2017. Although there is no cure for asthma, the symptoms can be managed through long-term medications and short-term quick-relief inhalers. A few home remedies and other tips can also help patients with nocturnal asthma sleep better.
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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 allergies 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.
Why Does Asthma Get Worse At Night
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In 1698, British doctor John Floyer wrote a treatise on asthma, the first major work focused on the disease. Not all of it aged well. He warned that those who were sad or angry were more likely to experience attacks, as sadness would stop the Motion of Humors. He also recommended a few cures including regular, gentle vomiting.
In an asthma attack, the air passageways in a persons lungs start to close, making it hard for them to breathe and causing tightness in the chest, coughing, and wheezing. But Floyers piece also noted another important symptom: His own asthma was almost always more severe at night, sometimes waking him up at 1 or 2 in the morning. Hundreds of years later, scientists were finding evidence that backed him up: A study from 2005 showed that nearly 75 percent of people with asthma experience worse attacks at night. A famous mortality survey of London hospitals in the 1970s showed that early morning and nighttime attacks were more likely to be fatal.
That body clock is also called the circadian system. Among other important functions, it regulates hormones, heartbeat, and the immune system over a cycle that lasts about 24 hours. While this system is internal, its heavily influenced by outside factors like light and dark, mealtimes, and work schedules.
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How Do You Calm An Asthma Attack
A reliever inhaler is the best treatment for an asthma attack, but in case one isnt on hand, sit upright and force yourself to take long, deep breaths. It improves lung function, wont irritate airways, and slows your breathing, preventing hyperventilation. If symptoms worsen, seek emergency medical help immediately.