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. If you suspect your usage is increasing, you may want to start keeping track in a journal or in a 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 environmental trigger like pollen may be causing your asthma to flare up.
Goodbye To Nocturnal Triggers
Whatever triggers your asthma symptoms during the day could also become problematic at night. Dust mites are known to exacerbate night-time asthma symptoms, and they love to get buried in the bedcovers. So, its a good idea to vacuum every corner of your bedroom regularly and to wash your bedding on a high heat.
Is the temperature in your room too hot or too cold? For some people temperature can be a night-time trigger. If youre experiencing a dry cough, you could consider installing a humidifier. Another common night trigger can be a high pollen count but thats easily fixed by keeping windows shut firmly and taking an allergy medication.
How To Sleep With Wheezing
People who experience wheezing when lying down may find it difficult to sleep. To improve quality of sleep, people can try:
- Avoiding food before bed: People with GERD should aim to eat at least 23 hours before lying down. This can reduce acid reflux at night, reducing irritation in the esophagus.
- Avoiding caffeine and alcohol: Both caffeine and alcohol make it more likely a person will experience asthma symptoms. Caffeine can also worsen acid reflux.
- Removing allergens: If a person has asthma or bronchitis caused by allergies, identifying and removing allergens that may be present while sleeping could help. For example, if a person allows a pet to sleep on their bed, the dander may cause wheezing at night.
- Trying decongestants: OTC chest decongestants may help with breathing at night, particularly for people with acute bronchitis. Decongestants may also help people with asthma, though some find that they can make symptoms worse.
- Elevating the head: Elevating the head, neck, and shoulders may help to open the airways during sleep, preventing wheezing. It can also reduce acid reflux.
- Keeping medications nearby: Keep medications or inhalers that help with breathing nearby while lying down or sleeping. This allows people to use them as soon as they wake due to wheezing.
It is important for people who regularly wheeze while lying down to seek medical attention. Doctors can help pinpoint the exact cause of the wheezing, and recommend treatments.
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How Is Asthma Diagnosed
Asthma can be hard to diagnose. To find out if you have asthma, your health care provider takes your health history, does a physical exam and listens to your breathing.
You also may get a lung function test called spirometry. This is a test that checks how well your lungs work. During the test, you take a deep breath and exhale into a machine called a spirometer. This machine measures the amount of air you breathe in and out. It also measures how fast you can breathe. When youre pregnant, normal changes in your body can make you short of breath. This test can help your provider know if shortness of breath is a common complication of pregnancy or if its caused by asthma.
Does Melatonin Improve Sleep In Asthma
Researchers have revealed that the hormone melatonin plays a vital role in improving the sleep cycle in asthma patients. Melatonin helps in regulating human circadian rhythms and is believed to have sleep-inducing activity. Additionally, melatonin studies suggest that it affects smooth muscle tone and inflammation too. Both of which helps in improving the sleep cycle for asthma patients at night.
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Too Little Sleep Can Mean More Asthma Attacks In Adults
May 11, 2020
First study examining adults with asthma shows negative impacts of sleep deprivation.
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. A good nights sleep is crucial to good health. A new article in Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, the scientific journal of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology reveals that too little sleep, and occasionally too much sleep, can negatively impact adults with asthma.
Previous research revealed that poor sleep quality has a negative effect on asthma symptoms in adolescents, says Faith Luyster, PhD, lead author of the study. Our study shows that adults with asthma are equally affected by too little sleep. Compared to normal sleepers, short and long sleepers had a higher proportion of people who reported having an asthma attack in the past year and had more days with impaired health-related quality of life. Impaired quality of life was characterized by more days of poor physical and mental health.
The study surveyed 1,389 adults who were 20 years and older who self-identified as having asthma. Of the group, 25.9 percent slept 5 hours or less, 65.9 percent slept 6-8 hours and 8.2 percent slept 9 or more hours. Sleep duration was measured by a single question, How much sleep do you usually get at night on weekdays or workdays? Short sleepers were more likely to be younger and non-White, while long sleepers were more likely to be older, female and a smoker.
How Should I Handle My Child’s Na
Each person is different. If you lessen the amount of time your child spends around triggers, that will help with their asthma symptoms and NA. It’s also important to keep the sleeping area clean.
Change sheets regularly. Wash bedding in hot water. Wipe down shelves, ledges and nearby furniture to lessen the amount of dust in the room. Don’t let your child sleep in the same room with pets.
Try to use allergy-free sheets. Make sure pillows have a cover and look for allergy-free material.
Try to have your child sleep at a slight incline. If you lift your child’s head four to six inches by adding blocks under the bed post, this can help with GERD symptoms.
Using a humidifier also helps to keep the air moist in your child’s room.
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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. If you experience unusually intense chest tightness, particularly while sitting still, speak with your doctor.
Treatment Of Bronchial Asthma
Treatment of bronchial asthma, including nocturnal asthma,268,282 consists of judicious use of bronchodilators and corticosteroids, preferably inhaled in a compressor oral theophylline, maximizing the serum concentration at around 4:00 am when most nocturnal attacks occur and, for a small subset of patients who show the lowest plasma cortisol levels accompanied by the lowest PEF at night or in the early morning, nocturnal steroids.303 Other measures include treating the reversible factors such as allergens, nasal congestion, or bronchopulmonary infections, and using a humidifier.282
In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study, Kraft et al.304 and Wiegand et al.305 reported that salmeterol, an inhaled 2-agonist with a prolonged duration of action, improved the number of nocturnal awakenings with nocturnal asthma. Wiegand et al.305 found that salmeterol was superior to theophylline in maintaining nocturnal FEV1 levels and in improving morning and evening PEF, and in an improvement in patient perception of sleep but not in PSG measures of sleep architecture. Previously, several studies showed efficacy of salmeterol in nocturnal asthma, primarily in combination with inhaled corticosteroids.306310
Neil J. Douglas, in, 2011
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What Causes Wheezing And Coughing At Night
- Nocturnal asthma: asthma symptoms can often be worse at night due to a variety of factors, including allergies and airways working less effectively.
- Allergic rhinitis: often caused by an allergy to dust mites, allergic rhinitis can trigger episodes of wheezing and coughing at night. It can be experienced by both asthmatics and non-asthmatics.
- Cold and flu virus: night-time coughing caused by a cold or flu virus tends to be short-term and clears up once the illness has gone. If you continue to experience difficulty breathing at night after your cold has gone, you should speak with your GP for advice.
What Is Severe Asthma
Severe asthma is often harder to control than mild to moderate asthma. It may require higher dosages and more frequent use of asthma medications. If youre not managing it properly, severe asthma can be dangerous and even life threatening in some cases.
Its important that youre able to recognize when your condition isnt properly managed. Doing so can help you take steps to find a more effective method of treatment.
Here are eight signs that your severe asthma is getting worse and what to do next.
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Learn More About Asthma And Sleep From Baptist Health
Getting plenty of restful sleep is crucial to overall health and happiness. If your asthma symptoms are affecting your sleep quality, talk with your Baptist Health doctor about how to sleep better with asthma. If you dont yet have one, you can find a provider using our online directory.
Next Steps and Useful Resources
Asthma And Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is a disorder in which the airways narrow or collapse during sleep. Asthma and OSA share similar symptoms and appear to have a bidirectional relationship. This means that having one of these respiratory conditions increases the likelihood of being diagnosed with the other. OSA is particularly common in people with asthma who also and those with poorly-controlled asthma symptoms.
People with asthma may find it helpful to talk to their doctors about obstructive sleep apnea. Because asthma puts a person at an , research suggests that periodic evaluations for OSA may help patients with asthma. Fortunately, treating OSA can often reduce asthma symptoms.
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Side Effects Of Steroid Tablets
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.
Read further information:
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.
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Is It Safe To Take Asthma Medicine During Pregnancy
Asthma symptoms that dont stop or that get worse can be a risk to your and your baby. If you were taking asthma medicine before pregnancy, dont stop taking it without talking to your provider first.
If youre diagnosed with asthma during pregnancy, talk to your provider about the best way to treat or manage it.
If youre already getting allergy shots, you can keep taking them during pregnancy. But if you arent getting allergy shots, dont start taking them when youre pregnant because you could have a serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.
Sleep On Your Left Side With A Pillow Between Your Legs
Many people are side sleepers. If thats you, sleeping on your left side specifically can help keep your airways open. And the addition of a pillow between your legs stabilizes your spine and may help keep you in better sleep posture.
Sleeping on your left side is especially helpful for people who suffer from both asthma and heartburn, as heartburn can trigger asthma symptoms. Left-side sleeping takes advantage of gravity, the shape of the stomach, and the angle of the connection between the esophagus and the stomach to reduce acid reflux.
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Why Does Asthma Get Worse At Night
Asthma that gets more pronounced at night is nighttime asthma or nocturnal asthma. Nocturnal asthma causes symptoms like chest tightness, shortness of breath, cough, and wheezing at night, creating sleep difficulty at night and irritability during the day. These problems can affect the persons overall quality of life.
How Does Asthma Affect Pregnancy
Asthma affects 4 to 8 out of 100 pregnant women . If you keep your asthma under control, it probably wont cause any problems during your pregnancy.
If you dont control your asthma, you may be at risk for a serious health problem called preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a condition that can happen after the 20th week of pregnancy or right after pregnancy. Its when a pregnant woman has high blood pressure and signs that some of her organs, like her kidneys and liver, may not be working properly. Some of these signs include having protein in the urine, changes in vision and severe headache.
If you dont control your asthma, your baby may not get enough oxygen. He may be at higher risk for health problems like:
Babies who are born too small and too soon are more likely to have newborn health problems. They can have trouble breathing and lasting disabilities, such as intellectual disabilities and cerebral palsy.
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Breathe Easier Sleep Better
We all know how hard it is to sleep with a cold or a persistent cough. Good sleep equals healthy and clear air passages. Yet, even gravity has an effect on night-time breathing. When we lie down flat, our chest area naturally collapses into a more relaxed state but this can put pressure on the lungs. If its comfortable for you, try propping yourself up on a higher pillow as you sleep.
Some asthma sufferers also benefit from Positive Expiratory Pressure, or PEP, which involves exhaling into a mask or bottle. This helps remove mucus and enlarge the airways and should be done at least 1 to 2 hours before you go to bed.
Consider testing for sleep apnea. People with asthma are at greater risk for sleep apnea, and both disorders could adversely influence each other. Sleep apnea causes breaks in your sleep breathing, which can worsen your symptoms.
The Importance Of Medication Adherence
One of the most important things to prevent asthma attacks is medication adherence, said Carrillo. Often, people find their medication reduces the occurrence of their symptoms, so they think they do not need their medication anymore. This is not true, because asthma has no curethe prescribed medication only controls your asthma symptoms.
Health care providers usually prescribe two key medications: a long-term control inhaler and a rescue inhaler. Since asthma triggers are highly specific to the individual, people should speak with their health care provider to find an asthma care plan that works for them. Many health care providers prescribe both types of inhalers.
The first medication is a long-term asthma control inhaler like a corticosteroid. People with asthma should regularly take this medication to control their chronic symptoms and prevent asthma attacks. If people stop their medication, then their risk of an asthma attacks increases.
The second medication is a rescue inhaler. This inhaler will provide a quick relief of symptoms during an asthma attack. The medication relaxes the airway muscles, which opens the lungs and allows unconstructed airflow.
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How Can I Tell The Pain Is Related To Pancreatic Cancer
People describe it as a dull pain that feels as if it is boring into you. It can begin in the stomach area and spread around to the back, it explains.
Other possible symptoms to watch out for:
- Pain in the back or stomach area which may come and go at first and is often worse when lying down or after eating
- Unexpected weight loss
- Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes it also may cause dark yellow or orange pee, pale-coloured poo and itchy skin
- Other possible symptoms of pancreatic cancer include:
- Feeling sick and being sick
- Changes in bowel movements
- Fever and shivering
It’s important to remember that these symptoms can be caused by many different conditions and are not usually the result of cancer, says the NHS.
But you should contact a GP if you’re concerned or these symptoms start suddenly, advises the health body.
It is important to note that you may also develop symptoms of diabetes if you have pancreatic cancer.
As the NHS explains, this is because the tumour can stop the pancreas producing insulin as it normally would.
Sleep On Your Back With Your Head Elevated And A Pillow Under Your Bent Knees
Another option for back sleepers who have asthma is to sleep on your back with your head slightly elevated and a pillow under your knees. This position can improve circulation while also keeping your body stable throughout the night, which can help you breathe easier and sleep better.
The key to finding the right sleep position for you is to experiment with what are considered the best sleeping positions for asthma patients and make notes. Pick a position, stick with it for a week or so, and record your observations about your asthma symptoms and sleep quality. Then try another position and do the same.
Using the same sleep position for multiple nights is helpful, as it allows your body to get comfortable with that position so that the newness of it isnt a factor in your sleep quality.
A note about right-side sleeping: Research has determined that sleeping on your right side increases resistance in the airways within the lungs. A possible cause of this difference between left-side and right-side sleep positions is that sleeping on your right side may increase whats called vagal tone, which activates the nervous system in a way that causes airway constriction. Not everyone experiences this effect, but you should keep it in mind as you experiment with sleep positions.
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