Why Asthma Symptoms Can Vary With The Weather
So why do asthma symptoms seem to get worse with every change in the weather? Although it seems confusing, there are some annual trends, as well as reasons why asthma symptoms are worse at particular times of the year.
For example, severe asthma episodes tend to peak during the autumn months, especially among children. A 2001 study that examined tens of thousands of asthma hospitalizations in Canada over a 12-year period, for instance, found that there were more than twice as many hospitalizations in October as there were in July or August. Other studies have discovered similar patterns.
However, one study conducted in Detroit found that when there was a rapid 10-degree rise in temperature or a 10% rise in humidityas can happen in spring and summerhospitalizations for children with asthma increased in the next day or two.
In truth, asthma symptoms can flare at any time of year due to well-known asthma triggers, such as pet dander, secondhand smoke, and exercise. But knowing the triggers that can vary by seasonsuch as pollen, temperature, humidity, pollution, and virusescan help people with asthma figure out if they should be stepping up their medication.
In fact, the main culprit is believed to be cold-and-flu season, which kicks into gear once kids head back to school. Classrooms filled with runny noses, and grimy hands are breeding grounds for cold and flu viruses, which schoolchildren inevitably spread to their families.
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
What Is An Asthma Attack
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, asthma attacks occur when an inflammation or obstruction of the bronchial tubes exists. Since these tubes allow air to enter and leave the lungs, asthma happens when air movement in and out of the lungs is restricted.
Asthma attacks are most commonly recognized by severe wheezing, consistent coughing and rapid breathing. However, people experiencing asthma attacks may also notice tightness in their chest and neck. If not enough oxygen reaches their lungs, then they may turn pale and their lips and fingernails could turn blue.
Asthma symptoms vary from person to person, but you can control them with a proper prevention routine. If your asthma is under control, then the likelihood of you experiencing an asthma attack decreases, Carrillo said.
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When Should I Call My Doctor
If your child suffers from NA regularly, call your child’s doctor to talk about making changes to their treatment plan.
Sometimes medications used to take care of asthma can cause sleep problems. Talk to your child’s doctor if your child can’t sleep because of their asthma medication.
The information provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be medical advice or a substitute for professional health care. You should consult an appropriate health care professional for your specific needs.
Tips To Prevent Nighttime Asthma Attacks
Nighttime asthma attacks can be controlled. Take these steps to sleep better with severe asthma.
Many people with severe asthma find that symptoms like coughing, wheezing, and breathlessness are worse at night. There are a number of reasons why this is so, says Sonali Bose, MD, an assistant professor in the division of medicine, pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.
Some key factors that contribute to nighttime asthma attacks include:
- Your bodys internal clock. Your circadian rhythm causes some of your hormone levels to fall at night. Lower levels of hormones can cause your airways to narrow slightly. These narrowed airways can exacerbate your asthma symptoms, according to the Asthma Society of Canada .
- Dust mites. Your pillows, blankets, and mattress can all be a haven for these microscopic insect-like pests and their waste. Allergies to dust mites can worsen asthma, and you could be wallowing in them as you sleep, according to the ASC.
- Gravity. When you lie down, your chest and lungs naturally experience extra pressure, the ASC says.
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Keep Your Mattress Up Off Of The Floor
While you technically can use some mattresses directly on the floor, we dont suggest that for people with allergies Placing your mattress on the floor means youre closer to dirt, dust, and other germs that can more easily make their way into your sleep space. Using a mattress foundation or bed frame limits your exposure to these irritants.
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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Get Tested For Sleep Apnea
People with asthma have a high risk of developing sleep apnea. Congestion from asthma causes snoring and may halt breathing for a few seconds at a time. If you wake up feeling tired, moody, and sore each morning, despite getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep, talk to your doctor about getting tested for sleep apnea.
If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to long-term effects, like excessive daytime sleepiness and more serious medical conditions, like insomnia and acid reflux Worlds largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible.View sourceor GERD).
Take Action Now To Lower Your Risk Of An Asthma Attack
If youre getting more asthma symptoms its a sign that your airways are getting more inflamed and narrow. This makes it harder for air to get through and means an asthma attack is more likely.
The sooner you can treat the inflammation in your airways, the sooner you can lower your risk of an asthma attack.
See your doctor today
- Ask the receptionist for an urgent same day appointment. Tell them your asthmas getting worse and you need to see a GP or asthma nurse for urgent advice to avoid having an asthma attack.
- If you cant get an urgent same day appointment, or your GP surgery is closed, . They may be able to arrange for you to be seen at a walk-in centre or by an out of hours doctor.
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Use Both A Humidifier And An Air Purifier
Dry air can worsen asthma symptoms by irritating the throat and nasal passages, and allergens in the air can cause sneezing and morning congestion. Without humidifiers and air purifiers, youre more likely to wake up with a sore throat or post-nasal drip, since the body overproduces mucus to protect passageways from debris. Investing in a humidifier and air purifier means more moisture in the air and less chance of irritation to the nose and throat.
Talk with a healthcare provider first before buying either of these devices. A humidifier can sometimes increase dust mites in the bedroom because it provides an ideal living environment. Air purifiers do balance those out, but some people, depending on the severity of their asthma, may want to avoid humidifiers entirely.
Lie On Your Left Side With A Pillow Between Your Legs
If youre a side sleeper with asthma, lying on your left side may help particularly if you have gastroesophageal reflux, also known as heartburn, which can trigger asthma especially at night. Sleeping on your left side uses gravity, the shape of the stomach, and the angle of the connection between it and the esophagus,which can reduce reflux. Lying on your left side with your head elevated may be enough to keep you comfortable through the night, but if its not, experiment by adding a pillow between your legs.
Adding the pillow may keep your spine stable throughout the night and may improve your sleep posture, which can help you breathe easily.
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Tips To Sleep Better With Asthma
Millions of people are affected byor nighttime asthma. Symptoms include a tight chest, coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath, and they make sleep impossible. You end up feeling tired and
Millions of people are affected bynocturnal asthma,Verified SourceNational Library of Medicine Worlds largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible.View sourceor nighttime asthma. Symptoms include a tight chest, coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath, and they make sleep impossible. You end up feeling tired and irritable the next day and have difficulty controlling daytime asthma symptoms.
Asthma symptoms are stronger at night for a few reasons, including higher exposure to dust mites and other allergens. Plus, lying flat on your back increases post-nasal drip, triggering an asthma attack. These two things can make sleeping tough. But dont worrywere here to help. In our article, we share 7 tips to sleep better with asthma so you can get undisturbed shuteye.
Other Ways To Prevent Asthma Attacks At Night
If a persons asthma is under control, then it would be rare for them to have a nocturnal asthma attack, said Carrillo. However, everybody has their own asthma triggers, so it is important to be mindful of your triggers, even when sleeping.She recommends four steps you can take to create an asthma-friendly sleep:
- Avoid sleeping near strong odors like perfumes or bed linen sprays
- Use pillow covers to prevent dust mites
- Wash your bed linens in hot water on a regular basis
- Keep pets out of the bedroom, especially if you are sensitive to their dander
- Get your flu shot and stay ahead of any respiratory illnesses
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Simple Tips To Stop Asthma Waking You At Night In The Long
You dont have to just accept your night-time asthma symptoms as normal.
- Using your preventer inhaler every day, as prescribed, will build up protection in your airways and keep your asthma symptoms under control, so theyre less likely to wake you at night.
- If youre having asthma symptoms at night or noticing asthma symptoms when you first wake up, you should make a same day appointment to see your GP or asthma nurse. Symptoms that keep you awake at night are one of the signs you might be at risk of an asthma attack.
Its also important to:
- Use your written asthma action plan to help you understand how to manage your symptoms and what to do if they get worse.
- Go for regular asthma reviews with your GP or asthma nurse. They can check youre using your inhalers correctly. Its also a chance to talk about any triggers that might be affecting your sleep.
Sacred Hour Before Bed
Youve probably heard this one before, because its true. Staring at screens, watching intense television or playing video games right up until bedtime can leave you too wired to fall asleep. Instead, try to come up with a relaxing routine you enjoy for the last hour before bed. If you absolutely cant give up your screen , then try some computer-reading glasses that block out blue light. We found and they work pretty well.
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Ginger For Asthma Cough At Night Remedy
Ginger acts as an anti inflammatory drug and offers multiple benefits for your body and health. Its also considered as a superfood and is very effective against asthma. Add pomegranate, honey and ginger in equal proportions and consume it 2-3 times a day to get beneficial results.
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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Why Does Asthma Worsen At Night Tips To Manage
Asthma is a chronic disease that causes inflammation and narrowing of the airways in the lungs. It causes wheezing , chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing. During an asthma attack, your airway muscles constrict, and mucous membranes produce excess mucus, blocking your breathing. Allergens such as dust, spores, animal hairs, cold air, infection and even stress can trigger asthma .
There are many different types of asthma brought on by different triggers. Some of the most common types of asthma are adult-onset asthma, allergic asthma, nocturnal asthma, asthma-COPD overlap, non-allergic asthma, occupational asthma and childhood asthma .
According to various studies, about 15 per cent of the Indian population is suffering from asthma. The respiratory problem is diagnosed at an early age, and since this ailment is not curable, people try to do everything they can to keep the symptoms under control in an effort to lead a normal life. Asthma can be treated with medications and lifestyle changes .
Treatment Of Nocturnal Asthma
Important treatment considerations for nocturnal asthma are listed in Box 225, and general asthma guidelines are listed in Table 227. Reducing the burden of allergen exposure by keeping the bedroom free of dust may help. The foundation of treatment of chronic persistent asthma is inhaled corticosteroids. Weersink and colleagues80 studied a group with nocturnal asthma and patients were treated with inhaled fluticasone, salmeterol , or the combination. The three treatments all reduced the circadian variation in peak flow to less than 10% , improved the bronchial hyperresponsiveness to methacholine both day and night, and improved cognitive performance during daytime testing. Thus, the usual practice is to start with inhaled steroids and add a long-acting inhaled beta agonist if symptoms persist .
M. Innes Asher BSc, MBChB, FRACP, â¦ Eamon Ellwood DipTch, DipInfo Tech, in, 2012
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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.
Why Is Asthma Worse At Night
If you have asthma, you may notice that your symptoms are worse during certain times of the day. For example, some people have worse asthma symptoms during the spring or experience asthma exacerbations when it’s cold outside.
But for some, asthma symptoms may be especially bothersome at night. An increase in coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath can develop just as you try to get some sleep.
An increase in asthma symptoms at night can make it difficult to get proper rest, leaving you fatigued the next day. If asthma symptoms often flareup at night, you may end up with sleep deprivation, which can affect work or school, as well as your overall health.
Understanding why asthma may become worse at night and what you can do may help you get the sleep you need.
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You Cant Maintain Your Normal Exercise Routine
You may notice that youre unable to keep up with any type of physical activity if your severe asthma symptoms are getting worse.
Talk to your doctor if you find yourself coughing or having to use your inhaler more often at the gym or during activities like jogging or playing sports. If your chest tightens more often during everyday physical activities like climbing the stairs or walking around the block, you may need to change your medications to get your symptoms under control.
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Co-corresponding author Steven A. Shea, PhD, professor and director at Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences added, “We observed that those people who have the worst asthma in general are the ones who suffer from the greatest circadian-induced drops in pulmonary function at night, and also had the greatest changes induced by behaviours, including sleep.
We also found that these results are clinically important because, when studied in the laboratory, symptom-driven bronchodilator inhaler use was as much as four times more often during the circadian night than during the day.”
As many as 75 percent of people with asthma – 20 million people in the US – report experiencing worsening asthma severity at night. Many behavioural and environmental factors, including exercise, air temperature, posture, and sleep environment, are known to influence asthma severity. Scheer, Shea, and colleagues wanted to understand the contributions of the internal circadian system to this problem.
The circadian system is composed of a central pacemaker in the brain and “clocks” throughout the body and is critical for the coordination of bodily functions and to anticipate the daily cycling environmental and behavioural demands.
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