Information Related Asthma


Asthma is a lung condition that makes the primary airways—known as the bronchi—in the lungs swollen and inflamed all of the time. People who have asthma attack ar additional sensitive than people to things indrawn from the atmosphere, called triggers.

These triggers build the muscles in AN asthma attack sufferer’s lungs tighten, constricting the air passages and making breathing difficult. In addition, cells in the lungs produce more mucus in response to a trigger. The mucus can clog the bronchial tubes, which contributes to breathing problems. The airways additionally swell and become inflamed with white blood cells.

When the lungs react to a trigger, what’s known as an “asthma attack” can occur. Wheezing, coughing and/or tightness within the chest and shortness of breath ar all hallmark symptoms of a classic respiratory illness. Asthma can be controlled with the proper diagnosis and treatment.

The National Center for Health Statistics (a division of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC) reported that 18.9 million American adults and 7.1 million children suffered from asthma in 2011. The condition is changing into additional common and additional severe across all age, sex and racial groups.

Asthma typically develops during childhood. But many folks develop the condition in adulthood, after age 20—known as adult onset asthma. Some people have their initial respiratory illness once age fifty.

Who’s at Risk?

Obesity considerably will increase a personality’s risk of developing the condition. Heredity is also thought to play a role. Children of oldsters with asthma attack ar at larger risk for developing the condition.

Pollution, poor air quality in urban environments, poverty and lack of patient education are also factors contributing to rising asthma and asthma-related complication rates. People who have allergies are at an increased risk of developing asthma, and those raised in environments where they were exposed to cigarette smoke also have a much higher incidence of the condition.

Women and Asthma

Women may first develop asthma during or after pregnancy, though the condition may also improve during pregnancy. There is some proof that asthma attack is also plagued by secretion changes throughout a woman’s cycle and might be triggered before or throughout the expelling amount. Women are also more likely than men to die from asthma.

Researchers are not positive why some people’s airways ar additional sensitive to things within the atmosphere. Asthma sufferers could have allergies to bound proteins, known as allergens, which are usually airborne and can trigger an attack. But not all asthma sufferers have defined allergies. An estimated 70 percent of people with asthma have airborne allergies.

Common Asthma Triggers

Common allergens include: dust mites, mold, pollen, cockroaches, animal dander and certain foods or chemicals commonly used in food processing. Contrary to common belief, dog and cat fur don’t cause allergies. Rather, a supermolecule found within the pet’s spit, dander and urine causes allergies in some individuals. Other things will irritate the already-sensitive air passages of asthma attack or allergic reaction sufferers. Common irritants include cigarette smoke, cold air and pollution. Exercise and stress also can trigger an asthma attack.

Controlling asthma attack includes short-run relief of symptoms and long ways to stop attacks from occurring. Medications and behavioural approaches, such as avoiding asthma triggers, for example, are both important to managing asthma successfully. Another crucial a part of asthma attack management is education and shut consultation together with your health care team. Newer medications are available, and older methods are being improved or have been withdrawn from the market.

Asthma symptoms that recur frequently, even when medication is taken regularly, can be a sign that a reassessment with a health care professional is necessary.


While medical aid suppliers will diagnose and treat asthma attack, consultation with a specialist, like Associate in Nursing Dr. or pneumonic or respiratory organ specialist, could also be necessary. Asthma symptoms are sometimes mistaken for a bacterial infection. Antibiotics are not usually effective in controlling asthma. Pulmonary or respiratory organ perform testing is important to creating the correct diagnosing.

Moderate and mild asthma attacks are common for asthma sufferers. During these attacks an asthma sufferer may feel restless, feel her chest tighten, wheeze and/or cough up mucus. Severe attacks interrupt respiration, inflicting SOB, problem talking and eventually loss of consciousness, if not treated instantly. Asthma symptoms and their severity can vary greatly, but they should always be taken seriously.

Common symptoms of asthma include:

  • dry cough, especially at night or as a response to certain “triggers” or allergens, such as dust or pets
  • a feeling of tightness or pressure in your chest
  • difficulty breathing
  • wheezing—which sounds like a whistling sound—when you exhale
  • shortness of breath after exercise
  • colds that migrate to your chest or don’t go away for 10 days or more
  • waking up at night with shortness of breath

Common asthma triggers include the following:

  • dust mites
  • pollens
  • molds
  • pet dander (protein in pet fur, saliva and urine)
  • cockroaches
  • viral respiratory infections
  • certain medications, such as aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, and beta blockers
  • exercise
  • stress
  • menstrual cycles in some women
  • irritants (tobacco smoke and some scented products and chemicals)
  • food allergies

If you’re experiencing one or additional of the symptoms related to asthma attack and have not received treatment or medication for it, it’s vital that you just create associate degree appointment with a health care professional soon. To accurately diagnose your condition, your health care skilled can raise you questions on your symptoms, perform a physical test and conduct respiratory organ perform tests.

Asthma symptoms are often associated with other illnesses in older adults, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and sinusitis. COPD is a persistent blockage of the air passages caused by emphysema or chronic bronchitis. Emphysema occurs when the walls of the alveoli—or tiny air sacs—in the lungs are damaged. This harm makes the aveoli less elastic and, therefore, less effective at passing atomic number 8 into the blood and removing dioxide from the blood, resulting in shortness of breath. It is most common among people who have smoked the equivalent of one pack of cigarettes per day or more for 10 years.

Chronic respiratory disorder, that produces a persistent cough not associated with a chilly or different medical condition, causes inflammation of the airways, which produces mucus and causes muscle spasms.

It is estimated that more than 75 percent of people with asthma also experience GERD, which causes the stomach’s digestive juices to back up or “reflux” into the esophagus—the passageway for food from the mouth to the stomach. Over time, the esophagus becomes inflamed or permanently damaged. Chronic heartburn, cough, snoring, wheezing and hoarseness are some symptoms of GERD.

Asthma and inflammation oft exist, and plenty of patients with asthma attack will not improve unless their inflammation is treated. Additionally, many only get asthma when their sinusitis worsens. Thus, a complete assessment of asthma always requires a review of the upper airway, including the sinuses.

Tests that live your flow ar a primary tool within the designation of asthma attack. Specialists and a few primary health care professionals can use a measuring device, which is a machine that measures how much air you blow out each second. Another test employs a peak flow meter to measure how much air you can breathe out in a fast blast. These tests ar easy and painless, but offer revealing information about your airflow. Your health care skilled may additionally live your flow before and once treatment with a medication, a medicine that relaxes tight muscles in the airways, to judge reversibility or improvement with a bronchodilator, the hallmark of asthma.

Other tests could also be administered to assess your sensitivity to specific allergens that will be triggering your asthma attack. Often skin tests are used to determine which allergens you are allergic to. Diluted extracts from allergens such as particular foods, pollens, dust mites and molds are injected under your skin or into a tiny scratch or puncture on your arm or back. If you have a positive reaction (meaning you are allergic), a small, raised, reddened area with a surrounding flush will appear at the test site, indicating antibodies to that specific allergen are present in the skin. These reactions can be modest or very large depending on how allergic you are.

Your health care skilled may additionally conduct a biopsy, that isn’t as sensitive as a diagnostic assay, to seem for allergies. Using a sample of your blood, the test looks for levels of antibodies to particular allergens present in the home and outdoors in various parts of the United States.


Asthma requires continuous medical care and treatment. Asthma treatment focuses on gap airways by reducing inflammation and swelling of the cartilaginous tube tubes, each massive and small—the respiratory organ structures tormented by asthma attack. Once inflammation and swelling are reduced, the lungs may become less sensitive to triggers. Many medications are available to treat symptoms and prevent attacks from recurring. Nonmedical management strategies also are recommended: asthma sufferers are encouraged to identify triggers in their environment and avoid them, when possible, or at least be prepared for them by having and using medication, both control and reliever types.

Three teams of asthma attack medications ar available: quick-relief medications, long-term controller medications and medications for allergy-induced asthma. They are offered underneath several whole names and in a very kind of forms: sprays, pills, powder, liquids and injections. Some are short acting and are administered directly to the lining of the lungs to immediately relieve symptoms. Controller medications are meant to have longer-term effects—preventing attacks from occurring. The longer-acting medications take a short time to assist symptoms subside. Some asthma attack medications ar meant to be taken daily, whereas others ar meant just for symptom relief, as symptoms develop.


Quick-relief medications:

Quick relief (or “rescue”) medications are used to provide short-term relief during an asthma attack or, for some people, before physical activity to prevent exercise-induced asthma or after exposure to a known allergen like cats or dust.

In a class of medications known as short-acting beta agonists, asthma medications called bronchodilators are typically designed to act quickly to stop an asthma attack once it has started by relaxing and opening—”dilating”—the bronchial tubes so more air is available. For this reason, they are in the quick-relief medications—or “rescue medications”—category. Coughing, wheezing and breathing difficulties are quickly relieved, and the effects of these medications last for several hours.

The most commonly used bronchodilator in the United States is albuterol (Ventolin, Proventil, ProAir), and the preferred method of taking bronchodilators is through inhalation with a metered dose inhaler. Other short-acting beta agonists used for asthma attack embody levalbuterol (Xopenex HFA) and pirbuterol (Maxair Autohaler). Both albuterol and levalbuterol are available in a solution form to be delivered by a nebulizer.

Another bronchodilator—ipratropium (Atrovent)—works to relax the airways and make breathing easier. Although it is primarily used for chronic bronchitis and emphysema, ipratropium is also sometimes used to treat acute asthma attacks.

Also in the rescue medications category, corticosteroids work to relieve airway inflammation caused by severe asthma. Corticosteroids are not the same type of steroids used by some athletes. These performance-enhancing drugs are called anabolic steroids. In inhaled form in standard doses, there are fewer side effects from corticosteroids used to treat asthma, though the risk of side effects may increase if you take this medication orally (in liquid or pill form) over an extended time. Side effects may include hoarseness and thrush, a surface (throat) fungal infection, though rinsing the throat with water after inhaling reduces this risk.

Prednisone and methylprednisolone are two of the most commonly prescribed oral steroid drugs. They are available as liquids or pills for short-term use. Side effects embody weight gain, menstrual irregularities, increased appetite and loss of energy, among others. Long-term effects of the drug include decreased bone density, bone fractures, ulcers, cataracts, high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar and many other potential problems.

In their inhaled kind, corticosteroids are ofttimes prescribed for long-run asthma attack management, mentioned below.

Long-term controller medications:

Most long-term controller medications for asthma need to be taken every day for asthma prevention.

Inhaled corticosteroids, as well as fluticasone (Flovent Diskus, Flovent HFA), mometasone (Asmanex), beclomethasone (Qvar), budesonide (Pulmicort Flexhaler), ciclesonide (Alvesco) et al, ar the foremost usually prescribed long respiratory disorder remedy. Compared to oral corticosteroids, inhaled corticosteroids have a relatively low risk of side effects and are usually safe for long-term use in normal doses. It usually takes several days or weeks for these medications to start working.

Salmeterol (Serevent Diskus) and formoterol (Foradil Aerolizer) ar 2 bronchodilators during a category of medicines called long beta agonists (LABAs). When used with associate degree inhaled steroid hormone, these medicine facilitate management respiratory disorder symptoms. There are also devices available that contain both a LABA and an inhaled (anti-inflammatory) corticosteroid (Advair, Symbicort, Dulera).

Theophylline (Uniphyl), another variety of slow-acting medicinal drug, is prepared in a slow-release form taken by mouth. Although not used as oft because it wont to be within the past, aminophylline is usually used for persistent respiratory disorder symptoms, particularly nighttime asthma. Side effects of bronchodilators can include nervousness, shakiness and a rapid heart rate. There also may be interaction with other medications or reduced effectiveness caused by other factors.

If you’re exploitation rescue bronchodilators quite thrice daily, you ought to think about notifying your health care skilled as a result of your respiratory disorder might not be beneath adequate management or could be getting worse. If your bronchodilator contains salmeterol, you shouldn’t use it more than two times a day or less than 12 hours apart. However, you will not be exploitation your dispenser properly for optimum relief. Although the majority of asthma patients use some type of inhaler, health care professionals say that some people who use them aren’t using them correctly. Some use them once a day or every other day, for example.

Salmeterol and formoterol could increase the chance of asthma-related death, so you should only use it as an additional therapy or if your asthma isn’t well controlled on other asthma-controller medications. This warning is particularly important for African Americans, who seem be most affected. Discuss this risk with your health care professional.

In addition, cromolyn solution, an anti-inflammatory medication, is available for use with a nebulizer to help prevent asthma attacks in children.

Leukotriene modifiers ar a style of medicament medication that helps forestall respiratory disorder symptoms for up to twenty four hours. Leukotrienes are chemicals produced by the cells in the lung lining and are part of the chain reaction that causes inflammation and constriction of the airways. Leukotriene modifiers fight this allergic response by blocking the lung’s response to leukotrienes and thereby decreasing inflammation. These medications are taken orally in pill form, rather than inhaled. Montelukast (Singulair) and zafirlukast (Accolate) are two examples of leukotriene modifiers. Rarely, leukotriene modifiers have been linked to depression, hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, aggression and agitation. If you expertise one in all these psychological aspect effects whereas taking a leukotriene modifier for your respiratory disorder, call your health care professional right away.

An injectable medication, omalizumab (Xolair), is specifically for use in those age 12 and older with moderate to severe asthma symptoms, triggered by allergies whose symptoms are not adequately controlled with inhaled corticosteroids, long-acting bronchodilators or leukotriene receptor blockers. Omalizumab could be a new category of allergic respiratory disorder medical aid called “anti-IgE” medical aid, that targets associate degree protein known as immune gamma globulin that causes hypersensitivity. The treatment binds to IgE and neutralizes it.

Allergy-related medications:

If your asthma is the result of or worsened by allergies, you may benefit from one of the following allergy-related treatments.
Immunotherapy may be a treatment choice for people UN agency cannot simply avoid allergy-related bronchial {asthma|respiratory disease|respiratory illness|respiratory disorder} triggers or realize accessible asthma medications ineffective or unusable for a few reason. Immunotherapy, also called allergy desensitization shots, involves injecting small amounts of the allergen to which you are allergic into your body. Gradually, the amount injected is increased, allowing your body to build immunity to the allergen. Following treatment, when you are exposed to the allergen, you may have only minor symptoms or none at all. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI), immunotherapy works best for allergic asthma, allergic rhinitis and conjunctivitis and stinging insect allergy. This is the only therapy that can induce long-term and perhaps permanent remission—when symptoms disappear and don’t return.

Antihistamines and decongestants are medications available both by prescription and over the counter to treat allergy symptoms that could trigger an asthma attack. Antihistamines work against histamine, a chemical produced by the body in response to an allergen. Antihistamines relieve symptoms such as watery and itchy eyes, sneezing and other allergy symptoms. Side effects of older antihistamines embrace somnolence and dehydration, among others. Antihistamines area unit accessible in pill, liquid and injection forms, and decongestants are available in pill, liquid and nasal spray forms. Oral decongestants should be obtained from behind the counter owing to considerations concerning illicit substance abuse and producing.

Decongestants reestablish drainage of the nasal passages and relieve symptoms such as congestion, swelling, excess secretions and discomfort in the sinus areas. Decongestants may be pills, sprays or drops. Medications combining pain relievers and decongestants also are available. Side effects of decongestants include nervousness, sleeplessness and elevated blood pressure. Always check the labels on these and other medications for additional potential side effects.

Neither antihistamines nor decongestants are specifically indicated for use in asthma. However, leukotrienes, namely Singulair, are approved for both rhinitis and asthma.

Asthma and allergy sufferers should be cautious about herbal treatments for their conditions because of the potential for allergic responses. Any variety of treatment should be mentioned together with your health care skilled before attempting it.

Coping With Asthma While Pregnant

lthough there is a slightly higher risk of complications in pregnant women with asthma compared to women without the condition, you can still have a safe and normal pregnancy, as long as asthma symptoms are kept under control. Uncontrolled respiratory disease within the mother will, however, cause atomic number 8 levels to decrease within the blood and might impact what quantity atomic number 8 the baby receives.

It’s possible that the severity of your asthma may change during pregnancy. For concerning third of pregnant ladies, asthma symptoms generally seem to worsen, while one-third may be lucky and see an improvement. Another third appear to own no modification within the severity of their respiratory disease.

Most medications prescribed to regulate respiratory disease square measure safe for pregnant ladies to require, and the risks of uncontrolled asthma in pregnant women appear to be greater than the risks of necessary asthma medications. Medications administered with inhalers generally are considered better for pregnant women than oral medications because inhaled medications go straight to the lungs and are less likely to get passed along to the baby. In more serious cases, oral medications may be necessary to control symptoms of asthma. Ask your health care skilled treating your respiratory disease to discuss with your specialist before developing a treatment set up for you.


There is no way to prevent asthma from developing. You can learn to spot your respiratory disease or allergic reaction triggers and probably avoid them. Developing an asthma management plan with your health care team can help you determine which medication works best for you and what other strategies you can use to improve your condition. Here are a few suggestions for avoiding triggers:

  • Track your symptoms to identify what triggers your asthma attacks; once identified try to avoid them.
  • Always be prepared to manage your attacks.
  • Prevent symptoms before they occur, if possible.
  • If you’re allergic to cat or dog dander, use your asthma medications before visiting someone with these pets, and be sure and have a reliever type medication with you, such as albuterol.
  • If necessary, find a new home for your pet or keep it out of your sleeping area.
  • If you smoke, quit, and turn your home into a smoke-free zone.
  • When pollen counts or ozone levels are high in the summer, try to stay indoors and in air conditioning; use air filters on your furnace and air conditioner.
  • If cold air is a trigger for you, wear a scarf to cover your mouth and nose when you are outside in the winter.
  • Wash all your bedding, including pillow cases, clothes and stuffed animal toys, once a week or more often in hot water (greater than 130° F) and dry at high heat to kill dust mites.
  • Use a dehumidifier in damp areas such as bathrooms and basements to reduce mold build-up.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has a cold or the flu, and wash your hands regularly.
  • Get a flu shot in the fall.
  • Work with your health care professional to come up with a medication regimen that will still allow you to exercise.
  • Use your asthma medications before exercising in cold air.

Facts to Know

  1. Asthma is a chronic lung condition caused by heightened sensitivity to various things in the environment, such as pollen, dust and smoke. Exposure to these “triggers” causes the air passages to become swollen and inflamed, causing the hallmark symptoms of an asthma “attack”: increased mucous production, wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and difficulty breathing.
  2. Asthma can’t be cured, but it can be controlled with a variety of medications. If not well controlled, asthma can be life threatening. Lifelong management is usually necessary.
  3. The rate of asthma is higher in children than in adults (8.2 percent of adults have asthma, compared to 9.5 percent of children).
  4. The National Center for Health Statistics (a division of the CDC) reported that 18.9 million American adults and 7.1 million children suffered from asthma in 2011. Asthma cases have been increasing in number and severity since the early 1980s, spanning people of all ages, sex and racial groups.
  5. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, African Americans are three times as likely as Caucasians to be hospitalized from asthma and three times as likely to die from the disease. Racial variations in respiratory disorder prevalence and mortality square measure believed to be associated with economic condition, urban air quality, indoor allergens, lack of patient education and inadequate medical care. Women are more likely than men to die from asthma attacks.
  6. About half of all adults with asthma have allergies that may trigger asthma symptoms. Identifying, avoiding or controlling triggers is an important part of asthma management.
  7. Obesity could be a major risk issue for developing respiratory disorder.
  8. Asthma is believed to have a genetic component. Children of a parent or parents with asthma are at greater risk of developing the condition.
  9. Three main teams of respiratory disorder medications square measure available: quick-relief medications, long-term controller medications and medications for allergy-induced asthma.
  10. Exercise will trigger associate {asthma|asthma attack|bronchial respiratory disorder|respiratory disease|respiratory illness|respiratory disorder} attack; treatment with associate indrawn medication before elbow grease will stop exercise-induced asthma.

Key Q&A

  1. What is asthma?Asthma could be a respiratory organ condition that creates the first airways—known because the bronchi—in the lungs swollen and inflamed. People who have asthma are more sensitive than other people to things in the environment, known as triggers. These triggers make the muscles in an asthma sufferer’s lungs tighten or constrict making the air passages narrow and breathing difficult. In addition, cells in the lungs produce more mucus in response to a trigger. The mucus clogs the bronchial tubes, which contributes to breathing problems. When the lungs react to a trigger, what’s known as an “asthma attack” occurs. Wheezing, coughing or tightness in the chest and shortness of breath are the hallmark symptoms of an asthma attack. This lifelong condition can’t be cured, but it can be controlled with the proper diagnosis and treatment.
  2. How prevalent is asthma among adults in the United States?The National Center for Health Statistics (a division of the U.S. CDC) reported that eighteen.9 million American adults and 7.1 million children suffered from asthma in 2011. Reported cases of asthma have been on the rise since the early 1980s among people of all ages, sex and racial groups. Many people develop bronchial asthma in childhood, but others develop the disease later in life—known as adult onset asthma. You can even 1st begin experiencing symptoms of the illness at age fifty or older.
  3. Is there a cure for asthma?No, asthma is a chronic disease that cannot be cured, but it can be controlled with medication and lifestyle changes. There are a variety of medications in a variety of forms to treat symptoms of asthma. Lifestyle modifications, such as identifying and avoiding or minimizing asthma triggers, are also important to managing the disease.
  4. Are women at greater risk for asthma compared with men?Women are more likely to die from asthma than are men. Studies have shown that asthma may be related to women’s hormonal changes and could be triggered before or during the menstrual period. Some ladies 1st develop bronchial asthma throughout or once a physiological state, but asthma symptoms may also subside during pregnancy or not be affected at all.
  5. Are there certain groups of people who are at higher risk for asthma?The prevalence of asthma is definitely higher among children than adults and higher among African Americans and Hispanics than Caucasians. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, African Americans are three times as likely as Caucasians to be hospitalized from asthma and three times as likely to die from the disease. Racial variations in bronchial asthma prevalence and mortality ar believed to be extremely associated with financial condition, urban air quality, indoor allergens, lack of patient education and inadequate treatment.
  6. What are some common symptoms of asthma?Some of the more common symptoms of adult onset asthma include the following:
    • dry cough, especially at night or as a response to certain triggers or allergens
    • a feeling of tightness or pressure in your chest
    • difficulty breathing
    • wheezing—which sounds like a whistling sound—when you exhale
    • shortness of breath after exercise
    • colds that migrate to your chest or don’t go away for 10 days or more
    • waking up during the night
  7. What type of health care professional treats asthma?Primary care health professionals generally diagnose and treat respiratory illness, however consultation with associate degree Dr. or probably a pulmonic (lung) specialist is also counseled to assist develop associate degree respiratory illness management program.
  8. Does it take a long time to diagnose asthma?Asthma can be hard to diagnose; therefore, its symptoms are sometimes misdiagnosed as respiratory infections or attributed to other conditions. Generally, with a thorough medical evaluation, which includes a physical, a medical history that includes evaluating your symptoms, different laboratory tests and respiratory-function tests, a diagnosis is quickly and accurately made. Once diagnosed, it can take some time for your health care team to determine which medications and dosages are right to best manage your symptoms.
  9. What are my treatment options?There are many medications to help manage and minimize the effects of the asthma. Some medicines are preventive and are used for long-term control, while others are used as quick relievers for immediate action when an asthma episode (or attack) occurs.
  10. I have asthma. Are my children at risk for developing this condition?Yes. Studies have shown that children of parents with asthma are at greater risk for developing the condition. It would be wise to discuss your children’s health with their pediatrician.