Asthma

Table of Content:

Asthma is a condition in which your airways narrow and swell and they product extra mucus. This condition can make a simple task like breathing difficult and thus cause coughing, wheezing (whistling sound) and can leave you gasping for air.

For some people, asthma is a minor problem, for others it can be a huge problem that can affect your daily activities. Some people may even suffer from asthma attack which if goes untreated can be life threatening.

What Is An Asthma Attack?

As Asthma attack is a sudden worsening of your condition of asthma, the asthma attack is caused because the muscles around your airways suddenly tighten. The tightening of airway muscles are called bronchospasm. Asthma attack treatment simply helps in opening of the muscles. During an asthma attack, the lining of the airways muscles tend to swell up or become inflamed and produces thicker mucus. Asthma symptoms and signs regarding bronchospasm, inflammation and mucus production are:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty performing daily chores

While these are the most common asthma attack symptoms, there can be other symptoms that may go unnoticed, such asthma attack symptoms include:

  • Too much wheezing while breathing in and out
  • Coughing that won’t stop
  • Very rapid breathing
  • Chest tightness or pressure on chest
  • Tightened neck and chest muscles
  • Difficulty talking
  • Feelings of anxiety or panic
  • Pale and sweaty face
  • Blue lips or bluish looking fingernails
  • No relief in symptoms even after taking your medications

Mild asthma attack are more common among Asthma patients and some people may go long having such attacks without noticing asthma symptoms and signs. These mild attacks can worsen if the exposed to asthma triggers such as cold air.

Usually the airways open up in a few hours after the treatment. Extreme Asthma attacks are much less common but they last for long and they also require longer medical attention for asthma attack treatment. If you are a patient of Asthma, then noticing the asthma symptoms and signs on time is vital so that you can prevent severe asthma attacks.

What Happens If You Don’t Treat an Asthma Attack?

Have you ever thought “what happens if you don’t use your inhaler during an asthma attack”? Without the vital asthma attack treatment, your breathing may get even more labored, and your wheezing can get more rapid and louder. Your lungs will keep on getting tighter and if you go without treatment, then your lungs will tighten so much that your lungs won’t produce any wheezing. This symptom is sometimes called “silent chest” and it is a very dangerous sign. If you’re suffering from an extreme asthma attack then you immediately need to visit a hospital.

Some people mistake the lack of wheezing as a sign that they’re getting better which leads them to not getting a proper asthma attack treatment. If you don’t treat an asthma attack, you will gradually become unable to speak and a bluish color will develop around your lips. This change in color is known as “cyanosis” which indicates that you’re getting less oxygen in your blood. Without getting proper treatment, you will eventually lose consciousness and die due to the lack of air.

How Is Asthma Diagnosed?

Early warning signs changes in your body that happen just before an asthma attack. These changes in your overall condition can lead to indicate that your Asthma is worsening.

According to studies, early asthma symptoms and signs are not severe enough to stop you from doing your daily activities but if you’re late in recognizing the asthma attack symptoms it can lead to worsening of your condition. Asthma prevention is possible if you recognize the symptoms early on, here are all the early signs of a serious asthma attack:

  • Constant coughing at night
  • Reduced readings on your peak flow meter
  • Losing your breath/shortness of breath
  • Feeling tired or weak while exercising
  • Wheezing or coughing during exercise
  • Feeling tired & mood changes
  • Decrease or changes in lung function as measured on peak flow meter

The severity of an asthma attack can shift quickly and it’s important to keep an eye out for these symptoms as soon as possible so you can recognize them as soon as they happen.

What Are Asthma Causes?

If you have an overly sensitive immune system then it can make your airways (bronchial tubes) becomes more inflamed and swollen whenever you are exposed to certain asthma triggers. Each person have different types of asthma triggers, here some of the most common asthma causes:

  • Pollen, pets, mold and dust mites.
  • Upper respiratory infections.
  • Tobacco/cigarette smoke.
  • Breathing in cold and dry air
  • Gastric reflux
  • Extreme stressful situations

For a lot of people, asthma attack symptoms worsen over time with respiratory infections, most of these infections are caused by common cold. For some people their asthma symptoms can flare up due to their work environment. At times, there can be no cause at all for asthma attack. If you want, you can use some home remedies for asthma to get rid of growing symptoms.

Types of Asthma

Do you know about the different types of asthma? Constant studies have expanded our knowledge of types of asthma. It is also changing the boundaries on how is asthma diagnosed? Understanding the type of asthma, you can look for the most effective type of asthma attack treatment.

  • Allergies and Asthma

Asthma and allergies have a very long relationship. Allergic rhinitis (also known as hay fever) is the inflammation of the lining of your nose and it is one of the most common types of chronic allergies. Those with allergic rhinitis, increased sensitivity (allergy) to a particular substance can cause your body’s immunity cells to release histamines as a response when you come in contact with allergens. Most common types of allergens enter your body through the airways.

If you’re suffering from allergic rhinitis, you may feel a runny nose, constant sneezing, swollen nasal passages, excess mucus, watery eyes and a sore/scratchy throat. Your doctor will prescribe medicines to control your allergies, cough and any other symptoms.

  • Exercise-Induced Asthma

Exercise induced asthma is another types of asthma and it is triggered by exercise or by exerting yourself beyond your limit. A lot of people with Asthma tend to have Asthma attack symptoms while exercising. There are some other people without asthma including even the Olympic athletes who will get the symptoms during rigorous exercise.

With exercise induced asthma, airway narrowing peaks between 5 to 20 minutes after your exercise begins, which makes it difficult to catch your breath. The symptom for exercise-induced asthma begin with wheezing and coughing.

  • Adult-Onset Asthma

Some people don’t even show signs of having asthma until they are well grown into adults. These types of asthma is known as adult-onset asthma. Have you ever wondered what causes adult-onset asthma? The asthma causes for adult-onset asthma can be various.

Sometimes people can manage to avoid their asthma triggers for years and when they are exposed to a certain type of trigger the asthma symptoms can start to form. On other occasions, a viral infection can unmask their asthma symptoms. They may have an upper respiratory infection that leads to coughing that sticks around for several weeks.

  • Asthma-COPD Overlap

Asthma is considered as a really severe health condition and it’s really difficult to treat and manage the symptoms. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a combination of lung diseases that tend to cause breathing problems and obstruct the airflows. Most people with asthma will not develop COPD, and many people who suffer with COPD don’t have asthma. Another types of asthma is when a person suffers with both COPD and asthma.

  • Nonallergic Asthma

If your asthma symptoms flare up in extreme weather, in heat or in the chill of winter whenever you get sick. Does your asthma attacks get severe in all these condition then chances are you may be suffering from nonallergic asthma.

Some of the main triggers of nonallergic asthma are:

  • Viral respiratory infections
  • Exercise
  • Irritants in the air
  • Stress
  • Drugs and certain food additives
  • Weather conditions
  • Occupational Asthma

Occupational asthma happens to those who usually work around chemical fumes, dust or other allergy causing elements in the air. If you’ve been diagnoses with one such condition then your situation will only worsen over time with airborne irritants at work. Keep working at your business will only cause you more trouble over time, your healthcare professional will help you manage your diseases. 

Best Diet For Asthma Patients

Asthma is a chronic disease and it grows worse if one stops paying attention to their symptoms. If you’re asthmatic then you may be curious as to what type of foods you can and can’t eat. While there’s no conclusive evidence if a specific diet can or cannot improve the severity of asthma attacks. That doesn’t mean that you can’t eat nutritious foods for asthma prevention. Consuming fresh, nutritious foods may improve your overall health and can have an impact on asthma symptoms.

Food also comes into play as it can prevent allergy based asthma to act up. Food allergies happen when your immune system overreacts to certain types of proteins in specific food items. In some special cases, this can lead to a rise in asthma symptoms. Here’s a diet that you should follow if you’re suffering from asthma.

  • Vitamin D

If you’re getting enough Vitamin D in your diet, it can help in reduction and asthma prevention. Especially for children between the ages of 6 to 15, according to some experts. Some great sources of vitamin D are as:

  • Salmon
  • Milk and fortified milk
  • Orange juice
  • Eggs

If you’re also lactose intolerant, then you would want to steer clear of milk or any dairy product that also includes eggs. If you’re severely allergic to some specific types of foods then it can manifest as asthma.

  • Vitamin A

According to a study, it was stated that children suffering from asthma have lower levels of Vitamin A. Children who suffer from asthma tend to have better lung function if they have high levels of Vitamin A. Here are some densely packed food sources of Vitamin A:

  • Carrots
  • Cantaloupe
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Broccoli
  • Apples

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away” all of us have heard this but not everyone knows that an apple a day can also keep asthma at bay. According to a review article published on a medical journal, apples are linked to asthma prevention and improved lung function.

  • Bananas

There’s another fruit that helps in asthma prevention and reducing the asthma attack risks. According to a European survey, bananas might decrease wheezing in children with asthma. The reason behind this could be due to high levels of antioxidants and potassium in bananas. So if your kid is asthmatic, we suggest that you include bananas in his/her diet. Eating bananas is also known to improve lung function.

  • Magnesium

According to some healthcare experts, children between the age of 11 and 19 with low magnesium levels also had lower lung flow and volume. If you’re looking for the best diet for asthma patients then make sure you include magnesium rich food items in your diet. Kids can improve their magnesium levels by eating food items as:

  • Spinach
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Swiss chard
  • Dark chocolate
  • Salmon
  • Eat To Maintain a Healthy Weight

Maintaining weight if you have asthma is highly needed. Asthma and nutrition goes hand in hand. Asthma prevention requires for you to have a maintained weight. If you’re overweight then you’re more open to asthma attacks.

Include foods in your diet that can help you lose weight while providing you with much needed nutrition. You can also do light exercises, if you feel like you’re getting asthma symptoms after exercise, make sure to visit your doctor for checkup.

  • Eat Omega 3 Rich Foods

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fishes such as salmon, tuna, sardines and some specific plant based food sources, one of the best examples is flaxseeds. While Omega-3 rich food’s impact on asthma is not clear, they do improve overall physical health which is necessary if you or any member of your family is suffering from asthma.

This concludes our list of “best diet for asthma patients”. Now that you know about nutrients and food items that you should include in your diet, you can follow asthma prevention methods by following a strict diet plan.

Foods To Avoid In Asthma

Just like some foods help in asthma prevention and considered best diet for asthma, some food items can trigger asthma symptoms and they should be avoided. It is suggested that you consult your doctor once before you start kicking your favourite food items out of your diet. Here is our list of food items to avoid in Asthma.

  • Sulfites

If you don’t know what Sulfites are, then they are a type of preservative that are often found in:

  • Wine
  • Dried fruits
  • Pickled food items
  • Maraschino cherries
  • Shrimp
  • Bottled lemon and lime juices
  • Foods That Cause Gas

Eating large meals or foods that cause gas or will cause acid reflux. This can cause tightness in chest and trigger asthma flares. Such food items are:

  • Beans
  • Cabbage
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Fried foods
  • Salicylates

While the cases are extremely rare, some people who suffer from asthma, they may be sensitive to salicylates that are usually found in coffee, tea and some specific herbs and spices. If your asthma symptoms are getting triggered suddenly then you should consult your doctor.

  • Artificial Ingredients

Not everyone can digest artificial ingredients. Apart from causing digestive problems, artificial ingredients can sometimes trigger asthma symptoms. Some people with asthma may be sensitive or allergic to these ingredients. If your symptoms tend to worsen overtime then you should avoid these artificial ingredients.

  • Common Allergens

Each one of us have different types of allergies. If you’re a part of the population that has allergies then you should keep an eye out for asthma triggers. Here are the most common allergens:

  • Dairy products
  • Shellfish
  • Wheat
  • Tree nuts

Home Remedies For Asthma

If you’re suffering from asthma and regular medications don’t seem to helping you then you may want to switch to a different approach. Some natural remedies may be able to ease your symptom, reduce the amount of medication you intake and improve the overall quality of life. These natural remedies for asthma wheezing can be taken alongside your usual asthma medications. Here are the best home remedies for asthma.

  • Change in Diet

The first and probably the best home remedies for asthma, there are a few changes you can make in your overall diet that will help you with asthma symptoms and signs. Being overweight can worsen your asthma symptoms. It’s crucial for you to maintain a healthy and balanced diet full of nutrients.

Make sure to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, they are a good of source of antioxidants that may help to reduce inflammation around your airways.

  • Papworth Method

The Papworth method is a very old breathing and relaxation technique. It is very helpful for those who are suffering from asthma. The techniques require you to use your nose and diaphragm to build breathing pattern. You can then apply these breathing patterns to multiple exercises or physical activities that you do.

  • Garlic

Garlic is a centuries old herb that provides several health benefits, including anti-inflammatory features. As asthma is an inflammatory disease, garlic can help relieve your asthma symptoms. There’s no particular study that garlic can be effective against asthma, but there’s no harm in eating an herb that is full of anti-inflammatory features.

  • Honey

Honey is frequently used as a home remedies for asthma. If you want, you can also mix honey in any kind of hot beverage such as herbal tea to help with asthma prevention. As well as, Honey is known to soothe the throat and reduce coughing.

  • Omega-3 Oils

We even recommended Omega-3 oils as one of the best diets for asthma. The best sources for Omega-3 are found in fish and flax seeds. Omega-3 oils tend to reduce airway inflammation and also improve lung function in those who are suffering from severe asthma conditions.

Asthma Facts And Myths

Asthma is a severe health condition, if the asthma attack treatment isn’t completed at time then it can lead to great damage of your body. Prevention is necessary for Asthma and you need to recognize your symptoms early on for asthma prevention. Not many people know everything about Asthma, so here are asthma facts and myths that you should learn.

Myth 1: There’s an old myth about asthma that’s been going on since long. A lot of people believe that children with asthma shouldn’t exercise. The truth is that as long as the asthma is controlled, there is no reason why any children suffering from asthma can’t be physically active. You should encourage your children to stay active and prevent obesity.

Myth 2:  Another myth about asthma is that it only involves the lungs. There is a body wide inflammatory component of asthma and it can even start off as a systemic disease. Accordind to new studies it has been shown that metabolic syndrome (a disease where factors like high blood sugar contributes to not just diabetes and heart disease but to asthma as well. While the main area of affect are lungs but they also focus on treating the lungs and the airways.

Myth 3: Another huge myth regarding asthma is that it eventually goes away. Some people have wrong ideas that you can grow out of having asthma as a disease. There have been reported cases where asthma goes into remission as a teenager but it often comes back. Most of the times it comes back when a person starts consuming alcohol. There are some asthma prevention methods that you can follow if you don’t want the asthma to come back.

Myth 4: A lot of asthma patients refuse to take an inhaler because there is a myth that inhaled steroids are often dangerous for health. It is a common misconception that long-term use of inhaled steroids will make the height of your child short. There is more than enough evidence to show that asthma inhalers don’t affect how fast or how tall a child grows. As a matter of fact, there’s even studies that show untreated kids are often shorter.

Now that you know about the myths about asthma, here are some facts about asthma that you should be aware of.

Fact 1: Medical science have come a long way now, and we have newly improved drugs. Now the treatment for asthma is much more targeted than older drugs that were toxic to other body parts. it’s important for you to provide necessary healthcare features to whosoever is suffering from asthma attack.

Fact 2: Asthma can be treated by a primary care doctor, but if the condition of asthma is too severe in a child, you would want to seek experience of a pulmonologist (lung specialist). Pulmonologist who specializes in pediatric asthma.

Fact 3:  Another fact that you should know by about asthma is that there is a lot to be learned asthma. The best way to find out more about asthma is by clinical trials.

Final Take: All You Need To Know About Asthma Attack

Regardless of common belief, asthma is a very severe issue if it goes untreated. You should always look for asthma symptoms and signs before asthma attack. Visit a doctor and to get the necessary treatment for yourself. You should also adhere to best home remedies for asthma that can help in asthma management or asthma prevention overall.