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Do you have asthma? The best way to remain safe from an attack is to avoid the triggers. Check out our video to learn about asthma triggers.
Transcript: If you have asthma, an attack is always possible --even if you're not short of breath right at the moment....
If you have asthma, an attack is always possible --even if you're not short of breath right at the moment. Most people with asthma have airways that are always a bit SWOLLEN, inflamed and hyper-sensitive. When you're exposed to a TRIGGER, airways can swell up rapidly and your body may produce a lot of airway-clogging mucus, making it difficult to breathe. Knowing - and AVOIDING -- your asthma triggers is a vital step in preventing attacks, so let's run through a list of the 10 most common. SMOKE is a VERY common asthma trigger. If you smoke, seek help to quit. If you hang out with smokers, ask them to put out their cigarettes or to go outside. AIR POLLUTION is another major culprit. You probably can't avoid it altogether. Listen for air quality reports-if pollution is high, you may want to limit your time outdoors. Dust mites, mold, and rodent and COCKROACH droppings are ALL liable to spark an episode. Avoid these by keeping up with household tasks- fix water leaks, wash your sheets, vacuum, dust, and keep your home ventilated. People with asthma may not want to own a dog, cat or other furry pets due to their DANDER. If you do have one, try and keep the pet OUTSIDE and away from your bed and furniture. Otherwise, you may have to find your pet another home. Pollen also elicits attacks -50% of people with asthma developed the condition as a result of allergies. If this is you, listen to the weather reports and consider staying indoors on days with high pollen counts. Colds and flus are also common attack triggers. Everyone with asthma should get a FLU VACCINE every year. Also, try to prevent colds by avoiding sick people and washing your hands often. INTENSE EXERCISE is a common asthma trigger because increased respiration makes your lungs more sensitive. But you definitely SHOULDN'T avoid physical activity - work with your doctor to figure out which medications to use BEFORE you exercise or if you have an attack. Just like exercise, laughing is fun, and it's good for you. But INTENSE laughing--as well as yelling and crying--can actually SET OFF an attack. Emotional STRESS can spark one too. If you feel like you're ready to EXPLODE with anger or anxiety, take a break and calm down. Intense odors are known to prompt attacks, so choose the unscented versions of detergents, deodorants, hair products, and more. Some patients experience an attack after taking aspirin or other anti-inflammatory painkillers such as ibuprofen and naproxen. If you have a reaction to one, it's best to avoid ALL anti-inflammatories. Knowing your triggers can help you prevent an asthma attack and let you breathe much, much easier.More »
Last Modified: 2013-06-12 | Tags »
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When's the last time you looked at your mucus color? Noticed any mucus color changes? Understanding mucus color can help you tell your health status.
Transcript: When you blow your nose or cough up some phlegm how do you know what's a healthy color and what's not?...
When you blow your nose or cough up some phlegm how do you know what's a healthy color and what's not? Well, clear thin mucus is usually the sign of a healthy system, but if there is a CONSISTENCY and COLOR change, there may be something wrong. If you have a bacterial or viral infection your mucus turns LIGHT YELLOW or GREEN because white blood cells that respond to an infection contain a green-tinged enzyme. It mixes with the mucus in your nose or the phlegm in your lungs and throat, changing the color. Because there is a good chance this colored mucus is a symptom of a viral infection, don't run to the doctor or take antibiotics. Instead, drink lots of fluids and get plenty of rest to beat the bug. If you don't feel better in a week, THEN it's time to go to your physician. If your phlegm is thick and DARK yellow, DARK green or brown, it could indicate that your infection may have traveled to your LUNGS. If your primary symptom is constant coughing, BRONCHITIS is a real possibility. Smokers who have a persistent cough may have CHRONIC bronchitis, which can be a symptom of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - or COPD - the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. If you suspect you have chronic bronchitis, quit smoking and visit your doctor. DARK YELLOW or dark green phlegm may indicate PNEUMONIA. If the cough is also accompanied by fever, shortness of breath, sweating, chills, headache, muscle pain, fatigue and chest pain, you should see a doctor. BLOODY phlegm is an alarming symptom. It can indicate all kinds of trouble including tuberculosis, lung cancer or a pulmonary embolism -- a blood clot your lungs. Head to your doctor or the emergency room immediately. You should also seek medical assistance if you're coughing up pink, frothy mucus-this symptom could indicate that you have pulmonary edema, or fluid in your lungs. However, regardless of your mucus color -if you're really feeling unwell, see your primary physician-sooner than later. To learn more about respiratory health, check out other videos in this series.More »
Last Modified: 2012-11-17 | Tags »
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The stages of COPD include breathing problems that increase in severity. Understanding the stages can give you an idea of how well you're doing. See video for details.
Transcript: Like other chronic, progressive diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - or COPD-- is measured...
Like other chronic, progressive diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - or COPD-- is measured in stages or grades of severity. G-O-L-D -which stands for Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease--is an international organization that has established GUIDELINES for diagnosing COPD and classifying its severity. They look at ease of breathing and the number of COPD exacerbations-or acute attacks-a person has PER YEAR. They also evaluate a patient's other symptoms such as chest tightness, fatigue and breathlessness. An earlier set of guidelines identified the progressive worsening of COPD through stages - but they now call them GRADES.There are four grades of COPD: -Grade 1: the patient MAY have mild breathing problems and/or has had at MOST one acute attack a year, in which the day to day COPD symptoms become suddenly worse. They have mild miscellaneous symptoms such as fatigue or wheezing and some breathlessness. -Grade 2: this involves moderate, CHRONIC breathing problems, and/or at most one COPD exacerbation - or acute attack -- a year. A patient will have mild to MODERATE symptoms and breathlessness.Grade 3: The patient may have chronic breathing problems, moderate breathlessness, and/or two or MORE COPD exacerbations each year. -In Grade 4, a patient may have VERY severe, chronic breathing problems, almost constant breathlessness, and/or 2 or more exacerbations every year. Regardless of your grade, medication will TYPICALLY be a part of your treatment plan, with the number of medications increasing with the increasing severity of symptoms. Oxygen therapy, used by patients with low levels of oxygen in their blood, may help those with moderate to severe COPD. And surgery may be recommended in SEVERE cases when meds and other treatments have not helped enough.To get more information about COPD, watch additional videos in this series.More »
Last Modified: 2012-11-17 | Tags »
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Cigarette smoking has a detrimental effect on both the heart and the lungs. Learn about the negative consequences of smoking.
Transcript: Smoking one pack of cigarettes a day for a year has a similar impact to pouring a full cup of tar down...
Smoking one pack of cigarettes a day for a year has a similar impact to pouring a full cup of tar down your lungs...tar that is rich in cancer-causing chemicals. Smoking also increases the amount of mucus the body produces, and mucus serves as the breeding ground for bacteria and viruses. So, a smoker is more likely to come down with a cold, the flu, and bronchitis. Worse still, smokers have a harder time fighting these infections, because their white blood cells are too impaired to resist invading organisms. Smoking is hard on the heart, too. Smokers' hearts beat an extra 10 to 25 times per minute, increasing the risk of heart attack. Smoking can also cause up to a 15 percent increase in the risk of having potentially deadly heart attack and stroke.More »
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Keeping a diary on your smoking habits can prepare you to quit. Watch this to learn more.
Transcript: Once you've made the decision to quit, it helps to prepare yourself by understanding your personal addiction....
Once you've made the decision to quit, it helps to prepare yourself by understanding your personal addiction. Try keeping a smoking journal for a few days, recording every cigarette you smoke, how you felt and why you did it. Most smokers notice a pattern to their habit. By becoming aware of when you're likely to smoke, you can plan to change your environment to avoid or weaken the temptation. After you've identified your triggers, you're probably ready to take the plunge.More »
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Is nicotine gum a helpful tool in the fight against smoking? Watch this to learn more about quitting smoking.
Transcript: Before beginning any nicotine-replacement therapy, it's important to remember that you must not smoke...
Before beginning any nicotine-replacement therapy, it's important to remember that you must not smoke while using these products. Doing so can result in a serious nicotine overdose. Nicotine gum is an over-the-counter smoking cessation option which is sold in 2 and 4 milligram doses. Most smokers use between 10 and 15 pieces each day. Because the nicotine in the gum is absorbed through the mucus membranes in the mouth, it's important not to eat or drink anything for at least 15 minutes before, during or after use. Doing so could lessen the gum's effectiveness. Nicotine gum should be chewed very slowly until you notice a peppery taste. At this point, shift the product between your cheek and gum. Hold it there until the tingle is gone, then continuously repeat the process for about 30 minutes.More »
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The nicotine inhaler can help reduce withdrawal symptoms when you're trying to quit cigarettes. Learn more about how it works, and what its advantages and disadvantages are.
Transcript: The nasal spray delivers nicotine through the nose, instantly relieving withdrawal symptoms. Because...
The nasal spray delivers nicotine through the nose, instantly relieving withdrawal symptoms. Because this form of therapy can be particularly addictive, it should not be used for longer than 6 months. The nicotine inhaler is a plastic tube with a nicotine cartridge inside. When you puff on the inhaler, the cartridge provides an instant nicotine fix. Most smokers appreciate that this replacement is very similar to smoking. Usually, the recommended dose for the inhaler is between 6 and 16 cartridges a day for up to 6 months.More »
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Buproprian is a prescription medication used to aid in smoking cessation. Watch this video to learn more.
Transcript: One smoking cessation option is a prescription medication that has been called the "non-nicotine" pill....
One smoking cessation option is a prescription medication that has been called the "non-nicotine" pill. This medication, bupropion hydrochloride, is trademarked under the name Zyban. Bupropion is not new. In fact, it has also been sold as an anti-depressant medication under the name Wellbutrin since 1985. In smokers, zyban s the levels of the chemicals dopamine and norepinephrine, a process that also occurs when you light a cigarette. The resulting effect is a sense of energy and well-being that is similar to smoking a cigarette. Zyban is usually taken twice a day for up to 12 weeks. Because it takes a week for zyban to become fully effective, it is recommended that a smoker begin taking the medication a week before quitting. It is important that women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, people with a history of eating disorders, people taking MAO medications, and those who have seizures, all avoid taking zyban.More »
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Leaving cigarettes behind may make you gain a few pounds. Here's how to prevent that from happening.
Transcript: One of the best ways to avoid putting on weight is to take up regular exercise. If you're a long-time...
One of the best ways to avoid putting on weight is to take up regular exercise. If you're a long-time smoker, you may have trouble with highly aerobic work-outs, and that's okay. Just a half hour of exercise three days a week is a great start...and brisk walking counts! Because smoking cessation takes so much time and effort, it may be best to begin a regular exercise program a month or two before you quit. Certainly, a healthy diet is an important part of avoiding weight gain. Recognize that you may be unable to curb the urge to snack, and have healthy options available to you. Vegetable sticks, apple slices, sunflower seeds and popcorn are all low-fat, crunchy options. And keep sugarless gum, mints, or candy on hand for when you're out-and-about.More »
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There are many factors that can cause asthma to develop. Watch this video to learn about that.
Transcript: Today, doctors agree that there is a strong genetic component to asthma. However, it takes more than...
Today, doctors agree that there is a strong genetic component to asthma. However, it takes more than genetics to make a person have an attack. Environmental triggers are necessary, as well. There are many different theories about which stimuli can cause asthma, among them: early-childhood infections, chemical exposure through air pollution, and insufficient immune system development.More »
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When you have asthma, safety is definitely something you need to keep in mind when you exercise. Watch this video to learn about exercising safely with asthma.
Transcript: When exercising, there are some basic rules to follow that will keep you safe. First of all, avoid physical...
When exercising, there are some basic rules to follow that will keep you safe. First of all, avoid physical activity on days when you aren't feeling well, or are already experiencing asthma symptoms. To discern whether you should exercise, breathe into your peak flow meter, a device that measures lung capacity. If your peak flow is less than 80 percent, it's not smart to exert yourself. You should also limit your exercise on days when the air quality is poor. Watch your local weather channel and check the air quality index to gauge how bad the pollution and pollen levels are for the day. If you've decided that it's a good day to exercise, begin with a slow and thorough warm-up, and always end your routine by stretching. Easing into and out of these exercises helps your body adjust to the different styles of breathing required. While exercising, drink plenty of fluids. Hydration relieves bronchial irritation from dry air. Of course, you should take your asthma medication BEFORE exercising and keep your inhaler at hand.More »
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Cough-variant asthma and asthma are two types of asthma with different causes and symptoms. Watch this video to learn more.
Transcript: During a typical asthma attack, the body's large airway, the bronchi, react to allergens and environmental...
During a typical asthma attack, the body's large airway, the bronchi, react to allergens and environmental irritants with contracting spasms. Inflammation and mucus narrow the airways even further, leading to difficulty breathing. In patients with cough-variant asthma, however, cough receptors in the lungs react to allergens. The airways may still constrict slightly, but not enough to hamper breathing because the expulsive force of the cough keeps them clear.More »
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