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An asthma diagnosis doesn't mean you have to sit on the sidelines of life! A plethora of treatments can help sufferers boast normal, active existences.
Transcript: Just because you have asthma doesn't mean you need to sit on the sidelines! With proper treatment, asthmatics...
Just because you have asthma doesn't mean you need to sit on the sidelines! With proper treatment, asthmatics can lead normal, active lives. Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition which currently has no cure. But an allergist or pulmonologist can help you create a specialized treatment plan to help keep your symptoms under control. During an asthma attack, the large airways, which are known as bronchi, spasm repeatedly. The bronchi then inflame and produce mucus, further narrowing the airways and making breathing difficult. The goal of asthma treatment is to eliminate symptoms, and reduce the frequency of asthma attacks. Treatment plans typically include three components: medication, environmental management and monitoring. Medication works by reducing inflammation, which opens up the bronchial tubes, allowing air to flow easily through them. One type that is inhaled directly into the lungs through use of an inhaler is "rescue" medication. These relax bronchial tubes and improve airflow, and is used during an asthma attack to alleviate symptoms in the short-term. Long-term control medications, like Aerobid, are also inhaled. These corticosteroids work around the clock to relax bronchial tubes and suppress reactions to asthma triggers. In this way, corticosteroids can help prevent an attack, or limit its intensity. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, your doctor may recommend a rescue medication alone, or a combination of medications to provide long-term control and immediate relief. Asthma attacks can be set off by any number of triggers, which can include factors like allergens, stress, exercise, smog and even the common cold. The second component of treatment is to determine which of these factors aggravate your symptoms, and then to take precautionary steps to reduce your exposure to them. Is cold winter air a trigger? You might cover your mouth with a scarf when you're outdoors. Does cigarette smoke cause a symptom flare-up? Alert the people around you to your condition. If exercise triggers attacks, your doctor may recommend using a rescue medication as a preventative measure before beginning any physical activity. Daily monitoring is the third component of successful asthma treatment. A device called a peak flow meter can help you monitor your lung capacity. To use it, take a deep breath, and exhale into the inhaler-sized device. The meter measures how easily you move air in and out of your lungs. When you notice a drop in your peak flow numbers, it's an indication that an attack may be imminent. At this point, it's important to limit your exposure to triggers, or take medication to thwart the attack. Once you and your doctor have devised a treatment plan, stick to it. If you have questions or concerns about your asthma treatment, talk to your physician.More »
Last Modified: 2013-09-27 | Tags »
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Think asthma can prevent you from exercising? Think again! Learn more about exercising with asthma by watching this video.
Last Modified: 2013-10-07 | Tags »
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Do you have cough, shortness of breath or wheezing? You could be suffering from asthma. Understanding Asthma is important to deal with this chronic respiratory condition. Watch this video and learn more.
Transcript: More than 20 million Americans suffer from the condition known as asthma. But what exactly is this disease?...
More than 20 million Americans suffer from the condition known as asthma. But what exactly is this disease? Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition in which a person's airways become narrowed, making it difficult to breathe. There is currently no cure for this disease. Asthma is typically characterized by coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. When allergens or environmental factors cause a spike in these symptoms, it is known as an asthma attack. During an asthma attack, the large airways...called bronchi...react to a trigger, like an allergen, with contracting spasms. The bronchi inflame and produce mucus, further narrowing the airways and leading to the symptoms of asthma. Attacks may last just a few minutes, or can linger over several days. Symptoms can usually be relieved using asthma medications, but may also dissipate naturally in mild attacks. Asthma is not new. In fact, it made its first appearance in The Iliad, where the poet and author Homer coined the term from the Greek word for "sharp breath." Centuries later, in 450 B.C., the philosopher Hippocrates used the term to describe breathing difficulties and spasms that he had observed in tailors, anglers, and metalworkers. 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. Once asthma does develop, exposure to certain factors, called triggers, spur symptom flare-ups. People who experience symptoms after exposure to allergens, like dust, cat hair or even cockroach "dust," are said to have allergic asthma. Many people with allergic asthma also react to environmental irritants like cigarette smoke. Some basic medical conditions, like colds, sinus infections and acid reflux disease, can also trigger symptoms. Vigorous physical activity and stress are other likely causes of an asthma attack. Serious attacks can be life threatening. The good news is that people with severe asthma can often overcome, or at least control, their symptoms, even excelling at sports. Just look at swimmer Mark Spitz, who held the record for the most gold medals won in a single Olympics... despite his asthma! And fellow asthma sufferer Jerome Bettis, formerly of the Pittsburgh Steelers, was a popular NFL running back. While asthma can be life-altering, with proper treatment, people living with the condition can lead very full, normal lives. If you or your child is suffering from breathing difficulties characteristic of asthma, please see your doctor immediately!More »
Last Modified: 2013-09-27 | Tags »
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Is your child suffering from asthma? Your little one is not the only one who is suffering from this condition. Check out this video to learn about childhood asthma in detail.
Transcript: It seems like your child is always suffering from a cold or respiratory infection. But could it be something...
It seems like your child is always suffering from a cold or respiratory infection. But could it be something more than the sniffles? Nearly nine million children suffer from asthma, a chronic respiratory condition in which the airways narrow, making it difficult to breathe. Asthma symptoms include coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Rapid spikes in these symptoms, due to allergens or environmental factors, are called asthma attacks. Because children have smaller airways than adults, they are more likely to experience these severe symptoms. Each year, asthma flare-ups account for an estimated 14 million lost school days. The capacity to have asthma is inherited and is usually diagnosed in childhood. But doctors are unsure exactly what causes asthma to develop in some children and not in others. Asthma is closely linked to allergies. Many scientists believe early allergic responses to allergens and infections may trigger asthma's development. Diagnosing asthma in children can be tricky because children usually can't fully describe their symptoms. Therefore, doctors rely on parents' observations and family history to make a diagnosis. Children who are diagnosed with asthma typically have had at least three episodes of prolonged wheezing that aren't related to a cold or other illness. Other indicators include hay fever and itchy, scaly skin. Once diagnosed, children will need help to control their asthma. Because younger children may not be able to tell you how they feel, watch closely for physical symptoms and behavioral changes that indicate an oncoming attack. Symptoms are unique from child to child. Some children develop a fever, while others will begin sneezing or have red, watery eyes. Many children appear tired, restless or cranky just before an attack. Ask your doctor about what symptoms are serious enough to head for the emergency room. Blue-tinted lips or fingernails, shallow breathing, or a persistent coughing fit are all indications that your child is having a severe attack. Preventing attacks in the first place is even more important. Exposure to certain factors, or triggers, often spurs symptoms. To reduce your child's exposure to asthma triggers, keep your home thoroughly clean. Eliminate any pest infestations, prohibit smoking and use an air filter to reduce airborne allergens. Take other steps based on triggers you observe. If dust is a problem, for example, regularly wash bedding and stuffed toys in hot water. Keep pets out of the child's bedroom. Should Fido or Fluffy prompt an attack, consider keeping them outside or finding them a new home. For nearly 80 percent of children, physical exertion is a trigger. Pay particular attention to your child's symptoms when he or she is playing and keep an inhaler on hand. Talk about your child's asthma with teachers, babysitters and family members. It's vital that these people recognize the signs of a pending attack, and know what to do. There is no cure for asthma, but with proper treatment, symptoms may disappear or markedly improve. If you think your child may be suffering from asthma, please make an appointment with your doctor.More »
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You can exercise with asthma! Get the information you need to know before you play sports with asthma.
Transcript: Sorry to say it, but having asthma doesn't give you license to become a couch potato! Even asthmatics...
Sorry to say it, but having asthma doesn't give you license to become a couch potato! Even asthmatics can...and should!...maintain active lifestyles. Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition in which the airways narrow and breathing becomes difficult. Symptoms include coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. Constricted airways are a hallmark of asthma that can make it tough to stay active. That's because physical exertion can be an asthma-inducing trigger: The chief one, in fact, for 90 percent of sufferers. So-called exercise-induced asthma is actually brought on by cold, dry air. When you're at rest, the air you breathe in through your nose is warmed, moistened and filtered on its way to your lungs. During exercise or physical activity, you draw breath faster, usually through your mouth. This brings dry, cool air to your lungs very quickly. Even in non-asthma sufferers, this harsher air causes the muscles surrounding the large airways, or bronchi, to tighten. But for asthma sufferers, a few minutes of this tightening motion is enough to prompt a full-on attack. The bronchi inflame and produce excess mucus, narrowing the airways further and leading to coughing and difficulty breathing. The good news is that with proper asthma treatment, you can play sports or exercise to your full potential. Many professional, and even Olympic, athletes succeed despite suffering from this condition. Track star Jackie Joyner-Kersee overcame her asthma to win five Olympic medals, including three that were gold! And despite being asthmatic, Dennis Rodman is a two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year. 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. Should you have an exercise-induced asthma attack, stop immediately and use your inhaler. After five minutes or so, if your symptoms have stopped, you may choose to continue your exercise. If you have a second attack, call it quits for the day. Then check-in with your doctor. Learning to manage your exercise-induced asthma is key to your overall physical health. Inactivity can only make you feel worse! But remember to talk to your doctor before you attempt any exercise program.More »
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Is your cough persistent? It could be a sign of asthma! Check out this video to learn in detail about cough-variant asthma.
Transcript: That cough sure is persistent. Is it just a nasty cold, or something to be more concerned about? A chronic...
That cough sure is persistent. Is it just a nasty cold, or something to be more concerned about? A chronic cough is the fifth most common reason people head to the doctor. But the real, underlying problem can sometimes be surprising: It could be asthma. Most people recognize asthma as a respiratory condition characterized by episodes of shortness of breath and wheezing. This chronic disorder affects nearly 20 million Americans, primarily children. Some asthma sufferers, however, don't have trouble breathing at all. For people who have cough-variant asthma, the primary symptom is a dry cough that lasts several days. 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. This type of asthma is tough to diagnose. Unlike other asthmatics, cough variant sufferers may not have noticeably constricted airways or a wheezing aspect to their breathing. Patients themselves may inadvertently make diagnosis tougher by taking over-the-counter medicines for what they believe to be a cold or respiratory infection. This reduces symptoms enough that diagnosis becomes difficult. To confirm that a patient has cough-variant asthma, a doctor must conduct a simple test called broncho-provocation. During this procedure, a patient uses an inhaler to breath in a minute amount of allergens. For someone who does have cough-variant asthma, these tiny allergens are enough to provoke an immune response and start a bout of coughing. If there's no reaction, then that chronic cough may not be asthma and could require further evaluation. Treatment for cough-variant asthma is similar to that of other forms of asthma. The same medications are used and a patient must manage his environment doggedly to avoid symptom-triggering allergens. The only key difference is how a CVA-sufferer monitors asthma symptoms to prevent an attack. Peak flow monitors, which measure how easily air moves into and out of the lungs, aren't as effective for cough-variant asthma sufferers as they are for other asthmatics. Sufferers of cough-variant asthma may have peak flow levels within the normal range even if they are experiencing symptoms. Because symptoms tend to be worse in the morning, cough varient-sufferers who do choose to use a peak flow monitor will have the most luck then. These patients should pay particular attention to their coughing, because even a cough here and there may indicate a worsening of symptoms. It's also important to keep a record of the circumstances surrounding each attack. This will help people with CVA get a better handle on their symptom-inducing triggers. There is no cure for cough-variant asthma. But with treatment, symptoms may lessen or disappear entirely. If you think you may have cough variant asthmsa please see your doctor.More »
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When an asthma attack strikes, the situation gets scary very fast if you're not prepared. Watch this video to learn how to treat an asthma attack.
Transcript: If you have asthma, you know how FRIGHTENING attacks are. Aside from breathlessness, symptoms can include:wheezing,GASPING,...
If you have asthma, you know how FRIGHTENING attacks are. Aside from breathlessness, symptoms can include:wheezing,GASPING, chest tightness and pain,RELENTLESS coughing,trouble talking,feelings of ANXIETY,and BLUE lips and fingernails. To prevent such attacks, do your best to AVOID any asthma triggers. Common ones include colds and the flu, cigarette smoke and pet dander. Also, you'll want to set up an asthma control plan that includes the use of long-acting medications to reduce airway inflammation. This can prevent attacks from happening, even if you can't avoid a trigger.But even with the best treatment, attacks aren't always preventable, so asthmatics should have a fast-acting, rescue inhaler with them at ALL times. The most common rescue medications are BETA-2 AGONISTS. These bronchodilators work by relaxing your bronchial tubes so that air can get IN and OUT. Examples are ALBUTEROL, levalbuterol and pirbuterol. When inhaled, they work within 20 minutes and last for 5 to 6 hours. But if you need your rescue inhaler more than TWICE a week, it's a sign your asthma ISN'T well-managed. If this sounds like you, head to your doctor to develop a more effective asthma control plan. You should ALWAYS use your inhaler during an attack, but there are 2 home remedies that can ALSO HELP relieve symptoms. CAFFEINE may ease the inflammation in your airways, so try drinking coffee. STEAM can help expand the lung's airways, so run a hot shower and breathe deeply, OR turn on a humidifier Take a look at other videos in this series to learn more about living with asthma.More »
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Controlling your chronic asthma is possible with asthma drugs, especially controller medications. Check out this video for details.
Transcript: People with asthma depend on their quick-relief rescue inhalers to put an end to a sudden attack. But...
People with asthma depend on their quick-relief rescue inhalers to put an end to a sudden attack. But MANY asthma patients also require Controller medications that PREVENT attacks.If you reach for a rescue inhaler once a week or more, AND if attacks often wake you up at night, you're likely a candidate for a daily controller medication aimed at PREVENTING attacks. You take this medication even when you are NOT having any asthma symptoms.Anti-inflammatory CORTICOSTEROIDS, taken as a metered dose or dry powder INHALER, are the preferred drug for preventive asthma treatment because they go directly into the lungs where they REDUCE airway swelling and inflammation that triggers an attack. These medications may take several days to weeks to fully kick in.If inhaled corticosteroids do NOT prevent asthma attacks, a doctor may also prescribe a bronchodilator called a LONG-acting beta 2 agonist. This type of inhaled drug helps prevent airways from narrowing. It's used in ADDITION to-not instead of -- corticosteroids. Common bronchodilators include salmeterol and formoterol. Some beta-2 agonists can be paired with an inhaled corticosteroid in ONE inhaler, which shortens treatment time and decreases cost. Combinations include FLUTICASONE and salmeterol and BUDENOSIDE and formoterol. LEUKOTRIENE MODIFIERS are newer medications that BLOCK the release of leukotriene, a chemical that stimulates the swelling of the bronchial tubes. They are pills that are taken alone for MILD asthma OR alongside inhaled corticosteroids for moderate to severe asthma. There are three leukotriene modifiers-montelukast sodium, zafirlukast and zileuton. Studies show that leukotriene modifiers may allow you to reduce your dose of the other long-term meds. This may reduce the side effects associated with the bronchodilators and steroids.THEOPHYLLINE is an oral medication that helps relaxes and opens the bronchial tubes. It's sometimes added onto inhaled long-term medicines in cases of severe and hard-to-control asthma, but it's not as prevalent as it once was. Your doctor will decide on your dosage, but generally all long-acting asthma medicines are taken AT LEAST once a day. And since they don't CURE asthma, you need to continue taking the medicine even if you don't have symptoms. Take a look at other videos in this series to learn more about asthma treatments.More »
Last Modified: 2013-06-11 | Tags »
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Asthma risk factors in children vary, but there are some you can control. Watch the video to learn more about childhood asthma.
Transcript: Almost 10% of American children have asthma. But what made these coughing, wheezing kids develop it?...
Almost 10% of American children have asthma. But what made these coughing, wheezing kids develop it? Well, let's talk about the NON-preventable risk factors first. CITY dwelling increases the risk in ALL ethnicities due to increased exposure to air pollution. But African American and Hispanic children are most likely to develop asthma. A child's gender also alters the risk of asthma. Before they hit their teens, boys are more likely than girls to develop asthma. During and AFTER adolescence, the likelihood is about even. A child's risk of asthma can INCREASE even before birth. During PREGNANCY everything from exposure to allergens, high blood pressure in the mother and smoking can predispose a fetus to developing asthma after birth Having a winter birthday, a low birth weight OR, being a FEW WEEKS premature may also make a child more likely to develop asthma. Asthma risk is also tied to GENETICS. A child has a higher chance of developing the condition if someone in his or her immediate family has it. The likelihood is FURTHER heightened if BOTH parents have it. There are risk factors for asthma that you can CONTROL. A baby's DIET influences risk. Breast milk may reduce risk of asthma in a child's first couple of years, so moms should try to nurse for AT LEAST the first 3 months of a baby's life. DON'T smoke around your child, and don't let OTHERS do so. Secondhand smoke ESCALATES risk. In fact, a study showed that after Scotland banned smoking in public places in 2006, childhood asthma rates FELL 18 percent. And don't FIGHT with your partner in front of your children. A study out of the University of Southern California showed that kids from stressful home environments were more sensitive to air pollution - a known asthma trigger. OBESITY BOOSTS your child's risk of asthma, feed them healthy foods and make sure they get plenty of active play time. If your child DOES develop asthma despite all your efforts, the symptoms can be managed successfully with medication and lifestyle adjustments. Consider putting an air filter in your child's bedroom to help remove pollutants and other lung irritants. And, many children can outgrow the condition. Check out other videos in this series to learn more about childhood asthma.More »
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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 »
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Asthma is treated in a variety of ways, but how do you know what is an effective asthma medication? Watch this video to learn how to evaluate asthma treatment success.
Transcript: Asthma is a CHRONIC condition that affects the airways in the lungs. When the airways react to an allergen...
Asthma is a CHRONIC condition that affects the airways in the lungs. When the airways react to an allergen or irritant, an asthma ATTACK occurs-- the airways become INFLAMED, swollen and LINED with mucus. The symptoms that result include coughing, WHEEZING, shortness of breath and chest tightness. To prevent attacks many people take long-term medication that's designed to keep breathing problems at bay. To ASSESS whether or not your long-term medication is working, you should ask yourself a few questions. How OFTEN do your asthma symptoms crop up during the DAY? Is your answer twice a week OR LESS? Great! That indicates that your medication IS working. But if you use your rescue inhaler TWICE a week or MORE, your asthma may NOT be as well-controlled as possible. Your doctor may want to REVISE your long-term medication prescription. You also want to notice if asthma is interfering with your everyday activities. Does it PREVENT you from going up stairs or walking your dog? Yes? That's NOT a good sign. Your long-term medication SHOULD allow you to perform daily activities WITHOUT wheezing or coughing. Let's talk about sleep -- do your asthma symptoms KEEP you up or WAKE you up more than one to three times a week? If so, your medication and/or your dosage may need to be re-evaluated by your doctor.When you first brought your asthma under control, you hopefully found out your "personal best" peak flow meter score by recording your readings every day for 2 to 3 weeks. Now, use your meter -- a reading that's 60 to 80 percent of your personal best is TOO LOW; an INDICATOR that your medication ISN'T doing its job anymore. If your doctor thinks that your medication needs adjustment, he or she will INCREASE your dosage, OR prescribe a secondary medication such as beta-2 agonists or leukotriene modifiers.These guidelines can apply to the under-12 set as well, so you and your doctor CAN use them to evaluate a child's asthma treatment success too. Want to learn more about asthma treatment? Check out other videos in this series!More »
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Treating an asthma attack is made easier once you know what's going on in your lungs. Watch to learn about the anatomy of an asthma attack.
Transcript: Picture this: You're on an airplane and the woman in the next seat has brought her Pekinese on board...
Picture this: You're on an airplane and the woman in the next seat has brought her Pekinese on board in a carrying case she stuffs under the seat in front of her. You have no idea it is there until you start wheezing and coughing. You've got an asthma attack! What's happened to trigger this? Because you have asthma, your airways-also known as bronchial tubes- are chronically inflamed, swollen, and lined with mucus. That makes them VERY sensitive. When they're exposed to a TRIGGER, like PET dander - or cigarette smoke, air pollution, pollen or dust mites -- the inflammation, swelling and mucus increase dramatically. This narrows the bronchial tubes so that only SOME air can make it through. This causes: Shortness of breath, GASPING, Wheezing with a WHISTLING sound, COUGHING, and chest tightness. You need your rescue inhaler, immediately, to open up the airways and relieve the attack. In a SEVERE asthma attack, however, your rescue inhaler may not provide relief. You may be hit with symptoms that are relentless, you can't get words out, your lips and fingernails turn blue due to lack of oxygen,you feel very anxious and restless,you have a rapid pulse,and you're drowsy or confused.If you or someone around you exhibits these symptoms, call 911 and get to an emergency room immediately. Left untreated, a severe asthma attack will cause respiratory failure. Treatment of attacks usually involves using a bronchodilator or oral corticosteroids. These drugs will calm and OPEN the inflamed airways and REDUCE swelling. Take a look at other videos in this series to learn about asthma and other pulmonary diseases.More »
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If your child has asthma, it is important you and your child know what to expect. Watch this video on Preparing for Childhood Asthma Attack to learn more.
Transcript: If your child has asthma, he or she has a lot to learn about how to avoid asthma triggers and use inhalers...
If your child has asthma, he or she has a lot to learn about how to avoid asthma triggers and use inhalers -that's why YOU have to help your child be prepared when an asthma attack strikes. Your FIRST step is for YOU to get educated about the allergens and IRRITANTS that can trigger the inflammation and SWELLING of an asthma attack. Asthma irritants could include PET dander, mold, DUST mites, POLLEN, secondhand SMOKE, air pollution, COLDS, intense emotion and vigorous physical activity. The BEST way to cut attack frequency is to identify what affects YOUR child. Anytime your child experiences symptoms, WRITE DOWN what they were doing, when and where; soon you'll start to see a pattern. Then you can control your child's exposure to triggers by keeping them away from what bothers them MOST. Once a child is 5 or older, they can actively be on the lookout for some triggers, such as cats or dogs, and try to avoid them. Don't hesitate to make your child part of the protective network that will keep him or her safe.ALL adults in your child's life-such as teachers and babysitters-should try to help your child DODGE triggers, too. But since it's almost IMPOSSIBLE for children to escape ALL of the many potential triggers, it's important to recognize the warning signs of a developing asthma attack. Some indications include:wheezing,throat tickling, sneezing and watery eyes, restlessness, paleness, dark under-eye circles, chest tightness or coughing, unexplained fatigue, and a headache.If you notice these signs, help your child check his or her peak flow expiratory rate. If the score is between 50 and 80 percent of their highest lifetime score, your child needs to use a BETA-2 AGONIST rescue inhaler to prevent a full-blown attack. In cases of SEVERE attacks, the rescue inhaler may not be powerful enough to restore easy breathing. Your child will need EMERGENCY treatment. Call 911 if your child is breathing very fast or very slowly, can't stop coughing and wheezing, and/or if their fingernails and lips turn blue-although it's best to catch the crisis before that point. Once YOU'RE prepared to deal with your child's asthma, you should equip your child's caregivers too. Create a detailed asthma action plan that clearly outlines your child's asthma triggers, the warning signs of an attack, how to use a peak flow meter and rescue inhaler, and when to call YOU and emergency services. Give copies to teachers, the school nurse, babysitters, neighborhood friends, and grandparents. And school-age children should always keep their inhalers on-hand, so check their backpacks every morning! Learn more about childhood asthma by watching other videos in this series.More »
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