Asthma symptoms vary from person to person. You may have infrequent asthma attacks, have symptoms only at certain times — such as when exercising — or have symptoms all the time. Severe asthma attacks can be life-threatening. Work with your doctor to determine what to do when your signs and symptoms worsen — and when you need emergency treatment. Signs of an asthma emergency include:. It isn't clear why some people get asthma and others don't, but it's probably due to a combination of environmental and genetic inherited factors.
Exposure to various irritants and substances that trigger allergies allergens can trigger signs and symptoms of asthma.
How to Tell You Have Asthma - Asthma Canada
Asthma triggers are different from person to person and can include:. Proper treatment makes a big difference in preventing both short-term and long-term complications caused by asthma. While there's no way to prevent asthma, by working together, you and your doctor can design a step-by-step plan for living with your condition and preventing asthma attacks. Follow your asthma action plan.
With your doctor and health care team, write a detailed plan for taking medications and managing an asthma attack. Then be sure to follow your plan. Asthma is an ongoing condition that needs regular monitoring and treatment. Taking control of your treatment can make you feel more in control of your life in general.
Identify and treat attacks early. If you act quickly, you're less likely to have a severe attack. You also won't need as much medication to control your symptoms. When your peak flow measurements decrease and alert you to an oncoming attack, take your medication as instructed and immediately stop any activity that may have triggered the attack.
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If your symptoms don't improve, get medical help as directed in your action plan. Asthma care at Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products.
Answers to frequently asked questions about asthma.
Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission. This content does not have an English version. This content does not have an Arabic version. Asthma attack If you have asthma, the inside walls of the airways in your lungs can become inflamed and swollen. Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic. Share on: Facebook Twitter.
References Martinez FD, et al. Common asthma triggers include irritants and allergens like dust, tobacco smoke, car exhaust, mold, pet dander, and smoke from burning wood. Physical activity causes fast breathing, which can provoke asthma attacks in some people with the condition. But the risks of living a sedentary lifestyle outweigh those of exercising carefully, even with asthma.
This might include warming up and using an inhaler before working out, practicing cool-down activities afterward, and wearing scarves or masks to limit exposure to irritants that may also trigger asthma symptoms. Long-term controllers and quick-relievers are the two types of medications used to treat asthma. Long-term medications help keep asthma symptoms under control over time are taken as often as once a day, regardless of whether symptoms are present. They include inhaled long-acting beta agonists and corticosteroids, biologic injections, and theophylline and leukotriene modifier pills and liquids.
All of these medications suppress asthma symptoms by either relaxing muscles, reducing swelling, or preventing inflammation in the airways. According to the National Institutes of Health , wood dust, grain dust, animal dander, fungi, and various chemicals are some of the most common asthma triggers that patients encounter in the workplace. Bakers, farmers, laboratory workers, millers, and woodworkers predisposed to asthma are all at higher risk. Some people, however, do appear to grow out of the condition after suffering from it as kids.
While air travel is convenient, there's never any promise it will be particularly clean. Security checkpoint bins and airplane tray tables are notorious for harboring germs. In addition to being careful of what you touch, you need to be cautious about what you drink. Air travelers have been warned in the past about the questionable water quality of major airlines. Owing to inconsistent water transport issues, storage methods, and lackadaisical monitoring, several studies and investigations—including a report by the U.
Environmental Protection Agency EPA —have found bacterial contamination and even insect eggs lurking in liquid served to passengers in the form of coffee and tea. The study ranked airlines according to water quality tests, and whether airlines were forthcoming in disclosing how they handle water transportation and storage for in-flight plumbing, using a scale of 1 to 5.
6 Symptoms of Asthma Every Adult Should Know
While some airlines, like Alaska and Allegiant, scored well at 3. Low scores also indicated a lack of transparency about the airlines' water monitoring process. Moving the water from its source through hoses and tanks can create opportunities for the water to become contaminated. How can questionable water be served?
Asthma: what causes it? Here's what we now know
Hand sanitizer is recommended. There are few situations more frustrating: After a day spent nodding off at your desk, on the train, and on your couch, you suddenly can't sleep the moment you crawl into bed. It's not that you aren't tired or have insomnia, necessarily. Like a curse designed just to torture you, the sleeplessness only seems to occur when you're in your own bed at home, a.
This maddening problem isn't in your head. According to TIME , many people have more trouble falling asleep in their own beds than they do elsewhere thanks to a phenomenon called learned or conditioned arousal. Conditioned arousal develops when you inadvertently train your body to associate your bed with being awake. In many cases, this results from doing stimulating activities in bed.
For instance: If you like to slip under the covers and spend 40 minutes watching Netflix before closing your eyes, you're teaching your brain that your bed isn't for sleeping. That means the next time your head hits the pillow, your body will respond by preparing for the next episode of Friends instead of releasing the chemicals that help you fall asleep.
The same goes for scrolling through apps, eating, and even reading in bed.
Doing things that aren't sleeping in bed isn't the only way to develop conditioned arousal. If there are other factors keeping you up at night—like thoughts about your day, or that cup of coffee you had at 8 p. Your brain starts to associate being in bed with tossing and turning all night, so even if those mental and physical stimulants go away, the muscle memory of being awake in bed remains. Conditioned arousal is a vicious cycle that can't be broken in one night.
The only way to manage it , according to the American Psychological Association APA , is to minimize behaviors that contribute to poor sleep habits and to reserve your bed for sleeping though sex is OK, according to the APA. If you're a nighttime scroller, browse apps in a different room before getting into bed, or skip checking your phone at the end of the day altogether. When you spend more than 20 minutes struggling to fall asleep in bed, get up and move to a different part of the house until you get sleepy again; this will stop your brain from strengthening the association between your bed and feeling restless.
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