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All about asthma types of asthma bronchial asthma exercise induced asthma adult-onset asthma status asthmaticus causes of asthma asthma triggers asthma and allergy asthma attack asthma in children asthma and pregnancy asthma in adults and older people complications of asthma symptoms of asthma warning signs of asthma asthma diagnosis asthma treatments asthma relief (rescue) medications asthma long-term control medications asthma inhalers asthma nebulizers control acute asthma attacks management of chronic asthma symptoms asthma relievers asthma preventers childhood asthma cures treatment for asthma in the elderly asthma prevention

What're the asthma triggers?

Many risk factors have been linked to triggering asthma attacks. Individuals are more likely to have asthma if there is a family history of the disease. Several biological and environmental factors can trigger an asthma attack. There are two basic types of asthma triggers, allergic triggers, also known as allergens are associated with intrinsic asthma. The second type are non-allergic triggers associated with extrinsic asthma. Allergy plays a key role in about half of all asthma cases. After

exposure to an allergen, the body releases chemicals that produce conditions associated with an attack. Common allergens in the environment are pollen, dust mites, cockroaches, bacteria, molds, animal hair and animal dander. Triggers are different for different individuals. Common ones include the following:

Common food additives, such as monosodium glutamate (MSG), can cause an asthma attack. Environmental pollutants are irritating to the lungs and can cause reactions similar to those caused by allergens.

Mold is the greenish, gray, or black material that grows in damp places. Molds or fungi release microscopic particles called spores for their reproduction. These spores can float through open windows into the house, especially on cool nights in the spring and fall. Asthma attacks may also be triggered by the type of mold that grows in the house.

Common indoor pollutants associated with asthma include second-hand tobacco smoke, pesticides, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), formaldehyde and combustion gases. Common outdoor pollutants associated with asthma include ozone, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen and sulfur compounds.

About 5% to 20% of adults with asthma have attacks triggered by sensitivities or allergies to sulfites and to medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, indomethacin, and naproxen. People with asthma should consult their physicians before taking any new medication, including those available without a prescription. Sulfites are often used to preserve foods and beverages, including tuna, foods available at salad bars, dried apples and raisins, lemon juice, grape juice, and wine.

Dust mites are microscopic creatures related to the spider family. They are invisible to the human eye and are about 0.3mm in length. They live on human skin flakes and require water vapor to survive. They are most prevalent in the bedroom where millions can exist in your mattress, boxspring, pillows and comforters. They are also found in upholstered furniture, carpeting and other fabric items. Dust mites produce 20 or more fecal pellets per day, which is the primary allergen to humans. We inhale these allergens while sleeping and during periods when these particle become airborne such as when vacuuming and disturbing the infested fabrics.

Pollen are microscopic particles released by plants for their reproduction. Pollen is more a cause of hay fever than asthma. But there are some people with allergic asthma who clearly have problems with ragweed and other typical plant pollens that can cause a flare-up in their asthma.

Deep, rapid breathing during exercise also can trigger an asthma attack. Though breathing may become difficult and uncomfortable, exercise still benefits an asthmatic's overall health. By taking proper steps to avoid an attack, most asthmatics can fully participate in physical activities.

Inhaling smoke from cigarettes or fires harms the airways and is especially hard on the airways of people with asthma. In fact, cigarette smoking is responsible for more than half of the cases of asthma in people over 40 years of age.

Asthma symptoms that occur at night are part of nighttime asthma, or nocturnal asthma, a very common condition for many people with asthma. Sleep is not the actual trigger, but while we sleep the airways tend to narrow and mucus tends to build up in the airways, often triggering a bout of coughing. At night there are changes in body chemicals, which allow airway inflammation to increase. The drop in body temperature at night causes airway cooling and narrowing.

The onset of asthma may be seasonal. Weather affects different people in different ways. Heat, humidity, air pollution, and pollen counts in the summer can trigger an asthma episode in some people. In others, the wet conditions of the spring and fall may encourage the growth of certain molds that can trigger an attack. For others, the buildup of smoke, animal dander, and mites in a sealed house in the winter can aggravate asthma. Or, the cold temperature outside may serve as a trigger during physical activity.

Emotions do not cause asthma, but sometimes laughing, crying, and yelling stimulates nerves that cause the tiny muscles in the walls of airways to tighten in sensitive lungs. People with asthma can become angry or frustrated with their condition and may refuse to take the medicines that will help them. Thus, in an indirect way, emotions such as anger may contribute to asthma symptoms.

Asthma symptoms can be triggered by a variety of health-related factors such as respiratory infections such as the common cold and flu, sinusitis, and allergies (pollen, mold, dander). Gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a disorder in which the acid contents of the stomach enter the lower part of esophagus. In sensitive individuals, this may cause the asthma to worsen. Heartburn and nighttime asthma symptoms may indicate GERD disease.

A variety of chemicals and gasses are present around the home that can trigger allergic reactions. Gasses in tobacco smoke and wood smoke from fireplaces along with vapors from building materials and home furnishings may be present in your indoor environment. Chemically laden household cleaning products and personal care products may produce gasses and vapors that may result in allergic reactions.

More information on asthma

What is asthma? - Asthma is a chronic inflammatory respiratory disease characterized by periodic attacks of wheezing, shortness of breath, and a tight feeling in the chest.
What types of asthma are there? - Types of asthma include child-onset asthma, adult-onset asthma, exercise-induced asthma, cough-variant asthma, occupational asthma, nocturnal asthma.
What's bronchial asthma? - Bronchial asthma is a disease of the lungs in which an obstructive ventilation disturbance of the respiratory passages evokes a feeling of shortness of breath.
What is exercise-induced asthma? - Exercise-induced asthma is a form of asthma that some people have during or after physical activity. Exercise-induced asthma is common.
What is adult-onset asthma? - Adult onset asthma generally is the onset of asthma for the first time in someone of middle age or older. Adult-onset asthma develops after age 20.
What is status asthmaticus? - Status asthmaticus is a severe asthma episode that does not respond to standard treatment. Status asthmaticus is caused by severe bronchospasm.
What causes asthma? - Asthma is caused by inhaling an allergen that sets off the chain of biochemical and tissue changes leading to airway inflammation, bronchoconstriction, and wheezing.
What're the asthma triggers? - Many risk factors have been linked to triggering asthma attacks. There are two basic types of asthma triggers, allergic triggers, non-allergic triggers.
Asthma and allergy - Asthma attacks (worsening of asthma symptoms) can be triggered by allergies. Allergy is the leading cause of asthma.
What is an asthma attack? - An asthma attack occurs when the small and medium-sized airways become inflamed and constricted after being exposed to a trigger.
Asthma in children - Asthma is the most common chronic condition of childhood. Asthma symptoms can interfere with many school activities for children.
Asthma and pregnancy - During pregnancy, asthma or asthma episodes will become worse for an estimated one-third of pregnant women, particularly women who have severe asthma.
Asthma in adults and older people - Identifying asthma in the elderly can be difficult because asthma symptoms can be confused with symptoms of heart or lung diseases.
What're the complications of asthma? - Uncontrolled asthma in pregnant women puts them at higher risk for complications that can include early labor, hypertension, gestational diabetes.
What are the symptoms of asthma? - The symptoms of asthma include labored breathing, constriction of the chest, coughing and gasping usually brought on by allergies.
What're the warning signs of asthma? - Most people with asthma have warning signs before symptoms appear. There are many warning signs of an asthma episode.
How is asthma diagnosed? - The diagnosis of asthma is made on the basis of typical symptoms and signs. Positive allergy tests support a diagnosis of asthma.
What're the treatments for asthma? - Treatment of asthma is aimed at avoiding known allergens and respiratory irritants and controlling symptoms and airway inflammation through medication.
What quick relief (rescue) medications cure asthma? - Short-acting beta-agonists are the most commonly used asthma rescue medications. Anticholinergics are another class of asthma drugs.
Long-term asthma control medications - Combinations of steroids and other medications are effective for both treating and preventing asthma attacks in patients with moderate to severe asthma.
What're asthma inhalers? - Most asthma drugs are inhaled using special devices or nebulizers. Two common types include dry powder asthma inhalers and metered-dose asthma inhalers.
What're asthma nebulizers? - Asthma nebulizers can be used with all classes of inhaled medications but are most commonly used with short-acting beta2 agonists and ipratropium bromide.
How to control acute asthma attacks? - Acute asthma is an acute exacerbation of wheezing, unresponsive to usually effective therapy and necessitating care in an emergency room or hospital ward.
How to manage chronic asthma symptoms? - The aims of management are to recognize asthma, to abolish symptoms, to restore normal or best possible long term airway function.
What asthma relievers are available? - Asthma reliever is a drug that provides relief from asthma symptoms and is the most commonly used asthma medication.
What asthma preventers are available? - Asthma preventers are to be used twice a day regardless of whether your child has symptoms of asthma.
What's the treatment for childhood asthma? - The goals of asthma therapy are to prevent child from having chronic and troublesome symptoms, to maintain child's lung function.
What's the treatment for asthma in the elderly? - Diagnosis and treatment of asthma can be more complicated in people age 65 and older than in those who are younger.
What can be done to prevent asthma? - Avoiding known allergens and respiratory irritants can reduce asthma symptoms. People with asthma should minimize risk for respiratory tract infections.
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