LIMIT ASTHMA ATTACKS CAUSED BY COLDS

A cold or the flu can trigger an asthma attack. Here’s why — and how to keep your sneeze from turning into a wheeze.
Respiratory infections, such as colds and the flu, are one of the most common causes of asthma flare-ups, especially in young children.
A stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, fever, or other signs and symptoms caused by a cold or flu (influenza) virus can be a nuisance. But if you have asthma, even a minor respiratory infection can cause major problems. Asthma signs and symptoms, such as wheezing and chest tightness, may not respond as well to regular asthma medications. Also, asthma symptoms caused by a respiratory infection may last for several days to weeks.
There’s no sure way to keep yourself or your child from getting a cold or the flu. But taking steps to avoid getting sick — and taking the right steps when you do — can help.
Preventing colds and the flu
Take these steps to help you avoid getting sick:
-Get an annual flu shot unless your doctor recommends against it. Most adults and children older than 6 months old should get a flu vaccination every year. If you do get a vaccination, you’ll need a shot (injection), since nasal spray vaccinations, such as FluMist, aren’t recommended for people with asthma. You or your child may need vaccinations for more than one type of flu virus.
-Ask your doctor if you need a pneumonia vaccination. Most people need to get this vaccination only one time, but in some cases a booster shot is needed.
-Avoid contact with anyone who’s sick. Germs that cause respiratory infections are easily passed from person to person.
-Wash your hands often. This kills the germs that can cause respiratory infections. Carry a bottle of hand sanitizer to kill germs while you’re on the go.
-Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. These are the points where germs that can make you sick enter your body.
-Stay in shape. Regular exercise may help you avoid getting sick.






ALLERGIES AND ASTHMA: DOUBLE TROUBLE!

You may wonder what allergies and asthma have in common besides making you miserable. A lot, as it turns out. Allergies and asthma often occur together.
The same substances that trigger your hay fever symptoms may also cause asthma signs and symptoms, such as shortness of breath, wheezing and chest tightness. This is called allergic asthma or allergy-induced asthma. Certain substances, such as pollen, dust mites and pet dander, are common triggers. In some people, skin or food allergies can cause asthma symptoms.
James T C Li, M.D., Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic allergy specialist, answers questions about the link between allergies and asthma.
How does an allergic reaction cause asthma symptoms?
An allergic response occurs when immune system proteins (antibodies) mistakenly identify a harmless substance, such as tree pollen, as an invader. In an attempt to protect your body from the substance, antibodies bind to the allergen. The chemicals released by your immune system lead to allergy signs and symptoms, such as nasal congestion, runny nose, itchy eyes or skin reactions. For some people, this same reaction also affects the lungs and airways, leading to asthma symptoms.






Cold or Flu triggers Asthma Attacks!

A cold or the flu can trigger an asthma attack. Here’s why — and how to keep your sneeze from turning into a wheeze.
Respiratory infections, such as colds and the flu, are one of the most common causes of asthma flare-ups, especially in young children.
A stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, fever, or other signs and symptoms caused by a cold or flu (influenza) virus can be a nuisance. But if you have asthma, even a minor respiratory infection can cause major problems. Asthma signs and symptoms, such as wheezing and chest tightness, may not respond as well to regular asthma medications. Also, asthma symptoms caused by a respiratory infection may last for several days to weeks.
There’s no sure way to keep yourself or your child from getting a cold or the flu. But taking steps to avoid getting sick — and taking the right steps when you do — can help.
Preventing colds and the flu
Take these steps to help you avoid getting sick:
-Get an annual flu shot unless your doctor recommends against it. Most adults and children older than 6 months old should get a flu vaccination every year.
-Ask your doctor if you need a pneumonia vaccination. Most people need to get this vaccination only one time, but in some cases a booster shot is needed.
-Avoid contact with anyone who’s sick. Germs that cause respiratory infections are easily passed from person to person.
-Wash your hands often. This kills the germs that can cause respiratory infections. Carry a bottle of hand sanitizer to kill germs while you’re on the go.
-Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. These are the points where germs that can make you sick enter your body.
-Stay in shape. Regular exercise may help you avoid getting sick.






The Danger of Alergens

An allergy is when the body’s immune system overreacts to a substance that is normally harmless to most people. These substances are also known as ‘allergens’. Being exposed to an allergen may cause irritation or swelling in areas of the body such as the nose, eyes, lungs, air passages and skin.
A severe food allergy reaction is known as anaphylaxis and can be life-threatening.

Anaphylaxis is potentially fatal: Anaphylactic shock, or anaphylaxis, is an extreme allergic reaction that can be fatal without prompt medical treatment. A life-saving injection of adrenaline is required to prevent permanent injury or death. The onset of symptoms may occur suddenly (within five to 15 minutes) or steadily get worse over time.
Some of the symptoms of anaphylactic shock include:
itchy palms of the hands and soles of the feet
feeling warm and tingly
a strange taste in the mouth
swelling of the face
dizziness
trouble breathing such as choking
unconsciousness.






How to Help Someone Having an Asthma Attack?

Our existence depends on breath and an acute asthma attack can make it almost impossible to breathe. No wonder these attacks are so scary for both the affected person and for onlookers.Knowing the basics of asthma treatment is essential when trying to help someone experiencing an attack.
Maybe you are having dinner with a friend and all of a sudden, he or she looks panic stricken and gasps for breath.
Do you know how to deal with this situation? If you are able to provide the right asthma treatment, it might possibly save someone’s life.
How to Help Someone Having an Asthma Attack:
1-During a bout of asthma, patients find it easier to breathe while sitting up than lying down. So help them get into a comfortable sitting position.
2-Most asthma patients know what they need to do to deal with an attack. So it is best to ask them. Ask if they have an inhaler and where it is. If they don’t have one, ask them if you should call for help. Many asthma patients carry not only an inhaler, but a written instruction card as well.
3-Help them use the inhaler. An inhaler is designed to deliver a specific dose of asthma medication. The medication relaxes the patient’s airways and helps restore normal breathing.
4-Once you’ve given medication, observe the patient for several minutes. Is it getting easier for him to breathe?
5-If it appears that they are not responding to the medication within ten minutes, call an ambulance. And continue to deliver about four puffs of medication every five minutes while waiting for the ambulance. The medication will help prevent the asthma attack from getting worse even if it doesn’t seem to provide immediate relief.
6-Stay calm throughout the episode. This will help the patient remain calm as well. If they panic, it will worsen the asthma attack and make it far more difficult for them to breathe. So talk to the person calmly, to reinforce the feeling that everything is under control. This is vitally important.