May 09, 2016

How to Deal with Asthma During the Winter

When the winter comes, magical series happen to the world. Snows are everywhere and as far as you look, almost everything is covered in white. But winter is a hard time for those who are suffering from severe diseases, including asthma. Not only common cold and flu, two kinds of illnesses people usually experience when winter and temperature gets cold and dry, but asthma in some ways are also triggered. Since this freezing season is a very difficult time to live, some exercises are considered not to but if patients insist to do several sports, then there are certain things to notice. Also there will be some tips to follow for patients with asthma during the winter.

Why does Asthma get worse when winter?

It’s already difficult for people with asthma to breathe at general times, and it could get worse when the winter comes and greets them. But why winter has so strong effects to asthma? Is really winter giving the bad, hard experience to the patients? Winter is the time where the air and temperature get cold and dry. This situation then leads to a second reason, where sinus infections and respiratory infections may occur commonly. These infections can't be ignored as they can aggravate asthma attacks or asthma symptoms. That's why people with asthma aren't allowed to do outdoor sports during the winter

People tend to stay indoors during the winter. The air is getting cold and normally they will turn on the heater so weather inside gets warm and nobody gets common cold and flu. But what happen with those who are suffering from asthma? Will they get better and warmer? Staying indoors isn't a perfect solution to cope with their problem. When the heater is on, it produces poor air quality even blocks air circulation because doors and windows are closed against the chill.

Exercises and winter asthma

Exercising regularly helps people a lot! It helps to improve metabolism, strengthen bone, boost mood, and etc. It also gives a chance for asthmatics to breathe easily by improving lung capacity, known to be a significant part in controlling asthma. Since winter is the hard time to deal with, asthmatics need to notice several things. Both indoor and outdoor exercises are allowed to do yet indoors are preferred. If you insist to keep practicing outdoor activities, then you need to prepare a scarf or a knitted face mask. This stuff is aimed to protect your nose and mouth from breathing the air strictly and directly. The air will be moistened before coming into your lungs. It's not recommended to warm up and cool down outside. It's better to do inside as it can assist your lungs to work better and be ready for exercises. Patients with asthma during the winter will face such a difficulty in breathing. That’s why you need to carry and use the rescue inhaler for 10 to 15 minutes right before doing outdoor activities. Lungs will be open, and it shall be easy to breathe.

Tips to deal with winter for asthmatics

Really, you can't do something carelessly when you have asthma and the winter is coming! The cold weather occurs for months and surely you need to know some things so asthma couldn’t get worse. Hands, by the way, are the starting point for people get infected by diseases easily. For instance, if we don't wash hands properly and in right ways, more likely we will be suffering from illnesses like diarrhea. Standard steps of washing hands are really required by everyone, especially asthmatics to keep them away from catching colds and viruses. Asthmatics need to wash hands frequently and it's strongly recommended to use sanitizers containing alcohol and moist towelettes. Kids should be taught the methods, too in order to decrease the risk of spreading germs

Everyone agrees that sitting by the fireplace makes you warmer. It sounds so exciting especially you are drinking a cup of hot chocolate and reading a book. How sweet it is! Unfortunately, someone with asthma can't be forced to enjoy such situation. The burning wood has the same bad effect with the burning tobacco. It produces smoke which is hazardous for asthmatics as lungs can be irritated. So staying away from the fireplace, though it's beautiful to enjoy, is the best way. 

Heating system at your house isn't frequently used. It's mostly used when the winter comes and you get cold. Within the time when heating system is not really effective, dust and debris somehow attached to it. Once you turn it on, the system probably releases them. Asthmatics are really sensitive with dust and debris, so the best way is cleaning the heating system before activating it. It could be summer as the time to check and clean the filters occasionally. This way is done to keep asthmatics away from winter asthma. Consistently you need to set the humidity and temperature levels at home. This tip is expected to be the best way to protect someone with asthma during the winter.

Work out, walk with dog, or just walk around the residence, everything you do outside, you need a bronchodilator. Before going out and feel the cold, you need to use this healer for at least a half-hour. Inhaler is really effective and useful to open lungs and give additional protection. Speaking of preventing asthma to get worse, an action plan to avoid the risk of asthma symptoms is needed to create. The action plan must consist of details of how to manage asthma occurring for a long term and ways of how to deal with situation when asthma suddenly attacks. Someone with asthma during the winter should know when to visit the ER and when to call doctor.

In creating a treatment plan so it could work well and be effective, you need doctor’s help. Once the plan has been made, it's really necessary to follow no matter what you are doing. It's not recommended to ignore the treatment as it's good to help asthmatics to deal with their disease. Doctor is a great person to whom you can talk when you are not able to tolerate the asthma symptoms. Doctor can know which mediations are the best for you.

Good Foods and Bad Foods for Asthma

Many people, both adults and children, suffer from asthma. Medical experts said that this condition can't be cured. Different person may suffer from different degree of asthma symptoms. Some of them only have minor asthma symptoms occasionally. Others may suffer from severe symptoms quite often. These attacks can be very nuisance for people with asthma.

What is asthma?

Asthma is a condition in which the airways are inflamed. Doctors are not sure why this chronic condition happens. There are many triggers that can cause asthma attack. But, not every asthma sufferers have similar triggers of asthma symptoms. These triggers will cause inflammation of the airways. It will also cause the muscles around the airways to swell. In consequence, the airways will be filed with mucus and narrow. This condition will surely cause them to have breathing difficulties and affect their life quality.

Asthma can't be cured. However, people with asthma can control their symptoms. Certain life styles and medication can decrease the severity of the symptoms. That’s why it's important for asthma sufferers to know the things that can help them avoid asthma symptoms.

Can the right diet prevent asthma symptoms?

Everyone knows that healthy diets promote good health. It can help them to avoid certain health problems and condition, such as high blood pressure and diabetes. However, can the right diet help us prevent asthma symptoms to occur? Well, there's no strong evidence that certain food can prevent inflammation of the airways. But, many experts believe that certain nutrition and food can help them to prevent asthma or relieve its symptoms.

Beverages to relieve symptoms of asthma

Some medical experts believe that beverages which contain caffeine can relieve the symptoms of asthma in some degrees. According to some research coffee and tea contains bronchodilation. This substance can also be found in asthma medication, such as inhaler. Drinking coffee or tea can decrease the severity of asthma symptoms for an hour or two. However, people with asthma mustn't rely on this beverage to relieve their symptoms. Coffee and tea is far from effective in relieving asthma symptoms. They must keep taking the inhaler and other asthma medication to manage their symptoms.

Other research said that caffee contain belongs to the same family of theophylline. Theophylline is used in inhaler and asthma drugs. This substance can relax the muscles around the airways so that people with asthma can breathe easier. It's said that the liver will break caffeine into several chemicals and one of them is theophyline. However, the amount of theophylline in a cup of coffee will only relieve the symptoms temporarily. If you are already taking theophylline medication, you mustn't drink too much coffee because the combination of theophylline in asthma medication and coffee can be dangerous.

Foods to help you fight and prevent asthma symptoms

When you're in a good condition, your body will be able to fight free radicals and illness easily. That’s why it's important for people with asthma to make sure that they get enough nutrition. With this nutrition, you can prevent asthma symptoms to occur. Here are some of the foods that are recommended for people with asthma.

- Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are high in vitamins and antioxidants. If you suffer from asthma, you must make sure that you eat plenty of vegetables and fruits every day. By eating a lot of these foods, your body will get enough antioxidants and vitamins. In consequence, your body will have better immune system. Vitamin E, C, and beta carotene can help you manage the inflammation and swelling in your lung and airways.

- Omega-3 fatty acids
Taking omega-3 fatty acids is very important for people with asthma. This particular fatty acid can lower the inflammation in the airways. In consequence, taking it will enable you to decrease the severity of your asthma symptoms. You can get these fatty acids from fish oil supplement.

- vitamin D 
People who suffer from asthma usually have low vitamin D in their body. Lack of this vitamin can increase your chance of suffering from asthma symptoms. You can get plenty vitamin D from eggs, salmon, and milk. You can also get vitamin D by sunbathing in the morning.

Foods you must avoid

People with asthma may suffer from asthma symptoms because of eating the wrong food. Certain foods can cause allergic reaction in the form of swelling or inflamed airways. That’s why you must recognize the foods that cause your allergy. Once you identified it, you must avoid it altogether. Some experts recommend you to avoid eating certain food if you have asthma. Here are some of them.

- allergy-triggering foods
If you're not sure which food can cause asthma symptoms on you, you had better avoid all allergy-triggering foods. People with asthma usually will suffer from worse asthma symptoms. Some of the foods that can cause this condition are peanut, milk, shellfish, and eggs.

- Foods that contain sulfite
Sulfite is a preservative that are added to certain foods. This substance can prevent mold growth on dried fruits, frozen and fresh shrimps, pickles, wine, and other foods. Some people are sensitive to this preservative. Because of this substance, they suffer from moderate or severe asthma symptoms.

- Foods that is high in calories
People who are overweight usually suffer from more severe asthma symptoms. That’s why it's important for you to manage your weight. To manage your weight, you must avoid foods that contain high calories in your diet. If you are overweight, you must start low calorie diet to lose several pounds. Losing weight will improve your asthma symptoms even though you only lose a little.

To avoid asthma symptoms, you must also avoid the triggers. Some of the things you can do are cleaning/vacuuming your home regularly, using air conditioner, covering mouth and nose when it's cold outside, and avoid pets. In order to manage your symptoms, you must also exercise regularly. Regular exercise will strengthen your lungs. In consequence, you can avoid severe asthma symptoms.

May 05, 2016

Medication Types for Asthma

If people want to deal with asthma, it's sure that they have to look for the right medication for their conditions. In fact, there can be various kinds of medication for asthma which can be found. Some people maybe will think that the options of asthma medication can be confusing. It's better for them to learn more about the types of asthma medication. Every type of asthma medication will be used for specific types of asthma after all. The doses can be different as well. There are some aspects which will be used for deciding the right medication for asthma. The age, symptoms, asthma severity, as well as side effects of medication will be considered for determining the right type and dose of asthma medication. People mustn't forget that their asthma is able to change over time so it's crucial for work closely with professional medical service for tracking the symptoms. This way, the medication for asthma can be adjusted if it's necessary. Here are some options of asthma medication based on the category. Each comes with the different purpose of medication.

Medications for Asthma Control in Long Term

Asthma for many patients is not kind of health condition which must be dealt in short period of time. The asthma symptoms can be triggered anytime in long period of time. That's why it's necessary for taking the asthma medication which can help them control the condition in long term. This kind of medication has specific purpose for controlling the chronic system if it's taken in regular basis. It will also be useful for preventing the asthma attack. Actually this is the type of medication which is the most important for anyone who has to deal with asthma. There are some options of medication which can be taken as long term control of asthma. At first, there's inhaled corticosteroid which can be considered as pretty common medication for people with asthma. Of course it's not the only type of medication which can be taken for controlling asthma in long term. There is also leukotriene modifier and LABAs or long acting beta agonist. Another type of medication which is used for long term asthma control is theophylline. People are also able to find the medication which comes in combination inhalers. The inhalers come with the content which is combination between LABA as well as corticosteroid.

Medication for Quick Relief

Asthma attack or symptom can appear immediately and of course people will need to find the medication which can provide quick relief. It can be very important for saving people’s life. People can say that asthma maybe becomes kind of health condition which is not deadly as cancer for instance. Nevertheless, suffering from the asthma attack can be very scary condition which should be treated properly. That's why medication which has purpose for rescuing people from the asthma attack must be used. The main purpose of quick relief medication for asthma of course can't be separated from this need. The medication will be taken for providing the rapid relief in short term of the symptoms of asthma. Of course, it will also be useful for preventing or even treating the asthma attack which is unpredictable sometimes. Beta agonist maybe becomes the medication which will act in long term but people can find the short acting beta agonist which will be useful for helping people to get quick relief of asthma attack or symptoms. The beta agonist which can act short is varied but people can consider albuterol. Besides the beta agonist which can act shortly, there's also another option of medication which can be taken for asthma quick relief such as ipratropium or atrovent. The asthma attack and be relieved quickly with the oral as well as intravenous corticosteroid. The last medication option is used for relieving the asthma attack in serious level.

Medication for Asthma Induced by Allergy

Asthma is kind of health condition which can be caused by different circumstance. Finding the cause and the trigger of asthma attack or symptoms is necessary for making sure that people can treat and even prevent the attack which is more serious. If people suffer from asthma attack which is induced by allergy, there will be specific medication which should be taken for relieving the condition. This kind of medication can be taken in regular basis for reducing the sensitivity of the body to the specific allergen or substance which can cause allergy. There can be some people who just need to take the medication as needed anytime they think that they need to reduce the sensitivity of the body to the allergen. There can be so many substances which can trigger the allergic reaction which can appear as asthma symptoms or attack. It's necessary for making sure that people understand the type of allergen which will trigger their allergic reaction. This way, people can prevent it so the asthma attack can be prevented. Understanding the specific allergen will also be useful for making sure that people take the right medication anytime they get the allergic attack. The medication which is offered is varied. At first, people can take the allergy shot which must be useful medication for treating the asthma which is induced by their allergy. The allergy shot can be considered as immunotherapy for enhancing people’s immunity so it won't be too sensitive to certain substance. It's not the only medication which can be used for treating the asthma condition which is triggered by allergic reaction. Omalizumab or xolair becomes another medication option which can be considered. Since there are various kinds of medication which can be found, people should consult with the doctor first. It's necessary for ensuring the asthma condition which people have. The right diagnosis is necessary for determining the right type of medication and of course the right dose for improving their condition. It must be necessary for treating the asthma attack and at the same time avoid the side effect of taking the chemical medication.

Asthma Medication for Long Term Control

Having asthma can be hard for people but they have to deal with it. For dealing with asthma, it means that people have to find the right medication which can be used for helping them get quick relief of the asthma attack or symptoms. It's something which can't be decided alone of course because people have to consult with the doctor first for getting the right diagnosis for their condition. After making the right diagnosis, the doctor usually will give the medication according to their condition. There will be the medication which will be used for treating and even preventing the asthma attack or symptom. It's necessary of course because the asthma attack can give great suffering for people. Nevertheless, people can't imagine if they have to deal with the same asthma attack over and over again for the rest of their life. They will also need the medication which can help them control their asthma in long period of time. Hopefully after taking the medication, the asthma attack will not occur too often. It must be useful for improving their quality of life for sure. As for the asthma medication in long term, there are some options which can be offered.

Inhaled Corticosteroids

From various kinds of medication which can be taken by people with asthma, inhaled corticosteroids become one option for long term control. The drug has anti-inflammatory function which can give the most effective result. It's used commonly for asthma medication in long term control. The asthma attack will make people suffer from the swelling as well as tightening in their airways. This condition will be reduced with inhaled corticosteroids. The maximum benefit of this medication can be found after people take it for several months. There are some options of inhaled corticosteroids which are offered in the market from fluticasone or Flovent HFA to flunisolide or Aerospan HFA. However, the use of the inhaled corticosteroids in long term will bring side effect of growth delay in slight level. In fact, the great benefit which can be found from the use of this medication for controlling the asthma is bigger than the risk. If this medication is used in regular basis, it will be useful for keeping the asthma attack and conditions associated with asthma which is controlled poorly in check. There's no serious side effect which can be found from using the inhaled corticosteroid such as irritation in mouth and throat as well as the yeast infection in mouth.

Leukotriene Modifier

The symptoms of asthma are caused by the chemicals in the immune system which is called leukotrienes. For blocking the effect of the chemical so the symptoms of asthma can be prevented or treated, people should take leukotriene modifier medication. By taking this medication, the symptoms of asthma is able to be prevented for about 24 hours. There are some options of the medication which can be found in the market including the Montelukast or Singulair, Zafirlukast or Accolate, and Zileuton or Zyflo. There's kind of rare case with the use of montelukast anyway. It's connected to the psychological reaction such as the thinking of suicide, depression, hallucination, aggression, as well as agitation. If people think that they have the reaction which is unusual after taking the medication, they have to see the doctor as soon as possible.

LABA or Long Acting Beta Agonist

Next, the asthma can be controlled in long term with bronchodilator medication which is called long acting beta agonist or LABA. The medication will be useful for opening the airways. The swelling which is caused by asthma attack or symptom can be reduced for 12 hours at least. The medication will be used in regular basis for controlling the asthma with moderate to severe level. It will also be useful for preventing the symptoms which appear during night time. The medication comes with effective result but the medication is associated with the asthma attack with severe level. That's why this medication will be taken when it's combined with the inhaled corticosteroid. There are some options of LABA which can be found including salmeterol such as serevent and formoterol such as foradil and perforomist.


This is type of bronchodilator medication which comes in the form of pill. It can be consumed in daily basis for treating the mild asthma. The medication will show the function for relaxing the airway as well as decreasing the response of the lung to the irritants. If people have difficult problem with the night time symptoms of asthma, they can get great relief from this medication. One thing which people should remember is the fact that this medication should be consumed with the right dose. They need to ensure the right medication dose and it can be done by taking the regular blood test. The right dose must be ensured because there is potential side effect which can be caused by the consumption of this medication. The side effect is varied including the gastro esophageal reflux and also insomnia.

Combination of Inhalers

People can find the medication for long term asthma control which can be taken separately. However, they are also able to find the combination of inhalers which contains corticosteroids as well as long acting beta agonist. Once again, long acting beta agonist usually won't be used alone because it will be combined with other medication for asthma especially the corticosteroids. There are some options of combination which can be found such as the combination of salmeterol and fluricasone which can be found in Advair Diskus for instance. There's also another option of medication such as Symbicort which comes as combination between budesonide as well as formoterol. People can find the LABA medication in this inhalers combination so there is possibility that the risk of experiencing the asthma attack with severe level can be increased when people use this medication type. That's why it's crucial for making sure that the medication is used in caution for preventing the higher risk of severe attack of asthma.

Powerful Tips to Prevent Asthma Attacks in the Cold Weather

Asthma and cold weather have a close relationship that is not romantic at all. Over the years, many people believe that cold air and low humidity environment is one of the things that can trigger asthma attacks. This disease can't be cured but can be overcome with appropriate treatments. Treating asthma in the winter requires a proper and correct manner so that the patient can avoid the recurrence of asthma.

Asthma and Cold Weather

There are two challenges for people with asthma in the winter. The first is that they have to spend more time inside. The second is it's cold outside. Well, when you are inside, you breathe in asthma triggers like mold, dust mites, pet dander, smoke and even fires in the fireplace. But when you go out, you can get asthma attacks caused by breathing cold air.

A study in England showed that cold weather can have a serious impact on the nearly 6 million people with asthma. 75% of people with asthma say that cold air triggers their asthma symptoms and nearly 90% have the cold flu that makes their asthma get worse.

Well controlled patients are more likely to be able to withstand the risk during the winter. Keep your asthma under control by making sure to have regular asthma reviews with your doctor or nurse.

Powerful Tips to Overcome Asthma in the Winter When You Are Indoors

Beware of indoor allergens
Many people prefer to stay indoors during the winter. But did you know that the house has more triggers ranging from dust, pet hair to dust mites? When you inhale something that triggers your asthma, air tubes in the lungs will be tight and clogged with mucus that can cause you to cough, wheeze, and struggling to breathe. Talk to your doctor to have tests to find out what your triggers. After knowing it, you can make some changes at home such as limiting your time with pets. If mites are the trigger, use mite-proof pillow and mattress. Keep your house cool and dry to stop the growth of dust mites and fungi. Additionally, remove all the decorations in the house. Christmas decorations such as Christmas trees can trigger asthma as well. However, getting rid of decorations that have been there for a long time can also expose asthma triggers such as dust and other allergens.

Keep your home smoke-free either cigarette smoke or smoke from fireplaces and candles. In essence, the various types of smoke, no matter where it comes from, can irritate your lungs.

Change the filter on the heating system
Be sure to change the filter on your heating system every year before the change of seasons. Heating the air can dry out and irritate your airways. It will be better if you ask your doctor about using a room humidifier to increase humidity. The ideal humidity for home is between 30 to 45 percent. If it's too high, it can cause the growth of fungi, mites, and dust.

Have someone to clean the dust
Dust is one of the causes of asthma. Now when you spend a lot of time indoors, have someone to vacuuming and cleaning the dust in your home to reduce allergens. Or if you have to do all the work yourself, use a damp cloth to dust and use a vacuum with a high-efficiency filter to clean the cloth-covered furniture, curtains, and carpets. In addition, be sure to wash all bedding in hot water above 130 degrees Fahrenheit once a week. Don't forget to wash your hands regularly

Only do light exercise
Vigorous exercise will only make your asthma uncontrolled. But that doesn't mean you can't exercise. Do light exercise and be sure to warm up and cool down your body. Also, wear a scarf or mask that covers your mouth and nose to warm the air as you breathe. To prevent drying in the airways, make sure to drink plenty of fluids before and after exercise

Do not swim
Although swimming is a good sport for people with asthma, but patients shouldn't swim in the cold weather even though it's an indoor pool. In fact, asthma can blaze in just five minutes after jumping into the pool.

Powerful Tips to Overcome Asthma in the Winter When You Are Outdoors

Always pocket your inhaler
Bring inhaler with you at all times. Take two or three puffs before stepping out to cold weather can help reduce the severity of attacks. So, don't forget to always bring it and don't forget to save a backup inhaler.

Always stay warm
When the weather became very cold, always wear a sweater and scarf wherever you go. Pull gaiter neck, turtleneck or scarf over the mouth and nose to warm the air that you will breathe.

Do not use your mouth to breathe
Cool outside air will surprise your lungs. Instead of breathing through your mouth, use your nose as they suggest in a yoga class. When you breathe through your nose, the air will be warmed up before it reaches your lungs. Conversely, if you breathe through your mouth, the air will be much cooler and thus become more likely to trigger an asthma attack

Keep calm
The cold weather can be stressful for most people since cold weather can wreak havoc for your plan. This requires you to do more preparation before leaving the house. Therefore, it's important to remain calm since an extreme emotional arousal can trigger asthma attacks. Try to have a yoga class or do meditation to relieve your stress.

Avoid outdoor sports
When the air becomes very cold, avoid any outdoor exercise, including shoveling snow. Cold air will make your bronchial airways cooling and drying which can trigger asthma attacks. Also, avoid sports-related winter such as ice skating, skiing, and snowboarding especially if your disease is not well controlled.

You can consider all the above tips throughout the year. However, they are very essential during the winter or when the weather is getting colder when you are more susceptible to asthma triggers.