FAQ: Asthma

  • Are Asthma inhalers safe?

    Inhalers are an essential part of Asthma treatment.They offer the advantage of delivering the medicine right into the respiratory airways. Unlike the oral medication, the inhaled medicines do not reach other parts of the body. This means that the side effects of the treatment are minimal. It is safe to use an inhaler as prescribed by your doctor.

  • Can Alcohol aggravate my Asthma?

    Yes, alcohol can trigger Asthma symptoms. Red and white wine appears to trigger more asthma attacks that other alcoholic beverages. In one study,Dr. Philip J. Thompson of the Asthma and Allergy Research Institute of Perth, Australia, found that of those in which alcohol triggered asthmatic attacks, 92 percent said wine was the trigger and 30 percent said beer was to blame.

  • Does Allergy cause Asthma?

    The answer is that not everyone with an allergy also has Asthma and not everyone with Asthma has an allergy. About 23 million people in the United States have Asthma. , and 70% have an allergy to something that triggers their Asthma. An allergy is when the body has an abnormal reaction to an everyday substance (allergen). Common allergens include dust mites, mold, pollen, animal dander, and certain air pollutants, all of which can cause tightening of the lung airways.

  • What is an Asthma attack? How do I know if I got an asthma attack?

    • An Asthma attack is when your asthma symptoms start getting worse compared to usual , enough to cause the person distress. The asthma attack can come quickly or gradually.The below symptoms can be seen during an attack.
    • Increase in wheezing, coughing, chest tightening and shortness of breath.
    • Need to use the reliever often within 3 hours of taking it.
    • Waking at midnight due to chest pain or breathing difficulty.
  • What to do during an Asthma Attack?

    First 3 steps to help control your Asthma attack is:

    1. Sit up straight or in any comfortable position.
    2. Immediately take your medication.
    3. Take small sips of room temperature water.

    An asthma attack can be life-threatening – call an ambulance during an emergency. Check for the below signs and symptoms.

    1. Difficulty breathing.
    2. UnableUnable to speak comfortably or lips turning blue.
    3. Symptoms get worse very quickly.
    4. Little or no relief from the their inhaler.
    5. Do food allergies trigger Asthma?
  • Does Food Allergy trigger Asthma?

    Yes, food allergies are considered to be an indirect hidden asthma trigger and can cause an asthma attack. If you develop food allergies early in life, you have greater chances of developing respiratory problems such as asthma later in life.
    An asthma flare-up is one possible respiratory response against food allergy. An asthma attack occurs when something triggers a hypersensitivity of the airways. Contact with food allergens can be one possible trigger.

  • What is the treatment for Asthma?

    Asthma is a long-term disease that has no cure. The goal of asthma treatment is to control the disease. Taking an active role to control your asthma involves working with your doctor to treat other conditions that can interfere with your asthma management such as avoiding things that worsen your asthma (asthma triggers). However, one trigger you should not avoid is physical activity. Physical activity is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Talk with your doctor about medicines that can help you stay active. 

    Work with your doctor and other health care providers to create and follow an asthma action plan. There are two general types of asthma medication which can give you long-term control or quick relief of symptoms. 

    Controller Medication: This is the most important type of therapy for most people with asthma because these asthma medications prevent asthma attacks on an ongoing basis. As a result of controller medications, airways are less inflamed and less likely to react to triggers. Steroids, also called "corticosteroids," are an important type of anti-inflammatory medication for people suffering from asthma. 

    Quick Relief Medication: These asthma medications are also called rescue medications and consist of short-acting beta-agonists (SABA). They relieve the symptoms of asthma by relaxing the muscles that tighten around the airways. 

    Successful treatment should allow you to live an active and normal life. If your asthma symptoms are not controlled, you should contact your doctor for advice and look at a different asthma medication that may work better for you.

    Dr. Rakesh Gupta M.D
    Director of Sleep Disorders Center, Providence, RI.