Asthma -- Adult
|Inflamed Bronchus in the Lungs|
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- Viral illness
- Cold weather
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Sulfites used in dried fruits and wine
- Medications, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and beta-blockers
Exposure to irritants or allergens, including:
- Cigarette smoke
- Smoke from a wood-burning stove
- Pet dander
- Mold and mildew
- Smog or air pollution
- Perfumed products
- Regularly breathing in cigarette smoke, including second-hand smoke
- Regularly breathing in industrial or agricultural chemicals
- A family member who has asthma
- History of bronchiolitis
- History of multiple respiratory infections during childhood, especially less than 1 year old
- Being overweight
- History of wheezing or asthma as a child
- Having allergies
- Premature birth
- Having a mother who smoked during pregnancy
- Tightness in the chest
- Trouble breathing
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Limited exercise tolerance
- Peak flow assessment
- Pulmonary function tests (PFTs)
- Reversibility testing
- Bronchoprovocation tests
- Avoidance of allergens and irritants and control of contributing factors such as gastroesophageal reflux and sinusitis
- Regular assessment and monitoring
- Inhaled corticosteroids to prevent airway swelling and inflammation
- Inhaled long-acting beta agonists relax the airways and keep them from tightening.
- Oral leukotriene modifiers to prevent airway inflammation and swelling, decrease the amount of mucus in the lungs, and open the airways
- Inhaled cromolyn or nedocromil to prevent airways from swelling from contact with an asthma trigger.
- Inhaled quick-acting beta agonists and anticholinergic agents to open the airways
- Oral corticosteroids to reduce severe airway inflammation.
- Avoid outside activities if there are high levels of air pollution, pollen, or mold spores.
- Keep your windows closed during seasons with high pollen or mold spores. Air conditioning may help filter out allergens during warm seasons.
- Consider getting a portable HEPA unit air cleaner to use in sleeping areas.
- Consider getting HEPA filters for your heating/cooling system and your vacuum cleaner.
- Have someone else vacuum for you. Avoid a room that has been freshly vacuumed. If you do vacuum, use a dust mask.
- Keep the humidity down in your house. This may help prevent the growth of mold.
- Treat allergies and sinusitis as advised by your doctor.
- If allergies trigger your asthma attacks, ask your doctor about allergy shots or sublingual immunotherapy. If you commonly have a stuffy, runny, or itchy nose, these shots may improve your asthma.
- Avoid strong chemicals or odors like perfume.
- Avoid strenuous outdoor exercise during days with high air pollution, a high pollen count, or a high ozone level.
- Get a yearly flu shot. Colds and flus can worsen asthma.
- Don't smoke. If you are pregnant, it is important that you do not smoke.
- Avoid secondhand smoke. Do not allow anyone to smoke in your home.
- Don't use a wood-burning stove or fireplace, including unvented gas fireplaces.
- If cold weather triggers your asthma, avoid strenuous activities in cold weather. If you must, use a scarf or mask to warm the air before it reaches your lungs.
- The right level of exercise for you
- Ways to track your asthma to help identify and treat flare-ups right away
- Your work, hobbies, and home activities to see if any of these may be causing or worsening your asthma
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology http://www.aaaai.org
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America http://www.aafa.org
Allergy Asthma Information Association http://aaia.ca
The Canadian Lung Association http://www.lung.ca
Asthma in adults and adolescents. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated July 13, 2015. Accessed August 5, 2015.
Asthma exacerbation in adults and adolescents. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed . Updated August 15, 2014. Accessed August 5, 2015.
Asthma stepwise management in adults and adolescents. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed . Updated November 2, 2011. Accessed August 5, 2015. Asthma overview. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America website. Available at: http://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=8. Accessed August 21, 2014.
Breathing exercises and or retraining techniques in management of asthma. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality website. Available at: http://www.effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/ehc/products/222/1251/CER71%5FBreathingExercises%5FFinalReport%5F20120905.pdf. Accessed August 21, 2014.
Medical effects of mold exposure. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology website. Available at http://www.aaaai.org/media/resources/academy%5Fstatements/position%5Fstatements/mold.pdf. Published February 2006. Accessed August 21, 2014.
Subbarao P, Mandhane PJ, Sears MR. Asthma: epidemiology, etiology and risk factors. CMAJ. 2009 October 27; 181(9): E181-E190.
Sublett JL, Seltzer J, Burkhead R, et al.; American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Indoor Allergen Committee. Air filters and air cleaners: rostrum by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Indoor Allergen Committee. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010 Jan;125(1):32-8.
Flu and people with asthma. United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/asthma/. Updated September 25, 2013. Accessed August 21, 2014.
10/29/2008 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Howden-Chapman P, Pierse N, Nicholls S, et al. Effects of improved home heating on asthma in community dwelling children: randomised controlled trial. BMJ. 2008 Sep 23.
1/6/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Levenson M. Long-acting beta-agonists and adverse asthma events meta-analysis. Joint Meeting of the Pulmonary-Allergy Drugs Advisory Committee, Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee and Pediatric Advisory Committee. December 10-11, 2008.
2/17/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Bailey EJ, Cates CJ, Kruske S, et al. Culture-specific programs for children and adults from minority groups who have asthma. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009;(1):CD006580.
7/6/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Thomas M, McKinley RK, Mellor S, et al. Breathing exercises for asthma: a randomised controlled trial. Thorax. 2009;64:55-61. Epub 2008 Dec 3.
9/2/2009 DynaMed Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Van der Meer V, Bakker MJ, van den Hout WB, et al. Internet based self-management plus education compared with usual care in asthma: a randomized trial. Ann Intern Med. 2009;151:110-120.
10/8/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Ducharme F, Chroinin M, Greenstone I, et al. Addition of long-acting beta2-agonists to inhaled corticosteroids versus same dose inhaled corticosteroids for chronic asthma in adults and children. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010;(5):CD005535.
1/4/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: McLean S, Chandler D, Nurmatov U, et al. Telehealthcare for asthma. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010;(10):CD007717. 11/12/2013 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Freitas DA, Holloway EA, et al. Breathing exercises for adults with asthma.Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Oct 1;10:CD001277.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 08/2015 -
- Update Date: 08/05/2015 -