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Do Asthma Facts Leave You Breathless?

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An asthma attack can be triggered by getting mad.

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An asthma attack can be triggered by getting mad.

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Strong emotions like anger can make you breathe faster and set off an asthma attack. Laughing, crying, yelling, and even feeling stress or fear can be triggers, too.

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If your child has asthma:

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If your child has asthma:

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Recent studies show that most babies and young children outgrow asthma symptoms by school age. But about 40% of kids with asthma still have it as young adults. They may have a relapse after not having symptoms for a while.

 

Of the 27 million Americans living with asthma, about 7 million are children. Kids can have normal, active lives with proper care. Learn your child's asthma triggers and work closely with his doctor. Teach your child to care for his asthma and to tell you when he doesn't feel good. If your child is missing a lot of school, it probably means he needs a better treatment plan.

Many people with asthma also have allergies.

Many people with asthma also have allergies.

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For about half of people with asthma, allergies trigger their flare-ups. Symptoms usually start after you breathe in something you're allergic to, such as dust, pet dander, pollen, or mold.

 

Asthma attacks can also be set off by breathing in things that you aren't allergic to but that irritate your airways -- like smoke, household sprays, gasoline fumes, perfumes, or even cold air.

A quick-relief inhaler works best:

A quick-relief inhaler works best:

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If you're having an asthma attack, a rescue inhaler can help in the moment. But if you have symptoms often, you may also need to take medication daily to help control flare-ups. What counts as often? Either:

  • Three or more times a week
  • Three or more times a month at night

Quick-relief inhalers don't prevent asthma attacks.

If exercise triggers asthma attacks, you should avoid working out.

If exercise triggers asthma attacks, you should avoid working out.

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Everyone needs exercise, including people with asthma. Working out can help strengthen your breathing muscles. Talk to your doctor. With the right treatment, you can control your asthma and stay fit.

 

Warm up before you work out, and cool down to help with chest tightness. Avoid outdoor exercise on chilly days, when the pollen or air pollution counts are high, or if you have a respiratory infection. You might also want to talk with your doctor to see if using an inhaler before you exercise could help.

If you don't wheeze, you don't have asthma.  
 

If you don't wheeze, you don't have asthma.    

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Often, a cough is the only sign of asthma. If you find yourself coughing at night, when you exercise, or if your cough won't go away, it may be asthma. Other common symptoms are chest tightness and trouble breathing, and wheezing. If you have any of these, see your doctor. The sooner you start treatment, the less damage to your lungs.

 

A primary care doctor can usually diagnose and treat asthma. You may need to see a specialist if you need extra tests, if you've had a life-threatening asthma attack, or if you need more help to keep your condition under control.

People who are obese, compared to those who aren't, have:

People who are obese, compared to those who aren't, have:

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Among other things, obesity can cause your airways to narrow. That can lead to asthma. Being overweight can also make asthma harder to control. 

 

Researchers are looking at links between obesity and inflammation. Extra fat can lead to inflammation in the whole body, including the lungs. Trouble with breathing could also cause people with asthma to be less physically active. 

A common asthma attack trigger is:

A common asthma attack trigger is:

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When you catch a cold or flu, or get a sinus infection, it irritates your airways and that can trigger asthma symptoms. Acid reflux and allergies to certain drugs can also trigger an attack.

To help avoid asthma flare-ups, you should:

To help avoid asthma flare-ups, you should:

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Flu and colds can make your asthma much worse. You have a greater chance of having problems caused by the flu, too. So if you have asthma, make sure to get your flu shot, and wash your hands often. Also, be extra careful around people who are sick.

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