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What can happen to your lung function during night time (nocturnal) asthma?

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Your lung can work only half as well as usual during a night time episode of asthma. It’s not clear why, but possible explanations include:

  • Exposure to allergens at night such as dust mites or animal dander
  • Changes in the levels of hormones such as cortisol, histamine, and epinephrine at night
  • Longer periods of exposure to asthma triggers within the bedroom
  • Reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus from lying down
  • A delayed reaction to daytime asthma triggers
  • Cooling of the airways that cause spasm of the major airways
  • Sinusitis and postnasal drip
  • Sleep apnea

SOURCES: American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: "Tips to Remember: Asthma Triggers and Management" and "Asthma and GERD."

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on May 12, 2018

SOURCES: American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: "Tips to Remember: Asthma Triggers and Management" and "Asthma and GERD."

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on May 12, 2018

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Can you test for nocturnal asthma by measuring the airflow out of the lungs?

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