Healthy Active Living with St. Joseph Healthcare

May 2 is World Asthma Day!

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It’s scary when you feel like you can’t breath!

That’s what an asthma attack feels like.

The aim of World Asthma Day is to raise awareness, care and support for those affected by asthma.

Asthma is a chronic disease of the lungs which causes breathing problems. Symptoms of asthma include breathlessness, coughing, wheezing and a feeling of tightness in the chest.

When the symptoms are not under control, the airways can become inflamed making breathing difficult. Asthma can not be cured, but the symptoms can be controlled enabling people with asthma to live full lives.

World Asthma Day was established in 1998; the first event was set to coincide with the first World Asthma Meeting (WAM) in Barcelona, Spain. Over 35 countries were involved. Over time, World Asthma Day has grown and is widely recognized as the worlds most important asthma awareness event.


Did you know that acid reflux can trigger asthma?
Here are a few asthma triggers:


Viral infections such as colds or viral pneumonia can trigger or aggravate asthma, especially in young children. These infections can irritate the airways, nose, throat, lungs, and sinuses, and this added irritation often triggers asthma flare-ups. Additionally, sinusitis – an inflammation of the hollow cavities found around the eyes and behind the nose – can trigger asthma.

Strenuous physical exercise can also trigger attacks. Mouth breathing, exercising in cold, dry air, or prolonged, strenuous activities such as medium- to long-distance running can increase the likelihood of exercise-induced asthma (EIA).

Reflux disease
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition in which stomach acid flows back up the esophagus, can affect patients with asthma. Symptoms include severe or repeated heartburn, belching, night asthma, increased asthma symptoms after meals or exercise, or frequent coughing and hoarseness. GERD reflux treatment is often beneficial for asthma symptoms as well.

Some adults with asthma may experience an asthma attack as a result of taking certain medications. These can include aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen; and beta-blockers (used to treat heart disease, high blood pressure or migraine headaches). Before taking any over-the-counter medications, those with asthma should consult their physicians.

For some, eating certain foods or various food additives can trigger asthma symptoms. Culprits include milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish. If any of these foods triggers asthma attacks, the best remedy is to avoid eating them.

Emotional Anxiety
Emotional factors alone cannot provoke asthma. However, anxiety and nervous stress can cause fatigue, which may also increase asthma symptoms and aggravate an attack. As with any other chronic health condition, proper rest, nutrition and exercise are important to overall well-being and can help in managing asthma.

It is important to have an Asthma Action Plan so others around you can help in an emergency!

Click here for a printable Asthma Action Plan


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