Asthma is incredibly common. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there are over 25 million sufferers in the US alone. But despite how prevalent asthma is, there are still many myths out there. Here’s a breakdown of common asthma myths and...
6 Signs Your Asthma Is Getting Worse
6 Signs Your Asthma Is Getting Worse
If you have asthma, you might be used to coughing and wheezing sometimes. And if you have severe asthma, you may experience breathing difficulties more often than sufferers with a milder condition.
That being said, your body will give you signs if your asthma isn’t properly managed – and if your condition is getting worse. Here’s a look at why asthma symptoms can get worse and how you can bring your asthma under control again.
Does Asthma Get Worse?
It’s not uncommon for asthma to get worse at times. This may be during an isolated incident, such as an asthma attack, or it might last for a longer period.
When asthma gets worse, you might experience a sudden onset of more severe symptoms. Or your symptoms may worsen over a longer period of time – such as a few weeks or even months.
If there’s a gradual onset of worsening symptoms, the changes can be so subtle that they’re hard to notice at first. However, it’s crucial that you know how to spot when your asthma is playing up so you can take decisive action.
Why Has My Asthma Suddenly Got Worse?
Things that make your asthma worse are known as “asthma triggers”. When you know your asthma triggers, it’s easier to work with your doctor to find ways to bring quick relief.
Here are the most common reasons why people with asthma experience flare-ups.
- Allergens: If you’re sensitive to tobacco fumes, dust mites, pollen, or other allergens, exposure to these allergens can cause asthma attacks.
- Respiratory infections: When you’re recovering from a cold or flu, your airways are more irritated than usual, which may worsen your asthma.
- Exercise: Increasing your activity levels too quickly might trigger an asthma attack.
- Medication: Some pain medications might cause an asthma flare-up.
Other asthma triggers include mold, stress, damp, and even changes in weather conditions.
Six Signs of Asthma Worsening
At Asthmaniac, we can devise a treatment plan to help you bring your condition back under control. If you recognize any of these symptoms of asthma getting worse, book a consultation with us now.
1. Shortness of Breath
Shortness of breath is a clear sign that your asthma isn’t under control. This is especially true if you notice breathing problems at rest or during activities which are normally manageable for you.
Any shortness of breath should be discussed with your healthcare provider.
2. Using Your Inhaler More Than Usual
Are you using your regular inhaler (or quick relief inhaler) more than normal? This is a sign that your medication isn’t working for you as effectively as it should be.
And even if you’re not using your inhaler more than usual, but it’s not as effective at relieving your symptoms, your asthma is acting up.
3. Activity Limitations
Every asthma sufferer has different limitations. What’s strenuous exercise to one person could be easily manageable to another. It’s important you know what’s manageable for you so you can track if your condition is interfering with your normal daily activities.
For example, if you can normally carry groceries but you can’t manage the trip without breathlessness, your asthma may be getting worse. Or if you can’t walk or climb stairs as usual, then this is a warning sign to pay attention to.
If your asthma gets in the way of your normal daily activities, then your condition is not under control.
4. Nighttime Wheezing and Coughing
Do you wake up during the night due to wheezing, coughing, or shortness of breath? If so, then your asthma could be acting up.
To be clear, it’s not uncommon to occasionally wake up feeling a little out of breath or wheezy. But it shouldn’t happen often. If you’re reaching for a quick relief inhaler during the night once or twice a week, you need your asthma medication reviewed.
5. Reduced Peak Flow Readings
Your “peak flow” shows how well your lungs are functioning. Your asthma may be getting worse if:
- Your peak flow measurements are significantly lower than usual.
- There are noticeable variations in readings from day to day.
Any change in peak flow readings should be discussed with a clinician.
6. Chest Tightness
Chest tightness is hard to describe because it feels different for everyone. However, when your chest is “tight”, you might feel like you can’t breathe in or breathe out fully. You may feel like there’s a band across your chest, and it could even be painful to breathe.
If you have chest tightness, especially at rest, your asthma medication may need to be reviewed.
What to Do If Your Asthma Is Acting Up
Is your asthma getting worse? You don’t need to put up with it.
At Asthmaniac, we want to give you back confidence in your breathing. We want to bring your asthma back under control so you can enjoy life without stressing over your condition. We can evaluate your asthma medicine, identify your common triggers, and work out an action plan to get you feeling better.
It all starts with a telemedicine consultation. Contact us to learn how Asthmaniac can help!
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