What Is Asthma?

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What are the symptoms of asthma?

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Asthma symptoms include coughing, wheezing, and chest tightness, are common in an asthma attack. Sometimes asthma is called bronchial asthma or reactive airway disease. Asthma can be controlled with proper treatment. Common symptoms of asthma are coughing, especially at night, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest tightness, pain, or pressure. Not every person with asthma has the same symptoms in the same way. Your asthma symptoms may also vary from one asthma attack to the next, being mild during the one and severe during another. Q: Is asthma one of the symptoms of COPD? A: COPD is the abbreviation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In fact, these two diseases have some similar symptoms like coughing or shortness of breath. COPD may lead to asthma. However, the causes are different. Smoking is the most common factor for COPD. They have similar symptoms, but asthma is not certainly the symptom of COPD. Keyword: asthma copd, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, copd asthma     Related FAQ: http://healthtopquestions.com/?p=3013 http://healthtopquestions.com/?p=3052  
Coughing shortness of breathing
Asthma symptoms vary from person to person. You may have infrequent asthma attacks, have symptoms only at certain times — such as when exercising — or have symptoms all the time.

Asthma signs and symptoms include:
Shortness of breath
Chest tightness or pain
Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing
A whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling (wheezing is a common sign of asthma in children)
Coughing or wheezing attacks that are worsened by a respiratory virus, such as a cold or the flu

Signs that your asthma is probably worsening include:
Asthma signs and symptoms that are more frequent and bothersome
Increasing difficulty breathing (measurable with a peak flow meter, a device used to check how well your lungs are working)
The need to use a quick-relief inhaler more often

For some people, asthma signs and symptoms flare up in certain situations:
Exercise-induced asthma, which may be worse when the air is cold and dry
Occupational asthma, triggered by workplace irritants such as chemical fumes, gases or dust
Allergy-induced asthma, triggered by airborne substances, such as pollen, mold spores, cockroach waste or particles of skin and dried saliva shed by pets (pet dander)

Prevention and long-term control are key in stopping asthma attacks before they start. Treatment usually involves learning to recognize your triggers, taking steps to avoid them and tracking your breathing to make sure your daily asthma medications are keeping symptoms under control. In case of an asthma flare-up, you may need to use a quick-relief inhaler, such as albuterol.

The right medications for you depend on a number of things — your age, symptoms, asthma triggers and what works best to keep your asthma under control.

Preventive, long-term control medications reduce the inflammation in your airways that leads to symptoms. Quick-relief inhalers (bronchodilators) quickly open swollen airways that are limiting breathing. In some cases, allergy medications are necessary.

Long-term asthma control medications, generally taken daily, are the cornerstone of asthma treatment. These medications keep asthma under control on a day-to-day basis and make it less likely you'll have an asthma attack. Types of long-term control medications include:
Inhaled corticosteroids. These anti-inflammatory drugs include fluticasone (Flonase, Flovent HFA), budesonide (Pulmicort Flexhaler, Rhinocort), flunisolide (Aerospan HFA), ciclesonide (Alvesco, Omnaris, Zetonna), beclomethasone (Qnasl, Qvar), mometasone (Asmanex) and fluticasone furoate (Arnuity Ellipta).
You may need to use these medications for several days to weeks before they reach their maximum benefit. Unlike oral corticosteroids, these corticosteroid medications have a relatively low risk of side effects and are generally safe for long-term use.
Leukotriene modifiers. These oral medications — including montelukast (Singulair), zafirlukast (Accolate) and zileuton (Zyflo) — help relieve asthma symptoms for up to 24 hours.
In rare cases, these medications have been linked to psychological reactions, such as agitation, aggression, hallucinations, depression and suicidal thinking. Seek medical advice right away for any unusual reaction.
Long-acting beta agonists. These inhaled medications, which include salmeterol (Serevent) and formoterol (Foradil, Perforomist), open the airways.
Some research shows that they may increase the risk of a severe asthma attack, so take them only in combination with an inhaled corticosteroid. And because these drugs can mask asthma deterioration, don't use them for an acute asthma attack.
Combination inhalers. These medications — such as fluticasone-salmeterol (Advair Diskus), budesonide-formoterol (Symbicort) and formoterol-mometasone (Dulera) — contain a long-acting beta agonist along with a corticosteroid. Because these combination inhalers contain long-acting beta agonists, they may increase your risk of having a severe asthma attack.
Theophylline. Theophylline (Theo-24, Elixophyllin, others) is a daily pill that helps keep the airways open (bronchodilator) by relaxing the muscles around the airways. It's not used as often now as in past years.
Quick-relief (rescue) medications are used as needed for rapid, short-term symptom relief during an asthma attack — or before exercise if your doctor recommends it. Types of quick-relief medications include:
Short-acting beta agonists. These inhaled, quick-relief bronchodilators act within minutes to rapidly ease symptoms during an asthma attack. They include albuterol (ProAir HFA, Ventolin HFA, others) and levalbuterol (Xopenex).
Short-acting beta agonists can be taken using a portable, hand-held inhaler or a nebulizer — a machine that converts asthma medications to a fine mist — so that they can be inhaled through a face mask or a mouthpiece.
Ipratropium (Atrovent). Like other bronchodilators, ipratropium acts quickly to immediately relax your airways, making it easier to breathe. Ipratropium is mostly used for emphysema and chronic bronchitis, but it's sometimes used to treat asthma attacks.
Oral and intravenous corticosteroids. These medications — which include prednisone and methylprednisolone — relieve airway inflammation caused by severe asthma. They can cause serious side effects when used long term, so they're used only on a short-term basis to treat severe asthma symptoms.

If you have an asthma flare-up, a quick-relief inhaler can ease your symptoms right away. But if your long-term control medications are working properly, you shouldn't need to use your quick-relief inhaler very often.

Allergy medications may help if your asthma is triggered or worsened by allergies.

Bronchial thermoplasty
This treatment — which isn't widely available nor right for everyone — is used for severe asthma that doesn't improve with inhaled corticosteroids or other long-term asthma medications. Generally, over the span of three outpatient visits, bronchial thermoplasty heats the insides of the airways in the lungs with an electrode, reducing the smooth muscle inside the airways. This limits the ability of the airways to tighten, making breathing easier and possibly reducing asthma attacks.
I would like to know about additional asthma meds to order and that are covered by Medicare?
A list of asthma meds:

Singulair
montelukast
prednisone
Dulera
Atrovent
ipratropium
Breo Ellipta
Alvesco
flunisolide
methylprednisolone
Atrovent HFA
dexamethasone
formoterol / mometasone
MethylPREDNISolone Dose Pack
Rayos
fluticasone / vilanterol
Ipratropium Inhalation Solution
Kenalog-40
Medrol
triamcinolone
Dexamethasone Intensol
levalbuterol
Medrol Dosepak
Solu-Medrol
ciclesonide

Medicare plans can vary the list of prescription drugs they cover (called a formulary). The prescription drug coverage plan is provided by various insurance companies, so the formularies vary. If you have your Part D, you may try to look for your own formulary(it's a part of your insurance paper) and see what drugs are covered.

Wheezing 

Shortness of breath

Chest pain 

Headache

Tightness in throat

Tightness in chest 

It seems to be an angina attack or acute coronary syndrome. If you have nitroglycerine tablets, take it. If you do not have it, go to the hospital immediately for help.
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Modern medicines control and relieve symptoms and so attacks may only last a few hours or minutes, but without treatment this may go on for several days.
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