Asthma is characterized by coughing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and wheezing. Asthma symptoms can be triggered by several factors, including: allergens or irritants; viral or sinus infections; exercise; reflux disease (stomach acid flowing back up the esophagus); medications or foods; and emotional anxiety.
Caffeine and Asthma
If you feel an asthma attack coming on and don't have your inhaler handy, try a couple cups of coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or chocolate bars. The caffeine will help open your airways.
Controlling Your Asthma
If you find yourself using your quick-relief inhaler to stop an asthma attack more than twice a week, it may be time for a different medication. In fact, if you have to refill your inhaler more than two times a year or are awakened by asthma symptoms two nights or more per week, you also probably need a change.
Correct Inhaler Use
If you use an inhaler to treat your asthma, remember that it's not a breath freshener. You must deeply inhale the medication into your lungs and hold it for three to five seconds before exhaling slowly.
NSAIDs, Aspirin and Asthma
Asthma sufferers should use the non-aspirin pain reliever acetaminophen (Tylenol) because the use of aspirin and NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs), such as Advil/Motrin (ibuprofen) and Aleve (naproxen sodium), have the tendency to worsen asthma.
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