What is Exertional Asthma ?

Do your asthma attacks coincide with participation in physical activity such as exercise? As in all types of asthma, as the airways tighten, it becomes  difficult to take a complete breath, and the airways produce extra mucous.

 

The symptoms of exertional asthma include:

  •  Wheezing
  •     Tightness of the chest
  •      Coughing
  •      Feeling tired
  •      Inability to catch your breath

Some activities that can lead to heavier than normal breathing such as recreational sports including:  running, basketball, football, soccer, and aerobic exercise. These can lead to exertional asthma.  Additionally, when the air is cold and dry, activities such as shoveling snow or walking for long periods of time can also trigger an asthma attack.

Other contributing factors of exertional asthma can include:

  •  Smoke or smog
  •     High pollen counts
  •     Having a cold or other respiratory infection
  •     Chlorinated pools or other chemical irritants

Treatment of exertional asthma includes taking medications both on a regular basis and  prior to doing strenuous exercise to limit symptoms and control breathing. Some activities and sports should be avoided if they bring on asthma attacks.

If you are experience difficulty breathing while participating in strenuous activities, you should consult with a pulmonary specialist for a complete respiratory evaluation. Please call 718-206-7001 to schedule an appointment with a pulmonologist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

The Relationship Between Asthma and GERD

There is strong evidence that a relationship exists between asthma and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). According to research, more than 75 percent of people living with asthma have GERD. The reason for this is not certain but studies show a relationship between stomach acid and airways.

GERD which is the reverse flow of stomach acid into the esophagus seems to worsen asthma. One explanation as to why this happens may involve stomach acid which flows back in to the esophagus irritating the throat, the airways and the lungs. It is also a possibility that the acid affects a nerve in the esophagus which causes the lungs to tighten.

Ways to avoid the effects of GERD include:

  • Raising the head of the bed by 6 inches to keep stomach acid from flowing back in to the esophagus
  • Waiting three to four hours after eating a meal before laying down
  • Eating smaller meals
  • Keeping your weight under control
  • Quitting smoking
  • Avoid eating fatty food, chocolate, spicy foods, citrus fruits, tomato sauce,  coffee, tea, or alcohol before laying down

Speak to your physician about treatment options that may be best for you. You can also schedule an appointment with a physician at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center by calling 718-206-7001.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Are You At Risk for Asthma?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 13 people has asthma. That translates to more than 26 million Americans.

Asthma is a condition in which your airways narrow and swell, producing extra mucus resulting in difficulty breathing.

If this narrowing and swelling occurs and worsens, it may lead to an asthma attack.

Some tips to help you prevent asthma symptoms from occurring include:

  • Family history of asthma
  • Viral respiratory infections as a child
  • Allergies
  • Smoking
  • Air Pollution
  • Obesity

Some strategies you help prevent the symptoms of asthma are:

  • Stop smoking and avoid public places where cigarette smoking occurs
  • Avoid outdoor exposure on heavy smog days
  • Adopt a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein
  • Avoid allergens that trigger asthma attacks, such as pet dander, dust, mites, mold and pollen.

If you have recurrent coughing or wheezing that lasts more than a couple of days or any other signs or symptoms of asthma listed above, you should schedule an appointment to see your doctor since treating asthma early can help prevent long-term lung damace and reduce the likelihood of your asthma worsening over time.

If you would like to speak with a respiratory specialist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-7001 for an appointment.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Treating Asthma When You Have a Cold

Colds make us feel miserable and coughing fits tend to bring attention to us at times when we want it least. For most catching a cold is a nuisance but for others with chronic respiratory conditions such as asthma, colds can be very serious.  Colds are one of the most common causes for flare ups in asthmatics.  The mildest of cold symptoms can easily lead to wheezing, shortness of breath or trigger asthma attacks.

Taking preventative measures to avoid catching a cold is one of the best recommendations that asthmatics can follow. Some of these precautions include: frequently washing or sanitizing hands, staying away from individuals who have colds and avoiding contact to the eyes and nose.

Even though prevention is highly recommended, during the cold season avoiding a cold is sometimes easier said than done. If you do contract the cold virus there are several things you can do to help control your asthma:

  1. If you are sick stay home and take care of yourself. Staying home can help you avoid environmental factors that could worsen your condition.
  2. Monitor your air flow by frequently using a peak flow meter. If there is a drop in peak flow rates contact your physician to discuss adjustments to medication.
  3. Keep track of changes in your condition and developing asthma symptoms such as wheezing, tightness of the chest or coughing.
  4. Take medication as advised by your doctor.

Following these recommendations can help you manage symptoms and reduce the risk of a serious attack.  If your condition continues to get worse after several days, make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as possible.

If you’d like to make an appointment with a doctor at the Jamaica Hospital Medical Center Ambulatory Care Center, call 718-206-7001 to schedule an appointment.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Asthma and Flu Season

Young woman using throat spray

Asthma is a lung disease that is caused by chronic inflammation of the airways, which can result in an asthma attack. During an attack, people experience symptoms such as wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and nighttime or early morning coughing. Many things can trigger an asthma attack and one of the most common is the flu.

With flu season upon us, what impact can the flu have on those with asthma? According to the CDC, though people with asthma are not more likely to get the flu, an infection can be more serious for people with asthma, even if their asthma is mild or their symptoms are well-controlled by medication. An influenza infection can trigger asthma attacks and a worsening of asthma symptoms. It also can lead to pneumonia and other acute respiratory diseases. In fact, adults and children with asthma are more likely to develop pneumonia after getting sick with the flu than people who do not have asthma. Asthma is the most common medical condition among children hospitalized with the flu and one of the more common medical conditions among hospitalized adults.

If you have asthma, it is recommended that you get an annual influenza vaccine. Flu shots are generally recommended for people six months and older regardless of whether or not they have asthma. The flu shot has a long established safety record in people with asthma. In addition to getting the flu vaccine, proper hand-hygiene is strongly advised in order to prevent the spread of the flu.

If you do get sick with flu symptoms, speak with your doctor immediately to see if antiviral medications are an option for you. If prescribed, anti-viral drugs should be administered with 48 hours after the on-set of symptoms and can help minimize the effects of the flu. For people with asthma, this can help by reducing the risk of influenza from progressing into pneumonia or other respiratory diseases.

If you have asthma, and would like to receive a flu shot, please call Jamaica Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center at 718-206-7001 to schedule an appointment or visit our website at www.jamaicahospital.org to find our closest MediSys Family Care Center to your home.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

How Does Hot Weather Affect Asthma ?

Exhausted female runner suffering angina pectoris

Exhausted female runner suffering angina pectoris

It is a fact that breathing difficulties associated with asthma are affected by hot weather. Anyone who has walked a few blocks when it is hot and humid outside will know that breathing seems to be more difficult. This is especially true for anyone who suffers from asthma. One possible cause of this is due to the hot, humid air irritating the airways causing inflammation which will lead to symptoms of an asthma attack. Another reason is that hot and humid air is heavier and therefore a person may have to struggle to breathe..
In hot weather months there is an increase in the amount of ozone in the air and also a higher concentration of dust and fine particles which can cause existing respiratory conditions to worsen especially in the very young and the elderly.
Some of the environmental factors that affect the respiratory system are:
• Higher levels of carbon dioxide and higher temperature can lead to more spores and mold in the air.

• Higher temperatures can lead to more greenhouse gases being produced.

• Environmental production of pollutants from vehicles and factories become trapped in the atmosphere.

These environmental conditions can cause chest pain, wheezing, and coughing, and reduced lung function for those who suffer with asthma.
Irritants that affect breathing function have definitely worsened over the years due to climate changes. People are being treated more frequently in the emergency rooms across the country due to lack of clean air to breathe.
To help avoid asthma attacks in hot weather it is recommended to:
• Stay indoors as much as possible in an air conditioned environment
• Avoid strenuous activity
• Keep hydrated
• Try to limit being outdoors during the hottest time of day
To schedule an appointment with a physician at Jamaica Hospital who can help treat breathing difficulties, please call 718-206-7001.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Is This Job Killing Me?

Nervous businesswoman pulling her hair out

Some workplace stress is normal, but excessive stress can interfere with productivity and impact your physical and emotional health. If you are feeling overwhelmed at work, you can lose confidence, and become irritable or withdrawn.

Health issues that can be caused by excessive stress are:

  • Heart disease
  • Asthma
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Headaches
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Gastrointestinal problems

How you manage your stress is one way of avoiding the negative health impacts of a stressful lifestyle. By realizing that not being able to control everything in your work environment does not mean you are powerless, you can find ways to manage your workplace stress without rethinking career ambitions.

Some quick, office stress relievers are:

  • Take a short walk
  • Drink water
  • Stretch
  • Make a plan or to-do list
  • Unplug from email and social media
  • Breathe
  • Act rather than react
  • Ask for help

One of the best ways of coping with stress is to identify what your stress triggers are. Once you have identified them, you can find ways to resolve them.

If using these steps to relieve your feelings of being stressed is not helping, you may want to consult a mental health professional at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Department of Mental Health and Psychiatry. Call 718-206-7160 for an appointment.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Can Aspirin Trigger and Asthma Attack ?

aspirin-225x300Aspirin may have many benefits but for people who have asthma, it can trigger an attack. In fact, it is estimated that approximately 10 – 20 % of people who live with asthma have a reaction to either aspirin or other pain killers called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS).  Examples of NSAIDS are Ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil, Naproxen, Aleve, and Naprosyn.
The likelihood of having an asthmatic attack is increased if a person living with asthma has nasal polyps in addition to sensitivity to aspirin. This condition, known as Samter’s Triad increases the chances of having an asthmatic attack by 30 – 40 %. This is due to the fact that nasal polyps are an inflammatory condition in the nasal passages and anti-inflammatories can lead to respiratory complications. Many people with nasal symptoms such as runny nose, post nasal drip, and congestion may be prone to an asthma attack if they take aspirin or NSAIDS.
If you suspect that you have asthma and are experiencing: shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing, speak to your doctor about how aspirin can impact your condition. A doctor can recommend medications that are safer to take. To make an appointment at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center please call 718-206-7001.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Zika

According to the Centers for Disease, Control and Prevention, the Zika virus is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito.  The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis.

Most recently, the Zika virus has been linked to microcephaly in babies of mother’s who contracted the virus during pregnancy. Microcephaly is a condition where a baby’s brain with microcephaly does not develop properly during the pregnancy or has stopped growing after birth, this results in a smaller sized head.

What we DO know:

  • Zika virus can be passed from pregnant women to their fetus during pregnancy or at delivery.
  • Pregnant women can be infected with the Zika virus through the bite of an infected mosquito
  • You can become infected by a male sex partner
  • Pregnant women should not travel to areas affected by Zika
  • Based on available evidence, the Zika virus infection in a woman who is not pregnant would not pose a risk for birth defects in future pregnancies after the virus has cleared from her blood.

What we DO NOT know:

  • How likely a pregnant woman who has been exposed to Zika will get the virus
  • How the virus will affect her pregnancy or how likely it is that Zika will pass to her fetus
  • If the infected fetus will develop other birth defects or when in the pregnancy the infection might cause harm to the fetus
  • If sexual transmission of Zika virus poses a different risk of birth defects that mosquito-borne transmission

If you must travel to Zika areas affected by Zika, speak with your healthcare provider about the risks of Zika Virus before you travel.  Learn how to protect yourself from mosquito bites and try to avoid regions where Zika is present.

If you have traveled to a region where Zika is present and are pregnant, talk to your health care provider about Zika symptoms. If you would like to speak with a physician, you can make an appointment at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Women’s Health Center, call 718-291-3276.

For more FAQ’s on Zika Virus you will find the following websites helpful –www.health.ny.gov/diseases/zika_virus/

http://www.cdc.gov/zika/

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Is Social Media Making Me Fat?

Have you ever wondered why when you see postings of food on social media that are pleasing to your eyes, you immediately begin to desire that food or think, “Gee, I’m hungry?

The human mind is divided into two parts, the conscious and subconscious mind.  The conscious mind works while we are awake, while the subconscious mind is always activated.  The subconscious mind regulates everything in our body, our character, our speech and receives and processes information. The food and beverage postings on social media speak directly to our conscious and subconscious mind.

According to researchers, 70 percent of household meals in America are influenced by digital media.  Pictures of food and beverages show up on news feeds 63 percent of the time.  One popular social media site noted that a widely used food hashtag marked photos of snacks and meals 54 million times on their site alone.

In addition to subliminally causing you to want to eat more food, studies have shown that people who spent two hours or more using a device with LED display, such as a smart phone or tablet, had a corresponding dip in melatonin levels.  Melatonin is the chemical that prepares your body for sleep. When we lose sleep, we can pack on extra pounds because there is a link between sleep loss and weight gain.  If you are awake for longer periods of time, you may be more inclined to reach for a late night snack or bag of chips.

Some steps you can take to curb your hunger and promote good health are:

  • Choose fresh, whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and lean meats.
  • Prepare your meals at home and limit dining out and processed on-the-go meals.
  • Try to avoid being distracted by TV, work, driving or surfing on your computer, phone or tablet while eating.
  • Regulate your social media feed, especially if the pictures of food and beverages make your stomach moan.

Obesity is on the rise because many factors, but keep in mind that you are in control and can make healthy choices to live a healthy life. It’s better to eat with your stomach and not with your eyes.

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.