Friday, December 01, 2006

Asthma - What you need to know! Part 4

In Part 3 we discussed the types of medications used in Asthma, in Part 4 we will look at other measures you can take to prevent an Asthma Attack

Avoidance of Triggers

Asthma is a form of allergic reaction. Being an allergy means that it is usually triggered by something. The commonest triggers are:

1. Cold and Flus
2. House Dust Mites
3. Animal furs like cats
4. Mould - I once had a patient who found that her asthma improved significantly when she thoroughly cleaned her aircon units!
5. The Haze or during the Seventh Month where there is a lot of burning papers
6. Smoking or 2nd hand smoke in the house

Knowing what triggers your child's Asthma will empower you to take some preemptive action to prevent the Asthma from occuring. The doctor will provide you with an ACTION PLAN which outlines what to do when the child is exposed to triggers. You should also take other steps to avoid the various triggers, for example, learning how to get rid of House Dust Mites around the home.

Food Allergies

Food is an uncommon trigger for Asthma. It only affects less than 5% of people with Asthma.

However, the common ones are:

1. Nuts
2. Fish and Shellfish
3. Milk
4. Eggs
5. Various Seeds
6. In the Singapore context, Bird's Nest is highly allergenic because of the impurities
7. Food additives


Some people get Asthma during excercise. This means the Asthma is poorly controlled. Children with excercise induced asthma should be managed by your Doctor. In general, Ventolin should be given half an hour before excercising and the child may need long term preventive medications.

A well managed child will be able to win an Olympic Gold Medal if the asthma is treated properly!

What else you can do.

Your doctor may arrange for a skin prick test in order to find out what exactly the child is allergic to. Then at least you KNOW what to avoid, rather then trying to be Kia Su and avoid everything!

For more information, you can click here

In Part 5, we will be discussing how to work with your Doctor to monitor and manage your Asthma


Anonymous said...

Hi dr tay,

was wondering why when there are respiratory problems, it is always more comfortable to sit up than to lie down? could you please enlighten me? thankyou!


Dr Leslie said...

Several things. First if you have fluid in the lungs like in heart failure, then by sitting up, the fluid pools to the bottom of the lungs and it is easier to breath. Second, because the chest expands outwards, when you lie down you also have to work against gravity whereas there is no gravity to work against when you are upright.

Anonymous said...

thank you very much!