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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Weekly Asthma Q&A

Every day at we get lots of asthma related questions. Below are some questions I thought my readers at the RT Cave would enjoy.

Question: my brother has asthmaim wordering if i should take him to the hospital???? hes only 1 year old and hez breathing really fast and wakes up ever 2min so should i take him to the hopital???????

My humble answer: Based on what you describe here, it would probably be a good idea to take him to the emergency room to have him checked out. A baby breathing fast with trouble sleeping can be a sign of something serious.

Question: Can you mix ipratropium and albuterol for the nebulizer?

My humble answer:
The answer is YES. You can mix them both up. However, if you have ever done this, you will note both these medicines come in individual amps with 3cc of normal saline (water) each. If you mix them up the breathing treatment will last a long time, like about 20 minutes. The reason is because you are breathing in the medicine along with 6cc of normal saline.

If you want to speed up the time spent taking a breathing treatment, ask your doctor to write you a prescription for Duoneb, which is a combination of Albuterol, Ipatropium Bromide, and 3cc of normal saline (water). This way you get all the benefits of both medicines in less than 10 minutes.

For the record, these two medicines are also combined in an inhaler too. It's called Combivent.

Question: HOW CAN YOU KNOW IF YOU HAVE ASTHMA? I think I have asthma, the doctor says that it is allegy not asthma, he gave me allegy medecine but I dont be cured. when I taKE salbutamol I feel better in My check. how can I know if I have asthama or not? how to know about the allegy.

My humble answer: Great question. I'm sure your physician is aware that about 70% of asthmatics also have allergies. Likewise, the fact that you get relief from your rescue inhaler is also an indication of asthma. However, those two things alone do not mean you have asthma.

So, based on the asthma guidelines, the following is how asthma should be diagnosed by physicians: recurrent wheezing, cough particularly at night, recurrent chest tightness. Likewise, symptoms occur with exercise, viral infections and exposure to asthma triggers.

Asthma can be diagnosed by your history of asthma-like symptoms (see above), family history of asthma (asthma is genetic), and a pulmonary function test that shows airway obstruction (this is the best diagnostic test for asthma).

There are two ways to determine if you have allergies. 1) you have allergy attack (sniffles, sneezes, etc.) when exposed to certain allergens (mold, pollen, flowers, dog, cat, etc.). 2) Allergy skin testing. This is the best way of learning if you have allergies so you can learn to avoid these things (or be treated for them).

Question: Intal is being discontinued. I am not able to take steroids. What is the best substitute for the intal inhaler?

My humble answer: Tilade is similar to Intal.

If you have any further questions email me, or Visit's Q&A section.

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