Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Asthma Q&A: Is asthma considered a disability?

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

Question: what can help the coughing go away?

My humble answer:
You should know first off that a cough is a good thing, as it is one of your bodies self defense mechanisms to keep your lungs free from foreign particulates like bacterias and viruses. So, while it can be uncomfortable and annoying, it is actually something that's good.

That said, why are you coughing? Are you having an asthma exacerbation resulting in excessive sputum your body is trying to expectorate (spit up)? If this is the cause, it can be treated with various asthma medications.

Do you have a lung infection (like pneumonia)? If this is the cause perhaps your doctor might want to treat the infection too.

Cough medicine may treat the cough, but it may not treat the underlying cause of the cough. To find out the cause, and to treat it, you will need to contact your doctor.

Question: Are my asthma inhaler (Symbicort) supposed to stop me from coughing completely? I've had a chronic cough for two years now and a chest x-ray and PFT confirm I had asthma.

My humble answer: I like to think of asthma as more of a conundrum (a riddle) than a disease. It can come on suddenly, and it can disappear for days, weeks and even years. In some cases it may be easy to prevent, and in some cases this may be difficult. Likewise, what works for one asthmatic may not work for another.

You say that you have had a cough for a long time. This is one of the signs of asthma as you can see by this link. And one of the best ways to diagnose asthma is by looking at PFT results, as your doctor has done.

I can tell you from my own first hand experience with asthma that it can be a tricky disease, and it may take some time to get it under control. It may also take time, and some trial and error, to find the best asthma medication that works best to control your asthma. You can read about all the asthma meds in this excellent post.

Ideally you'll want to find an asthma plan that stops all asthma symptoms, including the cough. Depending on the severity of your disease, some symptoms may not completely go away.

Another thing you may want to consider, aside from asthma medicines, is the way you live your life. Are you avoiding your asthma triggers?

Question: Is taking foracort 100 without prescription harmful as it is a steroid?? is playing cricket harmful?? I'm 16 and I love Cricket and I live in Bangalore. But the thing causing me to have trouble playing cricket is my asthma. Can I please get a remedy which can help me cure asthma once for all n relieve me from it?? Also , I take foracort 100 mg quite regularly whenever i feel hard to breathe , that to without any prescription!! is that very harmful for me??

My humble answer: Foracort is a medicine meant to prevent you from having an asthma attack. It should never be taken more than twice a day, and there can be serious consequences of using it more often then twice a day.

That said, I think Foracort is a great medicine, but it seems that this med alone is not going to control your asthma. Perhaps there are certain asthma triggers you are exposed to and can work harder to avoid. Perhaps you need a higher dose of Foracort. Perhaps there are other meds that may work best for you. The best way to find out how better to control your asthma is to educate yourself about this disease right here on this site, and by finding a good doctor who will work with you to manage your asthma.

There really is no reason you should have to quit cricket because of your asthma. While there is no cure for this disease, it can definitely be controlled.

Question: can you get asthma for dogs?

My humble answer: Asthma is not a disease you can get from dogs. Asthma is an autoimmune disease and no one knows for sure exactly what causes it, however there are theories. What we do know is that asthma is a disease where your immune system recognizes things that are harmless (such as dog dander) to most people as dangers, and develops a response to those things. That response thus results in an allergic reaction and an asthma attack. So, in that sense, a dog can be an asthma trigger, but it does not cause one to develop asthma.

Question: Need to use expired Advair HFA... I stocked up on inhalers when I was insured, and now I need to use my Advair HFA again, but it's expired. I have no way of replacing it... Please, what do I do??

My humble answer: Research I've done about expired asthma meds show that while they may lose potency over time, they are not unsafe to use. I personally have never used an expired Advair inhaler, but I have used an expired Albuterol inhaler with good results (although the med starts to taste funny after a while). I'm not encouraging you to use expired meds, just throwing that bit of information out there.

There may be some options available for you. I will provide you some links that might help:

I don't have health insurance and I can't afford advair, What can I do?
affordable medications

You might also want to discuss this with your physician, as perhaps he might be able to prescribe an alternate medicine to control your asthma that is less expensive than Advair.

Question: Is having asthma consider an disability? have asthma and been in the ER since July thru mid Sept about 5 times. Is having asthma an disability.

My humble answer:
Generally speaking asthma is not considered a disabling disease, mainly because asthma is a disease that can be controlled in most cases. Sure you might have to make some changes in the way you live, but it shouldn't be disabling. You might have to get a new job where your coworkers don't smoke and you aren't exposed to asthma triggers. You may have to pace yourself when exercising. But, with good asthma control, you should be able to live a relatively normal life.

On the other hand, there are some cases where severe persistent asthma gets so bad that asthma can become a disability, although I'm sure this is pretty rare.

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

1 comment:

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