Your Questions About Asthma

Linda asks…

What happens to someone who smokes cigarettes and also has asthma?

I smoke cigarettes and I have had asthma for my entire life now. I know it’s not the smartest thing but what is this doing to my lungs?

Mark answers:

Could potentially worsen asthma symptoms and elevates your risk even more for other dieseases.

George asks…

I start wheezing and chest gets congested could it be asthma or my heart?

I get really short of breath and my chest feels congested if I walk up a step hill or exert myself. I start coughing up flem and then after a while once I relax it will just go away. What could this be asthma or my heart?
I am not a smoker.

Mark answers:

Well, I myself have asthma and I can tell you some of the symptoms that you might experience if you have it.
- Shortness of breath, sometimes out of nowhere or when exercising and when you are scared or anxious
- Pain in your chest sometimes in random moments (this is a sign that you need your inhaler and need to see a school nurse, if in school)
- Chest congestion, when your chest has a slight bit of fluid or something when listened to by a stethoscope. It usually feels as if you have mucus in your chest
- Wheezing is when you have to use extra force to get carbon dioxide out of your lungs. I do this right before an asthma attack. It sounds as if you are blowing air out of a slightly blocked straw.
- Chest tightness is also something you should get used to if you have asthma. I have it 24/7. I can’t get a deep breath at all and if you have it, you should see how much lung capacity you have by getting a peak flow test.

If you have any of these symptoms, you should see your General Practioner about getting an inhaler and an asthma controlling medication.

Michael asks…

What are the regulations or restrictions for fighter pilots and asthma?

Ok i want to be a fighter pilot for the USAF, but i do not know the policy for asthma and piloting, do they allow it or do they not?
No i do not use and medication or inhalers, i do not wheeze when after doing physical activities. But its just there and im still diagnosed with asthma.

Mark answers:

If you have asthma and currently use medication or inhalers and such for it, you can not enlist in the Air Force, its a disqualifier. If you are in the Air Force and some how develop Asthma that might be another thing though.

Sandra asks…

What are the odds of being born with Food allergies, asthma, and later on juvenile type 1 diabetes?

I was born with allergies to Dairy, nuts, eggs, and soy, asthma, and at age ten Type one diabetes. No one in my entire family tree has ever had any of this. Im the only one. Im just curious as to what are the odds? I feel like Im the only person in the world with all of this.

Mark answers:

Well allergies are auto-immune diseases where an over active immune system responds extravagantly to those items and type 1 diabetes is when an over active immune system decides to kill all the insulin producing cells. Basically Type 1 diabetes is when you become allergic to your insulin producing cells. I don’t think it’s a terribly odd occurrence.

Chris asks…

What is the difference between prevention and long-term management of asthma?

My doctor prescribed me “Singulair” to take as a preventative for my asthma. My co-worker insists that the term long-term management of asthma, which is what Singulair says it’s used for, is not the same as prevention of asthma. She says it is only good for allergies and exercise-induced asthma. Isn’t long-term management another way of saying prevention?!??

Mark answers:

I would have thought that prevention was stopping the asthma all together and long-term management was just making sure it isn’t a huge issue for your whole life

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