The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) hosted a Twitter chat on asthma health on May 3, 2021. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) and David Stukus, MD, associate professor and Director of the Food Allergy Treatment Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, joined us to answer common questions about managing asthma, asthma treatment guidelines, and COVID-19 vaccines.
Below are some highlights from the chat. To see more, search for the hashtag #AsthmaHealth on Twitter.
1. What are some of the most common asthma symptoms?
A1 Asthma causes the airways to get narrow and clogged. Breathing becomes difficult and stressful, like trying to breathe through a straw stuffed with cotton. Asthma medicines treat the swelling and squeezing of the airways. More: https://t.co/UqzVszkh7n #AsthmaHealth https://t.co/a076eYIcAh pic.twitter.com/ShiVRkZof8— AAFA National (@AAFANational) May 3, 2021
Asthma symptoms can vary between people & over time. Coughing is a very common symptom...and waking from sleep due to breathing difficulty is often asthma related.— Dr. Dave Stukus (@AllergyKidsDoc) May 3, 2021
Wheezing may not be present, especially if not using a stethoscope.
Best clue: Does albuterol help? #asthmahealth https://t.co/u1rbhgKN5Z pic.twitter.com/rb4XP1w3gW
2. What are different types of asthma and how do they vary?
We absolutely live in the age of personalized medicine when it comes to asthma!— Dr. Dave Stukus (@AllergyKidsDoc) May 3, 2021
There are several different types of asthma, with different causes of inflammation, time of onset, duration, and response to therapy.
Great review: https://t.co/R6qU9CebiR#asthmahealth https://t.co/Hy0CsD8Odk pic.twitter.com/VXrTwVb9OO
Types of asthma : Allergic asthma, exercise induced asthma, non allergic asthma, copd-asthma overlap, occupational asthma, aspirin-sensitive asthma, eosinophilic asthma.— death's favorite girl 💋 (@aballerinadoll) May 3, 2021
Category of asthma can rage from intermittent, mild persistent moderate persistent or sever persistent. https://t.co/SInDk967uc
A2 Around 60% of people with asthma have allergic asthma – this means allergens like dust mites, pests, mold, pets, and pollen can trigger their asthma symptoms. https://t.co/t9Luxe7tJ3 #AsthmaHealth https://t.co/2buywllhnn pic.twitter.com/1wD6gTfkiB— AAFA National (@AAFANational) May 3, 2021
3. What are the most common spring/summer asthma triggers?
A3 It is important to keep track of the causes or triggers that make your asthma worse. Symptoms do not always occur right after exposure. Delayed asthma episodes may occur depending on the type of trigger and how sensitive a person is to it. https://t.co/T32oDUXVqk #AsthmaHealth https://t.co/wKq9D4SSIk pic.twitter.com/WaR1ojW4Cz— AAFA National (@AAFANational) May 3, 2021
A3a Climate change is one factor that can exacerbate and increase exposure to risk factors for respiratory diseases, such as asthma. It increases the duration and intensity of pollen production (common summer & spring allergy triggers) season. #AsthmaHealth https://t.co/xrFuPrVoza— Children's Environmental Health Network (@CEHN) May 3, 2021
Not everyone with asthma has the same triggers, but here are some common ones during spring/summer:— Dr. Dave Stukus (@AllergyKidsDoc) May 3, 2021
🌩️Rapid changes in weather
☀️Heat & humidity
🚗Pollution, especially ozone action days
4. The 2020 asthma guidelines recommend using daily controllers with formoterol as quick-relief (rescue) treatment for some people with asthma. What does this mean?
A4 SMART (single maintenance and reliever therapy) treatment uses one inhaler that combines a controller (ICS) and long-acting reliever medicine (formoterol) together. They act as both daily control medicine and quick-relief medicine. https://t.co/7Lb2SOlU9k #AsthmaHealth https://t.co/KkAF0ljGbr pic.twitter.com/aerL2uuO86— AAFA National (@AAFANational) May 3, 2021
Quick relief previously only meant albuterol, but evidence supports using combination inhalers that have both inhaled steroids AND formoterol (Symbicort/Dulera)— Dr. Dave Stukus (@AllergyKidsDoc) May 3, 2021
Formoterol works as fast as albuterol but lasts 2-3 times as long (salmeterol in Advair is not the same)#asthmahealth https://t.co/aIixNl36px pic.twitter.com/jFslusHoMU
5. Are people with asthma at increased risk to contract COVID or have severe illness from it?
A5 The CDC lists chronic lung diseases like moderate-to-severe asthma as a possible risk factor to get severely ill from COVID-19. However, there is no published data to support that at this time. https://t.co/klia0puIeF #AsthmaHealth https://t.co/LqpcnZoOXd— AAFA National (@AAFANational) May 3, 2021
For a welcome change of pace for those with asthma, the growing body of evidence all shows that asthma is NOT a risk factor for catching #COVID19 or having more severe illness!— Dr. Dave Stukus (@AllergyKidsDoc) May 3, 2021
Great article/summary: https://t.co/gAAwKb0eTR#asthmahealth https://t.co/DH8trcnJoi
A5 Yes, but these risks are not distributed equally. Env. asthma triggers & other #ChildrensEnvironmentalHealth hazards are often concentrated in communities of color due to historic/current racist policies. #HealthEquity is dependent on #EnvironmentalJustice. #AsthmaHealth 1/5 https://t.co/o7ABczcCvD— Children's Environmental Health Network (@CEHN) May 3, 2021
6. Are COVID vaccines safe for people with asthma or allergies?
YES!!!!#COVID19 vaccines do not contain any live virus or cause illness - safe & recommended for anyone with asthma.— Dr. Dave Stukus (@AllergyKidsDoc) May 3, 2021
Allergic reactions to #COVIDVaccines are EXCEPTIONALLY rare and very few people need to avoid
Great info: https://t.co/n1WQ41bhMS#asthmahealth https://t.co/POZzPyxDdh pic.twitter.com/2hmzSFJGaQ
A6 CDC recommends that people get vaccinated even if they have a history of severe allergic reactions not related to vaccines or injectable medications—such as food, pet, venom, environmental, or latex allergies. https://t.co/LuAsnun1sn #AsthmaHealth https://t.co/EBMfaBAaqt— AAFA National (@AAFANational) May 3, 2021
A6 Listen to our podcast: COVID-19 Vaccines. John Kelso, MD, addresses common questions, concerns and misconceptions surrounding #COVID-19 vaccines. From efficacy to allergy, this discussion covers all the information you need to know. #asthmahealth https://t.co/x3KlGQDJAc— AAAAI (@AAAAI_org) May 3, 2021
A6 Listen to our podcast: Addressing #COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy. Juanita Mora, MD, discusses the origins of vaccine hesitancy among patients from various backgrounds and offers practical tips for addressing these complex issues. #asthmahealth https://t.co/GWBsDN339G— AAAAI (@AAAAI_org) May 3, 2021