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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Bronchospasm is a narrowing of the airway that usually comes and goes. You may be at risk for bronchospasm if you have a chest cold or allergies. You may also be at risk if you are bothered by air pollution, certain medicines, cold, dry air, smoke, or strong odors. Exercise may worsen your symptoms. Bronchospasms may make it hard for you to breathe.
You may need any of the following:
- Bronchodilators help expand your airway for easier breathing. Some of these medicines may help prevent future spasms.
- Inhaled steroids help reduce swelling in your airway and soothe your breathing. These are used for long-term control.
- Anticholinergics help relax and open your airway.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your primary healthcare provider as directed:
You may need more testing to find the cause of your condition. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
- Avoid triggers.
- Warm up before you exercise. Ask your primary healthcare provider about the best exercise plan for you.
- Try to avoid people who are sick. Ask your primary healthcare provider if you need a flu or pneumonia vaccine.
- Breathe through your nose when you are in cold, dry air or weather. This may help reduce lung irritation by warming the air before it reaches your lungs.
Contact your primary healthcare provider if:
- You have a fever.
- You have a cough that will not go away.
- Your wheezing worsens.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- You cough or spit up blood.
- You are short of breath.
- You have blue fingernails or toenails.
- You have chest pain.
- You have a fast or uneven heartbeat.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.