Vaccines For Asthma

What Is Asthma?

Asthma is a long-term disease of the lungs. It causes your airways to get inflamed and narrow, and it makes it hard to breathe. Severe asthma can cause trouble talking or being active. You might hear your doctor call it a chronic respiratory disease. Some people refer to asthma as “bronchial asthma.”

Asthma is a serious disease that affects about 25 million Americans and causes nearly 1.6 million emergency room visits every year. With treatment, you can live well. Without it, you might have to go to the ER often or stay at the hospital, which can affect your daily life.

What Does Asthma Feel Like?

Asthma is marked by inflammation of the bronchial tubes, with extra sticky secretions inside the tubes. People with asthma have symptoms when the airways tighten, inflame, or fill with mucus.

There Are Three Major Signs Of Asthma:

Airway blockage: When you breathe as usual, the bands of muscle around your airways are relaxed, and air moves freely. But when you have asthma, the muscles tighten. It’s harder for air to pass through.

Inflammation: Asthma causes red, swollen bronchial tubes in your lungs. This inflammation can damage your lungs. Treating this is key to managing asthma in the long run.

Airway irritability: People with asthma have sensitive airways that tend to overreact and narrow when they come into contact with even slight triggers.

Taking care of asthma doesn’t just mean looking after your lungs it means keeping your whole body in check. One of the easiest ways to protect your overall health and avoid damaging and deadly diseases is vaccination. Vaccines are especially important for people with chronic conditions (like asthma) who may have a harder time fighting illnesses. Also, regularly using corticosteroids for asthma may slightly weaken the immune system, but research on this potential risk has had mixed results. Either way, it’s a good idea to protect yourself with these vaccines.

Vaccines To Protect Your Lungs

Flu Vaccine 

This yearly shot can be a drag, but the flu can be a real health danger for someone with asthma causing serious illness and even death. There’s a myth that the flu shot can bring on asthma symptoms, but medical research has found this to be untrue. Just avoid the live nasal spray vaccine, which may lead to wheezing and other symptoms.

Pneumococcal Vaccine

This shot protects against pneumonia, a potentially deadly infection in the lungs. Asthma ups your risk for getting pneumonia and related infections, so people with asthma should get this vaccine. One shot protects you for most of your life. But you should get revaccinated if you’re 65 or older, or if you’ve had kidney failure or cancer.

Tdap Vaccine

Get this vaccine to protect against tetanus (lockjaw), diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough), all of which can lead to very serious breathing problems. This shot is recommended for all adults if they didn’t get it as a child and for pregnant women. And if it’s been a long time since you’ve had this shot, or can’t remember, ask your doctor if you need a Td booster.

Measles, Mumps And Rubella (Mmr) Vaccine

This shot is recommended for people born in 1957 or after. Healthcare professionals, college students and international travellers are most at risk for getting measles, mumps and rubella. You can get two shots for extra protection against these diseases. In a small study, the MMR vaccine actually reduced the risk of children developing asthma.

Varicella (Chickenpox) Vaccine

 This vaccine protects against chickenpox. It’s often given to children, but you can still get it as an adult if you’ve never gotten sick with chickenpox. This shot will also help protect your body from shingles, which come from the same virus.

Zoster (Shingles) Vaccine

One study found that people with asthma were 70 percent more likely to develop shingles. People who have had chickenpox are at risk for getting shingles, an infection that shows up as a painful rash. This shot is recommended for people 50 and older. People who have already had shingles should also get this vaccine to prevent another infection.

Vaccine recommendations are complex and depend on your overall health and what immunizations you’ve had before, so ask your doctor which vaccines you need.

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