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Healthxchange > Forums > Ask the Specialists > Ask the specialist > Asthma Attack ( Closed)

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 Asthma Attack ( Closed)
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 May 3rd - Aug 8th 2014 
Asthma makes breathing difficult for 20% of children and 5% of adults in Singapore.* However, with proper treatment, asthma patients can still live a fulfilling life.
Ask our Specialists now  for advice and learn more about signs of asthma, prevention and treatments available.
(*source: Ministry of Health)
Hosted by
Dr. Tan Keng Leong
Senior Consultant
Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Singapore General Hospital
Dr. Ng Chung Wai
Consultant Family Physician
SingHealth Polyclinics
Outram Polyclinic
Open for questions: Now till 31st May 2010
Posted by zanne_ooi
I have asthma since young and have to experience attack for at least 8-10 years already. The attack such as short of breath and wheezing starts coming back after the recent haze ( 2-3 months ago). It gets worse whenever the haze is around and I feel like I am the haze detector at home.
What can I do to minimize the attack ?
Should I get an Inhaler and bring it with me ?
Answered by

An asthmatic patient tends to get asthma attacks if the asthma is not controlled and the air tubes are reactive to triggers in the environment including the haze. In order to minimize asthma attacks, it is important that asthma is controlled and an appropriate dose of preventer medications may be necessary to achieve this.

For asthma, there are two broad categories of medications (1) preventer medications which treat lung inflammation and make the lungs less sensitive, therefore less reactive to triggers such as environmental pollutants (such as the haze) and (2) reliever medications which give relief and expand the person’s airtubes which become constricted during an attack.

When environmental triggers are present (such as the haze) an asthmatic whose asthma was previously under control may experience worsening of asthma. If the patient is not on any preventer medication, it may need to be started. If an asthmatic is already using preventer medication, the dose may need to be adjusted. Therefore you should see your doctor regarding this.

All asthmatics should also be equipped with a Written Asthma Action Plan (WAAP) which is a list of instructions on what steps should be undertaken should an asthma attack occur. The WAAP instructs an asthmatic on how to (i) recognize early symptoms of an attack so that appropriate measures may be taken to prevent the attack from worsening and (ii) recognize if an attack is severe so that urgent medical attention is sought. Please see your regular doctor regarding the WAAP.

As for bringing an inhaler home, all asthmatics, no matter how well controlled previously, should have a reliever at hand (in the form of an inhaler, usually salbutamol inhaler) which serves to expand the constricted air tubes in the event of an attack.

Answered by Dr. Ng Wai Chung, Consultant Family Physician
SingHealth Polyclinics

Posted by khyati_jv
my daughter having sensetive nose bcos of that she gets phlegm in chest every after 2 month seh faces the same condition we counsult so many drs some says she is alergic some says she is having asthma some says brobronchitis i m so worried about her and its really difficult bcos every time antibiotics only clears the situation if u can guide me on this thankyou
Answered by
The medical term for ‘sensitive nose’ is Allergic Rhinitis. Many lay persons refer to Allergic Rhinitis as ‘sinus problem’ which is not totally accurate.

Patients with Allergic Rhinitis often have Asthma at the same time. Both of these conditions may manifest as ‘phlegm in the chest’. Antibiotics, unfortunately, treats neither Allergic Rhinitis nor Asthma.

Allergic Rhinitis and Asthma are not really curable diseases but they can both be controlled so much so that your child leads an otherwise healthy normal life and is not limited in terms of daily activities such as sports and school.

Diagnosis may not be easy as symptoms of Allergic Rhinitis and Asthma overlap. ie, both diseases manifest the same symptoms, lay terms used by doctors to describe these conditions to patients also overlap.

Sometimes observing how the child responds to treatment may help make the diagnosis. Do consult your doctor to sort out the issue.
Answered by Dr. Ng Chung Wai
Consultant Family Physician
SingHealth Polyclinics

Posted by judylin

Dear doctor,

Does watching TV cause asthma in children? I have read an interesting article online, it mentioned about study have showed that children who watched TV more than 2 hours per day were nearly twice as expected to develop asthma by age of 12 when compared to children who watched less than 2 hours of TV per day. Is it true? Does this mean these children were sensitive to watching television?

Answered by
We are not aware of studies published in any prominent journals which indicate relationship between the number of hours spent watching television and subsequent development of asthma.
Answered by Dr. Ng Chung Wai
Consultant Family Physician
SingHealth Polyclinics

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