Asthma is a common severe respiratory condition that can be difficult to manage. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, approximately 25 million people in the U.S. have asthma, equating one in 13 people. Its symptoms include everything from shortness of breath and coughing to wheezing and chest tightness.
However, there are things that you can do to help control your asthma and make it easier to live with. This article will give you some tips on how to deal with asthma.
Identify and Avoid Your Asthma Triggers
One important way to help manage your asthma is to identify and avoid asthma triggers. Unfortunately, triggers can be different for everyone, and they can pop up when you least expect them. That’s why it’s essential to be vigilant and know what to look for. Some common triggers include pollen, dust mites, pet dander, smoke, and exercise. Some people also have triggers that are specific to them, such as certain foods or medications.
Once you know what brings on an asthma attack, you can take steps to avoid those triggers or at least be prepared for them. Talk to an experienced allergist if you’re unsure what your triggers are. They can help you determine what might trigger your attacks and how to best avoid them. This way, they can develop a treatment plan that may include medication, avoidance of triggers, and other lifestyle changes. With their help, you can learn how to effectively manage your asthma and enjoy a better quality of life.
Get a Good Asthma Action Plan
If you or someone in your family has asthma, it’s crucial to have a good asthma action plan in place. This plan should be created with the help of a doctor or other medical professional and should be tailored to the individual’s needs.
The plan should include information on what to do in case of an asthma attack, as well as what triggers to avoid. It’s also essential to have a list of emergency contacts in case of an attack. A good asthma action plan can help ensure that everyone knows what to do in case of an asthma attack.
Take Your Medication
When you have asthma, you must be proactive about managing your condition. Part of that involves taking your medication as prescribed. This is especially important if you have trouble controlling your asthma or if you experience frequent symptoms. In most cases, asthma medications are taken by inhaler. This delivery method ensures that the medication goes directly to your lungs, where it can quickly start working to relieve symptoms.
There are a variety of asthma medications available, and your doctor can help you choose the best one for your needs. Some common asthma medications include:
- Inhaled corticosteroids: These are used to help control inflammation in the airways. They come in both metered dose inhalers (MDIs) and dry powder inhalers (DPIs).
- Leukotriene modifiers: These medications block the effects of leukotrienes, which are chemicals that can cause inflammation and airway constriction.
- Short-acting beta2-agonists: These are quick-relief medications that open up the airways and help to relieve symptoms. They are typically used when an asthma attack is happening.
- Long-acting beta2-agonists: These medications work like short-acting beta2-agonists, but they provide longer-term relief from symptoms.
- Theophylline: This medication helps to open up the airways and is often used to prevent asthma attacks.
If you don’t take your asthma medication as prescribed, you may not be able to keep your symptoms under control. This could lead to more severe health problems, including decreased lung function and an increased risk of asthmatic attacks. So make sure to take your asthma medication as directed and talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
Allergy-proof Your House
Many common household items can contribute to indoor air pollution, making it difficult for asthma sufferers to find relief. Luckily, you can take a few simple steps to allergy-proof your home and reduce the triggers that cause asthma attacks.
One of the best ways to reduce indoor allergens is to clean the house. Vacuum regularly with a HEPA filter to remove dust mites, and wash bedding in hot water once a week to kill mold or mildew. In addition, try to avoid using harsh chemicals when cleaning, as these can irritate the lungs. Opt for natural cleaners or make your own using vinegar and water.
You should also ventilate your home regularly to allow fresh air in and circulate the air throughout the house. This will help to remove any trapped allergens and improve air quality overall. By following these simple tips, you can create a cleaner and healthier home environment that is easier on your lungs.
These are just a few tips on how to deal with asthma. If you have asthma, it is important to work with your healthcare professional to create a plan that works for you. Taking steps to avoid your triggers and monitoring your symptoms can help you keep your asthma under control. Talk to your healthcare professional if you have any questions or concerns.