An asthma diagnosis can be limiting and frustrating at times. It may necessitate you to make some adjustments in your lifestyle. Many patients become extremely overwhelmed, and they let the disease control the way they live their lives. With all the advancements in treatment and the free flow of information, don’t let asthma get in your way. Control it before it can control you. Learn to live better every day through:
1. An Action Plan
Asthma may require long-term care. The first step should be to seek the right doctor who you can have a long relationship because being tracked is the key to managing your asthma. For the treatment to be successful, your input is imperative. Partner with your doctor and come up with an action plan that involves when and how to take the medications as well as the identification of triggers and how to manage the symptoms.
Children old enough to handle it on their own should be involved in coming up and following their action plans. You will be able to experience fewer symptoms and live an almost symptom-free life if you follow your action plan effectively and go for regular checkups. But more importantly, know when to seek emergency medical attention such as when you are not feeling better after using an inhaler or when feeling confused e.t.c.
2. Taking Medications as Instructed
Doctors prescribe various medications to manage and treat asthma. To control the symptoms, your doctor may recommend a relief inhaler. An inhaler works pretty fast to relieve the symptoms of asthma attack. It helps to open up the airway, making it easier for you to breath. The effect can last for hours but treats just the symptoms, not the cause. Make a point to try first the inhaled medicine at your doctor’s office.
Your doctor may prescribe a preventive inhaler to treat the actual cause. While they take days to weeks to take effect, they work to give you long-term breathing solutions. The combination of the two can greatly help to bring your asthma under control. Some people skip preventive inhalers especially when they’re having a good day and don’t feel the need. Skipping is dangerous. Take daily as instructed.
3. Keeping Records
Keeping a record of your symptoms can help to keep track of how well you are responding to treatment. Your doctor may also recommend a peak flow meter to take the readings of how your lungs are working. You may be asked to keep these records some weeks before your visit. The records will help to spot a problem early enough and relieve the attacks. Your doctor may as well use the records to decide when/whether to adjust the treatments.
4. An Air Humidifier
Humid air is one of the most common triggers of asthma. An air humidifier is a fantastic tool for not only controlling and reducing air humidity in your house but for riding off the allergens. So, consider purchasing an air humidifier and install it in a room you spend most of your time. This will be a big leap in helping you control and manage your asthma.
5. Regular Exercise
Exercise, when done regularly, helps you breathe easily. It stretches the airways and greatly helps your asthma. Start gradually and build up your exercise as your body get used to it. One of the exercise you may consider trying is the yoga. It helps you to breathe in a slow, controlled manner. By taking part in yoga, you learn how to breathe controllably, which comes in handy when you have an asthma attack.
6. Controlling Your Stress
Stress is detrimental to your body. It is a no exception to your asthma, but more of a set off for attacks. When you are tensed, it becomes extremely difficult for your muscles to relax, which is not good for asthma. To avoid stress, manage your time well and leave enough time to do what you love to do.
7. Eating Right
Food allergies can lead to asthma attacks. Visit your doctor for food allergy test. Not only food. Some beverages can set off asthma attacks. While caffeine may help with asthma, too much of it may make your asthma worse. So, limit your caffeine intake and notice how your situation improves.
8. Abstinence From Smoking
You should consider avoiding cigarette smoke if you are to avoid asthma attacks. Cigarette smoke is a known trigger, which worsens asthma. Quitting the behavior may prove difficult to some. But unfortunately, you have to do it as early as you can to reduce the symptoms. Talk to your doctor ways to stop smoking as quickly as you can.
9. Avoidance of Cold
Cold triggers asthma. In winter, in cold months or when going out on cold nights, wrap yourself warmly. Try as much as you can to keep off individuals with cold. Otherwise, you are going to get it off them. Apart from this, you should make sure that your house is properly and regularly cleaned and when cooking you open the windows and other ventilations.
10. Adjusting Your Treatments
Regular checkups can help your doctor to access the level of asthma control and adjust the treatments accordingly. Remember that the primary goal of treating asthma is to get the best control with least medication. Frequent adjustment of your treatments may, therefore, be necessary.
If you find your action plan or any of the above is not working accordingly, inform your doctor right away. They will assist you to adjust your action plan to suit you better and recommend better ways to deal with any of the above.
As stated earlier, knowing when your asthma is getting worse is crucial for proper control and management of asthma. Apart from feelings of confusion and when you’re not getting better after using an inhaler, other things to be on the look out include:
- A peak flow of less than half of your personal best
- When symptoms keep on reoccurring often getting worse
- When you have trouble talking, walking or undertaking your normal activities
- When asthma leads to anxiety
- Skin around the rib appearing sucked in (particularly in children)
If you have the symptoms above, seek medical attention immediately. Your doctor may change the treatment or take other measures to keep your asthma under check. Partnering with your doctor and taking an active role will help to effectively control and manage your asthma.
Sourced from: prevention
Photo: Thinkstock/LjupcoPosted on January 18, 2017