Living with asthma can make life difficult, but you can make it easier. These tips can help you manage your symptoms and lead a healthier, happier life if you have asthma.
Keep a Written Action Plan for Your Asthma
- keep a written action plan for your asthma.
- write down your action plan and keep it where you can find it.
- make sure your doctor knows about your action plan; they may be able to help you by adding medications or changing doses as needed.
- make sure family members and friends know about your action plan, too, so they can help if you need assistance during an attack of asthma symptoms.
Know When to Seek Emergency Help for Your Asthma
It’s important to know when to seek emergency help for your asthma. You should seek emergency help if:
- you can’t breathe.
- your symptoms worsen or don’t get better after taking medications as prescribed by your doctor.
Get Vaccinated for The Flu Every Year
Flu season can last from November to March, so it’s essential to protect against the flu every year. You can get a flu shot at your doctor’s office, the local health department, or pharmacies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that everyone over 6 months of age receive a flu shot each year. Even if you don’t have asthma, getting vaccinated against the flu is still helpful because it reduces your chances of getting sick with other respiratory illnesses like pneumonia.
While research has shown that vaccines provide some protection against influenza illness in people with asthma, it’s not clear how effective they are in preventing asthma symptoms from worsening during an attack—but they may help protect against wheezing and shortness of breath associated with exercise or activity during influenza infection
Stay Away From Places That Trigger Your Asthma
If you have exercise-induced asthma, talk to your doctor about what to do before exercising. Your asthma may be triggered by exercise in the cold, so keep yourself warm when going outside.
You may also want to avoid places that trigger your allergic reactions, including pollen, animal dander, and dust mites. If you have severe allergies or asthma symptoms, consider getting allergy shots or taking medication as prescribed by your doctor to control symptoms.
Follow Your Asthma Care Plan
- follow your asthma care plan.
- know your triggers.
- take medication as prescribed, including inhalers and steroids.
- exercise regularly to improve lung function and reduce coughing and shortness of breath.
- get enough sleep to control asthma symptoms (e.g., 8 hours per night).
- avoid large meals before bedtime because they can make it harder to sleep well at night due to indigestion and heartburn that may cause you to wake up with an acidic taste in your mouth or stomach pain.
Track Your Breathing and Symptoms
This will help you identify when and where the asthma is worsening and what triggers it. For example, if you notice that you often have trouble breathing after exercising, this is a sign that exercise could trigger your asthma. You can also use this information to help determine if any other changes may need to be made to manage your symptoms better.
Put Together an Emergency Kit
Put together an emergency kit containing a first-aid kit, your asthma medicines, any other medicines you take regularly, and a written action plan for your asthma. This should be kept in a convenient place in case of an emergency.
Avoidance reduces symptoms and medication use. Avoiding triggers can reduce the severity of your asthma symptoms, which can mean you need to take fewer medications or take them less often. By reducing the use of medicines, you also reduce your risk for side effects with long-term use—and potentially life-threatening complications from overuse or misuse of drugs.
If you have exercise-induced asthma, talk to your doctor about what to do before exercising.
- warm-up properly. Start with a few minutes of light activity that raises the heart rate but doesn’t make it difficult for you to breathe comfortably.
- don’t exercise if: You haven’t warmed up; You haven’t taken your asthma medicine; You haven’t had a whole night’s sleep (seven hours or more); Or if you’ve had a cold or flu in the past two weeks.
Ask Your Doctor About Medication
If you use an inhaler more than twice a week, ask your doctor whether adding a daily controller medicine to your treatment regimen would be beneficial. A daily controller medicine is a long-term asthma medication that helps keep the airways open and allows easier breathing. Taking this medication every day may help prevent asthma flare-ups when you have a cold or another illness.
You Can Live a Happy and Healthy Life with Asthma
- keep a written action plan for your asthma.
- know when to seek emergency help for your asthma.
- get vaccinated for the flu every year.
- stay away from places that trigger your asthma.
- follow your asthma care plan, including taking medicines and using inhaled medications as prescribed by your doctor or nurse practitioner to prevent flare-ups and limit symptoms (like exercise or exposure to allergens).
- track your breathing and symptoms by keeping an Asthma Diary
And that’s it! We hope this article has helped you become more familiar with living with asthma and what can be done to make it easier on yourself. If you have any additional tips or questions about your asthma, contact us today! We have office across central Florida with a team of medical professionals ready to help you get back to living your life.