Asthma is a common but still dangerous condition that affects millions of people every year. Its symptoms, including airway inflammation and increased mucus production, can be controlled but asthma isn’t curable. The key to living comfortably with asthma is to control the condition, minimize its impact on your life, and maintain a close relationship with your doctor.
Whether it’s environmental management, special care, or medication, you can keep your asthma from growing into a bigger problem than it needs to be. Here are some of the best ways to treat chronic asthma.
Though day-to-day life with asthma revolves around being careful about exposure to triggers and maintaining good general health, everyone who lives with the condition is at risk of life-threatening asthma attacks. An asthma attack doesn’t have to result in a trip to the hospital as long you’re prepared for the possibility.
Since every case of asthma is particular to the individual, it’s a good idea to consult with your doctor to create an action plan in the event of an asthma attack. This may involve emergency medication, calming practices to avoid hyper-ventilation, and communicating with others through non-verbal means (written notes, printed cards, etc) to notify them of your condition so they can contact emergency medical assistance if need be.
There are three main varieties of “triggers” that can increase the likelihood of an asthma attack or a minor episode.
- Exposure to allergens like dust, pollen, and pet hair can send the body into defensive responses that may trigger asthma symptoms. It’s important for asthmatics to identify allergies, live and work in clean environments, and avoid exposure to allergens whenever possible, up to and including taking allergy shots.
- Illness with inflammatory or respiratory symptoms, such as sinus infection, flu, and fever, can irritate airways even in people without asthma. Those living with asthma can suffer stronger symptoms and even run the risk of an attack while sick. It’s important to avoid illness with frequent hand-washing and to rest when the inevitable case of the sniffles strikes.
- Stress is a general contributor to poor health and it can exacerbate chronic conditions like asthma. Addressing stress reduces asthma risks and promotes a strong immune system.
Many people living with chronic asthma use medications to control the condition and protect themselves in the event of an attack. There are two kinds of asthma medicine: long-term and emergency. Long-term controlling medications for asthma most commonly come in an inhaler, either as an oral inhaler or a nasal one. Those suffering from chronic asthma can buy Fluticasone, one of the most common nasal inhalers, to promote regular lung and airway health. Doctors caution that people who need to use emergency medication more than twice a week are in need of better long-term medication.
While regular check-ups are essential for good asthma control, both doctors and patients benefit greatly from a comprehensive log of asthma symptoms, triggers, habits, and treatments. Chronic asthma sufferers should keep a daily record of relevant information such as how many times a day you experience symptoms, whether your asthma wakes you up at night, whether and when activity triggers symptoms, and how many times a week you experience an attack.
This information will help you determine how effective your habits and treatment are, and will help your doctor prescribe the right medications and action plans to manage your condition. For especially accurate data, you can use a peak flow meter, a handheld device that reads your air flow. You can track your asthma in a notebook, a computer document, or even on specially designed applications for smartphones and tablets.
Asthma is a condition that touches almost every aspect of life, but it’s not difficult to monitor and manage. All it takes is good information, diligence, and proper medical care to bring your asthma under your control, instead of letting your asthma control you. Plan smart, be careful, and learn to breathe easy again with these simple tips.