Asthma is a disease affecting the lungs that can cause repeated attacks, called episodes, of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness and coughing. This disease affects the lives of one in 13 million Americans and is the most common chronic disease. Asthma cannot be cured, but below are some ways in which you can take control of your asthma in order to live the best life that you can and to try and stay symptom-free.
Track Your Symptoms
Writing down your symptoms in an asthma diary each day can help you see when you might need to adjust your treatment. You can use your asthma diary to keep track of symptoms such as shortness of breath or wheezing when you exhale, chest pain or tightness, or when you cannot sleep at night due to asthma-related symptoms. You can also track when you use your rescue inhaler and how many puffs you take. Other things that you could track include when your asthma symptoms get in the way of work, school, exercise, or other day-to-day activities, changes in the color of phlegm that you cough up, or anything else that triggers your asthma flare-up. By tracking these things, it will make it easier for you and your doctors to come up with the best form of treatment to help minimize symptoms and flare-ups.
Know What Triggers Your Asthma and Avoid It
Certain asthma triggers, such as allergens and irritants, make symptoms worse as they tend to irritate your airway. By avoiding these triggers, as well as any others that are specific to you, you can take better control of your asthma.
Take Your Medication as Prescribed by Your Doctor
This may seem self-explanatory, however, there are a plethora of people out there who think that just because they are not experiencing any symptoms, they do not have to take their medications. This is simply not true. Asthma is a long-term chronic disease that once you have it, does not go away even if you are not experiencing symptoms. It’s important to manage your asthma every day, and not just on bad days.
Use Your Preventer Inhaler Every Day
It is important to use your preventer inhaler every day even if you do not think that you need it as the medicine builds up protection over time. It also makes you less likely to react to your triggers and it stops your airways from getting inflamed. If you stick to a good routine of using your preventer inhaler as prescribed, you will be less likely to have your symptoms result in an asthma attack. It also means you can live your daily life how you want as you will stay symptom-free.
If You Smoke – Quit!
Smoking puts you at a higher risk of having an asthma attack and causes your asthma symptoms to worsen. Smoking can also reduce the effectiveness of your medication. If you have asthma but do not smoke, it is equally as important to stay away from those who do as secondhand smoke may also make your symptoms worse.
You can boost your immune system and keep your body at a healthy weight by strengthening your breathing muscles with exercise. Exercise can also help increase your lung capacity and reduce inflammation, which in turn will improve your overall lung health.
We hope that this blog helped you understand how you can take control of your asthma so that you can live the best life you can. Advanced Respiratory Care Network offers respiratory consultations with our specialists as well as pulmonary function testing for anyone over the age of six. We perform lung testing at all locations; however, a doctor’s prescription is required for the test. For more information, you can visit our website or give us a call.