In 2011, the CDC reported that 1 in 12 people in the US (approximately 25 million) have asthma, with the numbers rising every year. Can you imagine, then, how many people have chronic asthma in 2017?
Many people develop the disease as children. From then on they experience episodes of shortness of breath, chest tightening, coughing fits and wheezing. During asthma attacks, the airways leading to the lungs constrict, preventing enough air from passing in and out. Additionally, the body produces extra mucus, clogging the airways even more.
Needless to say, it can be a challenge for children and adults alike to live with this condition. Yet, you’ll be happy to know that it is manageable and doesn’t have to stop you from living a full, happy and healthy life. What are some things you can do to keep your asthma under wraps instead of it keeping you under wraps?
Triggers— things that make your body overreact — are what provoke attacks. However, what triggers one person may not trigger another. So it’s important that you pay attention to any common thread surrounding your attacks.
Do cigarette smoke, dust, mold or certain animals seem to launch your attacks? These are common causes but there could be others as well. Identifying triggers will help you avoid those things whenever possible and reduce your risk.
If your doctor has prescribed preventative medication, use it as directed. Following the doctor’s orders to a tee can help you to avoid flare-ups.
Too, always have your medication handy in case of an attack. Make sure beforehand that you know how to use it properly.The quicker you can act, the less you will have to suffer.
Regular check-ups will keep you informed about whether your asthma is under control. Your primary care physician can also give advice and recommendations on how to manage it more effectively and can customize an Asthma Action Plan with you. Also, getting a Pulmonary Function Test on a regular basis can let you know how your asthma is doing. We can do this test at Premier Family Medical so talk to your doctor about getting this ordered.
Get educated about what types of foods are good and bad for your condition. For example, saturated fats can prevent medications from working their best. It’s best to avoid eating too much of them. Yet, fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, which improve lung health. Clearly, these are a better diet choice.
By adjusting your diet appropriately, you can limit asthma-related problems.
After consulting with your doctor about what type of exercise is appropriate for you, try to be active. The more fit you are, the better. Plus, exercise can help you figure out how to better control your symptoms.
Exercise is highly recommended for individuals who are overweight. By slimming down, even just a little, there’s less pressure on the lungs.
As if the lungs aren’t already working hard enough, getting sick with a cold or the flu only makes matters worse. With asthma, it can be harder to recover from such illnesses.
Make sure to keep up to date on flu shots and other vaccinations. Extra precautions such as frequent hand washing and avoiding sick individuals can also serve as a protection. You can’t be too careful.
Whether you have a child with asthma or you live with the disease as an adult, these tips can work for you. While there’s not yet a cure, there’s much you can do to prevent attacks, lessen their frequency and, overall, manage symptoms. Staying happy and healthy with asthma is possible!