Are you controlling your asthma, or is it controlling you? Controlling your asthma may seem like an impossible task, but there are several steps you can take to reduce any negative effects on your quality of life. Here’s what you need to know.
Identify And Avoid Asthma Triggers
Asthma doesn’t typically “flare-up.” Coughing and wheezing usually signal that you’ve been triggered by something. If you are coughing or having trouble breathing without other respiratory symptoms, take note of what’s around you.
Common asthma triggers to be aware of include a variety of conditions.
- Weather conditions
- Activity and Exercise
- Known Allergens
- Respiratory Illness
Over time, you’ll be able to identify patterns and triggers. Log the information in your asthma journal or action plan. Your medical professional will want to know which triggers you’ve identified.
While this seems counterintuitive, regular exercise can help control your asthma. Strengthening your lungs will help give you more control over your asthma. One study showed that those who exercised 30 minutes a day were 2 1⁄2 times more likely to have control over their asthma than those who didn’t exercise at all.
Walking is a great choice for almost all fitness levels. This form of exercise is gentle on the body, which makes it easier to breathe. Walk outside on warm days. Dry cool air can trigger asthma. During winter, you can walk on a treadmill or indoor track.
Is It More Than Asthma?
A common mistake that people with asthma make is assuming that all lung issues are related to their asthma. It’s possible that your cough is actually a symptom of a respiratory illness or other condition.
- Colds & Flu
- Sleep Apnea
- Sinus Infections
- Acid Reflux
Automatically assuming that all breathing issues are asthma-related can result in worsening conditions that could damage your lungs. For out-of-the-ordinary or long-lasting symptoms, consult your healthcare professional immediately.
Clean the House
Pets are great companions but they can also trigger asthma attacks. Make sure you take regular times throughout the week to dust and vacuum your home. This will help reduce your exposure to pet dander and other pet-related allergens.
Consider The Weather
The weather has an effect on those with asthma and can cause breathing issues. Be aware of the weather before leaving your home and prepare accordingly.
For instance, air quality during fire season or extremely humid weather can trigger asthma. So if the weather outside is less than ideal, be sure to grab a scarf or something to cover your face. During allergy season, keep track of pollen levels and avoid going outside when they’re really bad.
The best way to control your asthma is to do spirometry daily. Apps like Aluna allow you to track your lung function over time and can even help predict an exacerbation before it occurs.
If you suffer from asthma, you CAN manage and monitor your symptoms, it doesn’t have to control you.