Asthma Control: Improve Your Quality of Life with These Tips

The symptoms of asthma can be mild, moderate, or severe and can come and go. The causes of asthma are not always clear, but there are factors that can trigger symptoms. There is no cure for asthma, but there are many effective treatments that can reduce asthma symptoms, including inhaled and oral medications, and lifestyle changes.

In this article, we will discuss how to manage asthma. We will provide tips on controlling your symptoms, avoiding triggers, and living a fulfilling life with asthma.

What is asthma?

Asthma is a chronic disease that affects the airways. The airways are the tubes that carry air to the lungs. In people with asthma, the airways become inflamed and narrow, making breathing difficult. Asthma can be triggered by various factors, including exercise, dust, pollen, smoke, and pets.

The most common symptoms are wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. Asthma symptoms typically occur episodically and at any time of the day, although they commonly appear predominantly at night and during the early morning hours.

Asthma can occur at any age, but it is more common to develop in childhood, often associated with an allergic component. In adults, it is more commonly associated with sinusitis, nasal polyps, and sensitivity to aspirin or aspirin-related anti-inflammatory drugs.

How is asthma diagnosed and what tests are used?

The diagnosis of asthma is made through a clinical evaluation of the patient and a physical examination. The doctor may also perform tests to rule out other conditions that may be causing the symptoms. The most common tests used to diagnose include:

  1. Spirometry: a test that measures the amount of air a person can exhale and the speed at which they do it. This test can help assess lung function and detect the presence of airway obstruction.
  2. Peak Expiratory Flow (PEF) monitoring: a test that measures the speed at which a person can exhale air. This test can help assess lung function and detect the presence of airway obstruction.
  3. Bronchial provocation test: a test that evaluates the response of the airways to different stimuli, such as physical exercise or allergens.
  4. Methacholine challenge test: this test is used to measure the response of the airways to a medication that causes inflammation.
  5. Blood tests and allergy tests: these tests can help identify allergens that may be triggering asthma symptoms.

What are the common triggers?

Asthma triggers are various elements that can worsen symptoms. Some of the most common asthma triggers include:

  • Allergens: Allergens are substances that can cause an allergic reaction. Common allergens that can trigger asthma include pollen, mold, pet dander, and dust.
  • Respiratory infections: Respiratory infections, such as the common cold and the flu, can trigger asthma.
  • Exercise: Exercise can trigger asthma in some people.
  • Cold and humidity: Cold and humid air can trigger in some people.
  • Smoke: Tobacco smoke, wood smoke, and wildfire smoke can trigger asthma.
  • Medications: Some medications, such as antibiotics, beta-blockers, and pain relievers, can trigger asthma.
  • Stress: Stress can trigger asthma in some people.
  • Temperature changes: Temperature changes, such as going from a warm environment to a cold one, can trigger asthma in some people.

It is important to identify asthma triggers in order to avoid them and reduce the frequency and severity of symptoms.

Tips on how to avoid asthma triggers:

  • Stay away from allergens: If you know you’re allergic to something, try to avoid it as much as possible. You can use an air purifier in your home to help reduce allergens in the air.
  • Stay away from irritants: Avoid smoking and being around people who smoke. Also, avoid cleaning products and other irritants that may irritate your airways.
  • Stay warm when it’s cold: Wear warm clothing when it’s cold to help protect your airways from cold air.
  • Take asthma medications as prescribed: If you have asthma, it’s indispensable to take your medications as prescribed by your doctor. This will help control your asthma and reduce the risk of asthma attacks.
  • Stay fit: Exercise can help control asthma. However, if you have asthma, it’s important to talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise program.
  • Manage stress: Stress can trigger asthma attacks. There are many things you can do to manage stress, such as exercising, practicing relaxation techniques, and spending time with loved ones.
  • Know your triggers: It’s essential to know your triggers so you can avoid them as much as possible. If you have an asthma attack, it’s essential to use your inhaler or seek medical attention immediately.

What are the most common treatments?

The treatment of asthma may include inhaled medications such as bronchodilators and corticosteroids, oral medications such as antileukotrienes, and lifestyle modifications. The goal of treatment is to control symptoms, prevent asthma attacks, and improve quality of life. Here are some common treatments:

  1. Inhalers: Inhalers are the mainstay of asthma treatment. They deliver medication directly to the airways, providing quick relief of symptoms and long-term control. There are two types of inhalers:
    • Short-acting bronchodilators: These provide immediate relief during an asthma attack by relaxing the airway muscles and opening up the airways.
    • Long-acting bronchodilators and corticosteroids: These are used for long-term control and prevention of symptoms. They reduce inflammation in the airways and help prevent asthma attacks.
  2. Nebulizers: Nebulizers are devices that convert liquid medication into a fine mist that can be inhaled through a mask or mouthpiece. They are often used for people who have difficulty using inhalers, such as young children or older adults.
  3. Oral medications: In some cases, oral medications may be prescribed to manage asthma symptoms and reduce inflammation in the airways. These medications may include leukotriene modifiers, such as montelukast, or oral corticosteroids for short-term use during severe asthma exacerbations.
  4. Allergy medications: If allergies trigger your asthma symptoms, your doctor may recommend allergy medications, such as antihistamines or nasal corticosteroids, to help manage your allergies and reduce asthma symptoms.
  5. Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy, also known as allergy shots, may be recommended for people with severe allergies that trigger asthma symptoms. It involves receiving regular injections of small amounts of allergens to desensitize the immune system and reduce allergic reactions.
  6. Lifestyle modifications: Making certain lifestyle changes can help manage asthma symptoms and reduce the risk of flare-ups. These may include:
    • Identifying and avoiding triggers: Determine what triggers your asthma symptoms and take steps to avoid exposure to those triggers as much as possible.
    • Maintaining a clean living environment: Keep your home clean and free of dust mites, pet dander, and other allergens. Use mattress and pillow covers designed to reduce allergen exposure.
    • Managing stress: Stress can worsen asthma symptoms, so finding healthy ways to manage stress, such as through exercise, relaxation techniques, or therapy, can be beneficial.
    • Regular exercise: Exercise is generally encouraged for people with asthma, as it can improve lung function and overall fitness. However, it’s important to work with your doctor to develop an exercise plan that suits your condition and to use a bronchodilator before exercising if needed.
    • Quitting smoking: If you smoke, quitting is essential for managing asthma. Smoking can worsen asthma symptoms and increase the risk of complications.

Remember to consult with your healthcare provider for personalized advice and management of your asthma. They can provide specific recommendations based on the severity of your symptoms and individual circumstances.

How can asthma be controlled at home?

There are various measures you can take at home to control asthma, including:

  • Improve indoor air quality by maintaining good ventilation and avoiding the use of chemicals and disinfectants that can trigger asthma symptoms.
  • Identify and reduce asthma triggers at home, such as dust mites, mold, and pet dander.
  • Make healthy lifestyle changes, like exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Take asthma medications as prescribed and avoid making changes to the treatment plan without consulting a healthcare provider.
  • Have an emergency supply of at least 30 days’ worth of prescribed medications, such as asthma inhalers, and ensure you have at least 30 days’ worth of over-the-counter medications and supplies in case you need to stay at home for an extended period.
  • Learn how to use the inhaler correctly and take everyday precautions to avoid asthma triggers.
  • In case of an asthma attack, sit upright, try to stay calm, take a puff of a reliever inhaler, and seek medical attention if the rescue inhaler is needed more than three times a week.

Final recommendation

It is important to consult with a doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan for asthma. Specialized doctors from the online healthcare platform Wortix are available to assist you. Our healthcare professionals can provide guidance. Sign up for Wortix today and schedule an appointment to receive the treatment and care you require.

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Reference:

https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/asthma 

https://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/asthma

 https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/asthma/symptoms-causes/syc-20369653

 https://www.cdc.gov/asthma/index.h

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Introducing the ultimate Global Healthcare Network app – your comprehensive solution for all things health-related. Seamlessly connecting Patients, Doctors, and Healthcare Organizations, our app revolutionizes the way healthcare is managed.

Download our app

USA

801 International Parkway, 5th Floor Lake Mary, Florida 32746 contact@wortix.com

PERU

Av. Petit Thouars 1813, Lince +51 900 900 238 contact@wortix.com

SINGAPORE

35 Selegie Road, #09-22 PARKLANE SHOPPING MALL. contact@wortix.com

MEXICO

Av. Baja California 39, Roma Sur, CDMX
+52 56 2987 3532
contact@wortix.com