For an asthmatic, the struggles of asthma includes the day to day management of the disease is vital if they are to stay healthy.
The struggles of asthma also mean that medicines must be taken regularly and the patient must do all they can to minimize contact with known triggers of an attack.
To make this self management possible the patient and doctor must work together to create an individual action plan.
Naturally, this involves taking the correct medicines and learning to use the inhalers properly as well as having regular check-ups.
A key part of the plan is that the asthmatic needs to identify and avoid the things that can worsen or trigger the asthma symptoms.
If you have a pet keep it out of your house. Their hair or skin may be a triggers for your asthma.
You shouldn't smoke and should stay away from smokers.
Stay indoors with the A/C on, where possible, when the air is dry or full of pollen.
Wash your bedding, sheets and blankets, weekly in hot water to clean the dust mites.
Prevent colds and the flu by washing your hands often, sneezing into your elbow, not you hands and think about getting a yearly flu shoot.
You should wear a scarf over your mouth and nose when it is cold outside, especially if the cold air triggers your asthma.
Physical activity is important to your general health and to your asthma. If exercise triggers asthma attacks, speak with your doctor(s) with the goal being to find you exercises that will not cause asthmatic problems.
If you are allergic to sulphites, avoid foods (some breads, canned fruits, cereals with dried fruit) or beverages (beer, wine, cocktail mixes and most drinks containing sugar) that contain them.
Humidity in the home can assist molds and fungi grow in the home and to produce and release millions of spores small enough to be airborne and that may trigger asthma attacks when much above 50%.
Open windows throughout the house, especially in the kitchen or bathroom areas allowing the hot humid air from the shower or dishwasher to escape and use a dehumidifier in your basement if you have the need.
Be careful with furnaces, stoves, space heaters and similar combustion units. They can produce gases and airborne particles that can be triggers for asthmatics.
Change filters in the furnace of your home monthly or at least as often as the manufacturer recommends.
Check them over on an annual basis, by yourself, or better yet by someone who is knowledgeable about these. Check with your local gas company, most perform this service for free.
Avoid airborne perfumes, deodorants, or air fresheners and when painting or doing crafts make sure you are in a well ventilated area.
Be aware of signs and symptoms of an asthma attack, wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, or any difficulty in breathing.
Take your medication as directed by your doctor and use your peak flow meter to monitor your asthma.
A healthy lifestyle is part of the management and treatment of your asthma.
A healthy lifestyle will not make you, me or anyone immune from colds or illnesses and may not get rid of all of problems with allergies and asthma, but it is likely to help.
Increase the fruits and vegetables you eat and decrease the fats and sugars you eat, exercise often, find ways to control the stress in your life, and, of course, don't smoke.
If your asthma gets worse then you should get help from your doctor to either bring it back under control or alter your medication. Here are some of the telltale signs that things are deteriorating:
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