How to Control Asthma

Asthma results in a narrowing of the airways and is one of the most alarming chronic conditions, but also one of the easiest to manage. Ask your doctor to draw up an action plan of medications for when you are symptom-free (you will still need your regular controller medication), when you have mild symptoms (you will need a reliever inhaler to open airways), and when you have severe symptoms you may need additional medication like cortico-steroids and professional help).

Avoid Triggers

Infections are the most common triggers for asthma attacks, and flu shots are recommended. Other potential triggers are cigarette smoke, fumes, dust, pollen or pets. If your asthma is difficult to control, see an allergist to test what you are allergic to. Certain medicines can lead to asthma attacks in susceptible people. These include pain pills such as aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory tablets, beta-blockers for heart disease and glaucoma, and some cold and flu remedies.

Check your Weight

Maintaining a healthy weigh puts less strain on-your heart and lungs. Drink lots of water to help keep mucus in your airways loose.

Move

Regular workouts will help you cope better by strengthening muscles, boosting your immune system and helping you stay a healthy weight. Swimming is particularly recommended, but any exercise is good. Warm up and cool down slowly. Keep your inhaler handy at all times, but if you are having an attack, don’t exercise. If you find you’re not able to exercise freely, your asthma is not under control. Make an appointment to see your doctor to discuss your medications, how you’re taking them, and any trigger factors.

Stop Smoking

Even second-hand smoke is a common asthma trigger.