In the US alone, there are approximately 25 million people who deal with asthma. Asthma, if not managed properly and effectively, can be life-threatening.
If you or anyone in your family has asthma, keep in mind these 10 ways to deal with it safely and effectively:
1. Always keep an inhaler with you
If there is one thing asthmatics need to have with them at all times, it is the albuterol inhaler. There are countless stories of people with asthma who suffered severe complications like lung collapse and even death, just because they forgot to bring along an inhaler.
2. Identify environmental triggers
Each asthmatic person has different triggers, environmental factors that can cause asthma symptoms to worsen or precipitate an asthma attack. Common triggers are pet dander, dust, tobacco smoke, mold, and air pollution. Determining which triggers you are most commonly exposed to and eliminating or reducing them will help you manage your asthma symptoms better.
3. Create and familiarize your asthma action plan
This is a written detailed outline of what you should do if an asthma attack occurs or becomes imminent. You can draft this together with your physician on your next visit and develop a flowchart of the action steps you need to remember. Learn more about how to put an asthma action plan together through this guide.
4. Maintain clean indoors
- Swap carpets for wood, laminate flooring, or tiles, if possible.
- Vacuum and mop once or twice a week.
- Change filters regularly if you are using air filters.
- Exercise good pest control.
- Wash stuffed toys and beddings in hot water weekly.
- Use dust-mite covers on pillows and mattresses.
- Implement a strict no-smoking rule indoors.
5. Assign pet-free zones in the home
Dog and cat dander are common triggers for asthma. By limiting their accessibility to some areas of the home, you can also limit frequency and likelihood of asthma attacks.
6. Don’t crank up the humidifier or evaporative cooler
Introducing too much moisture can induce asthma symptoms. Keep the indoor humidity levels between 40-50% if you live with someone sensitive to mold or dust mites.
7. Maintain a healthy weight
Obesity and asthma don’t go well together, as the extra weight puts them at increased risk for asthma symptoms and hospitalizations. Encourage healthy eating habits and prepare well-balanced meals to help the asthmatics in your home maintain a healthy weight.
8. Eat in
Some foods like fish, eggs, and cow’s milk can trigger asthma symptoms. To be on the safe side and avoid any problematic foods when dining out, prepare meals at home instead.
9. Take exercise precautions
Consult your doctor if you need to use an inhaler prior to workouts or engaging in sports.
10. Monitor asthma with a peak flow meter
This device measures a person’s ability to expel air out from the lungs, and help determine whether your asthma treatment is working.
Read the full article by Everyday Health here for more information on dealing with asthma effectively.
Do you or anyone you know suffer from asthma? How are you currently managing symptoms? Let us know in the comments below!