Asthma is a chronic disease that involves the inflammation of the airways of the lungs. Chronic means long-term, which means that this condition cannot be cured. However, its symptoms are easily prevented and managed.
By keeping asthma under control, it is possible to live a normal life without the troublesome symptoms, like shortness of breath and coughing, and to minimize your need for quick-relief medications or emergency care. But how exactly will you be able to keep asthma and its symptoms at bay?
Develop an asthma action plan
People diagnosed with asthma can greatly benefit from a personal asthma action plan, which you can discuss and create with your doctor. This customized plan will help you understand your asthma better and how you can manage it at home—whether your condition is mild, moderate, or severe. This involves your daily treatments, including which ones to take and when to take them, and when to seek professional help right away.
If your child is diagnosed with asthma, make sure to involve people who care for him or her in the asthma action plan, who includes teachers, babysitters, and daycare staff. The goal is to get his symptoms under control by following the instructions specifically mentioned in the action plan.
Take your asthma medications
Every asthma intervention is different from patient to patient, but if your healthcare provider has prescribed a daily medication for your asthma, it is important to take it as instructed—yes, even when you are not experiencing symptoms. To help you stay on track, establishing a fitting routine can help. Staying on schedule and not skipping your meds are important factors in successfully managing your asthma.
Reduce asthma triggers
Many asthma sufferers have inherited the condition, especially those with a family history of allergies. In cases like these, it is important to know what triggers your asthma for you to be able to minimize your exposure to such elements. These triggers may be allergens, irritants, or even other health conditions that worsen asthma symptoms.
Although they may vary from person to person, common asthma triggers include cockroaches, pet dander, dust mites, pollen, and indoor mold. Keeping the house clean, using proper air conditioning, and reducing moisture at home can help keep these allergens at bay. If possible, avoid strong odors, smoke, and sprays as they can be possible asthma irritants as well.
Have regular asthma checkups
At the beginning of your asthma treatment, you may have to see your doctor every two or six weeks, but the frequency may decrease once your asthma is properly controlled. During these appointments, your doctor will want to know about any recent asthma attack and if there are any changes in your symptoms. He or she may also assess if your medications are working fine or if you no longer need as much medication in order to control your asthma.
Know when to seek emergency care
While asthma is easily manageable in both adults and children, there might be times when medical attention is needed. If your medicines don’t effectively relieve an asthma attack, reach out to your doctor for advice. Meanwhile, call 9-1-1 if you already have trouble talking and walking due to shortness of breath or if your lips and fingernails have turned blue. At the healthcare facility, your blood oxygen saturation levels will be checked using a Welch Allyn SpO2 sensor. You will also be given oxygen and possibly higher dose medications that you can take at home.
By following your doctor’s advice and sticking to your personalized asthma action plan, it is indeed possible for asthma to be controlled and for affected individuals to live a completely normal and healthy life.