Asthma Lifestyle

Asthma is a condition that, left untreated, can end up controlling your life. Asthma symptoms, which can be triggered by a variety of factors, cause the bronchial passages to constrict. Your lungs cannot get enough air and breathing becomes difficult. Read on to lean what steps you can take to manage your asthma and maintain your lifestyle.

Getting Your Asthma Under Control

If your asthma is being treated properly, you shouldn’t suffer any symptoms. Work with your doctor to create a treatment plan for your asthma. Inhalers, whether preventative or fast-acting, will most likely be cornerstone of your treatment. Asthma inhalers, however, are not the only mans of controlling your symptoms.

Asthma sufferers should keep in mind that with a few simple lifestyle changes, they can manage their symptoms and continue to participate in all the activities they know and love. Most asthma triggers are environmental. By taking steps to eliminate or minimize such triggers, you’ll be able to greatly reduce the frequency and severity of your asthma attacks.

Asthma and Pets

Pets are a common asthma trigger. Their fur, dander, and even the oils their skin produces may set off your asthma symptoms. While removing the animal from your living space is the most effective means of eliminating the trigger, it may not always be practical. If Fluffy is a permanent part of your family, there are ways to reduce his impact on your asthma symptoms. First, reduce the irritants and triggers that your pet is releasing into your home environment. Have another person wash the animal at least once a week. Next, clean your home thoroughly. Remove carpets, dust frequently, and use a HEPA air filter. Lastly, keep your pet out of your bedroom.

Pesky Problems That Trigger Asthma

The family pet is not the only potential trigger in your home. Less welcome creatures can also contribute to your asthma. Dust mites and cockroaches are both culprits. Dust mites thrive in humid, soft places with plenty of their food — shed human skin particles. Their prime residence is your bed. Clean your sheets regularly and use a dehumidifier in the bedroom. Cockroaches prefer dark places with access to food and water. Keep your kitchen spotless and hire an exterminator to ensure you are pest-free.

No Butts About It

There are many reasons why cigarette smoking is bad for your health. If you have asthma, though, it’s especially dangerous. Cigarette smoking can lead to the development of adult asthma. Furthermore, if you suffer from asthma, cigarette smoke (both from your own cigarette or secondhand smoke) can irritate your asthma symptoms. Forbid smoking in your home and avoid public areas with smokers.

The Weather Outside

If you have asthma, you should keep an eye on air quality conditions. Most weather reports mention the day’s air quality. A combination of pollen levels and air pollution, air quality is of particular importance to those with asthma. On days when the pollen count is high, try to limit your exposure to the air outside. Exercise indoors and use your air conditioner. Another sneaky trigger for your asthma may be air temperature. Cold air can be a shock to the lungs and set off your asthma symptoms. If this is the case, try breathing through your nose: it will warm the air slightly before it reaches your sensitive lungs.

Keep Moving

Exercise-induced asthma, as the name indicates, is asthma that is triggered when you exercise or engage in vigorous activities. First and foremost, if you experience asthma symptoms your condition is not being managed properly. Talk to you doctor about modifying your current asthma treatment. Your doctor needs to know about the type of activities you engage in and how your asthma is affected. Proper asthma treatment will allow you to continue your exercise routine.

Resources

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2008). Asthma. Retrieved March 14, 2009, from the Mayo Clinic Web site: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/asthma/DS00021.

Asthma Society of Canada Staff. (2009). Lifestyle. Retrieved March 14, 2009, from the Mayo Clinic Web site: http://www.asthma.ca/adults/lifestyle/exercise.php.