An estimated 25 million Americans are living with asthma. It’s a chronic disease that’s characterized by inflamed airways and difficulty breathing. Asthma attacks make airways swell even more, restricting breathing and causing wheezing, chest tightness, and other symptoms.
Having uncontrolled asthma can lower your quality of life and even put your life at risk. But the good news is that there are lots of ways to minimize your symptoms and take control of your asthma.
Partner with the doctors at Medical Associates of North Texas to get an asthma action plan that’s right for you. Our team is experienced in diagnosing and treating asthma and respiratory conditions in people of all ages, and we’re here to help you find ways to better manage your asthma in everyday life.
1. Learn your triggers
Asthma triggers are certain activities or things in your environment that make your airways even more inflamed than usual. Triggers can cause asthma attacks, coughing, and wheezing, but taking the time to learn your triggers can help you manage your asthma better.
Some common asthma triggers include tobacco smoke, air pollution, strong odors, and stress or strenuous activities, like exercise. If you have allergies, the allergens that you’re sensitive to could also trigger asthma attacks.
Pay attention to the conditions when your asthma flares up. Once you know your triggers, you can implement changes in your life to avoid them as much as possible.
2. Protect yourself outdoors
People with asthma are sensitive to air outdoors, and different seasons bring different challenges. Planning ahead can help you keep asthma symptoms at bay while you get on with your life.
Cold winter air can make your airways swell, which could trigger an asthma attack. Wearing a scarf over your nose and mouth can help warm air before it reaches your lungs. In the spring and summer, high pollen counts could make air more likely to trigger asthma attacks. Checking the pollen count regularly through a weather report can help you plan better for upcoming outings.
3. Clean your home regularly
Dust, dust mites, pet dander, and more are in every house — and they can make asthma symptoms worse. Keeping your house clean can minimize airborne allergens and help you keep your asthma symptoms under control.
Vacuum, dust, and wash your bedding at least once a week. If the air in your home is dry, consider using humidifiers to add moisture to the air. Moist, warm air can help relieve lung inflammation and reduce asthma symptoms.
4. Get regular exercise
Physical exertion can be an asthma trigger, but that doesn’t mean all types of exercise are off-limits. In fact, getting regular exercise can improve lung health and help you breathe easier.
According to one study, people with asthma who get 30 minutes of exercise every day are two and a half times more likely to have control over their asthma symptoms than those who didn’t work out. Opt for activities like swimming, yoga, or biking over more intense activities, like running or high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
5. Find a medication regimen that works
The two main types of asthma medication are quick-relief medications and long-term control medications. The right medication depends on factors like the severity of your asthma, along with your triggers, age, and overall health.
Our team generally recommends taking a daily long-term asthma control medication to reduce your risk of suffering asthma attacks. If you do suffer an attack, having a quick-relief medication on hand can minimize your symptoms and stop the attack.
6. Keep up with doctor’s visits
Asthma is a chronic disease and it requires ongoing care. At Medical Associates Of North Texas, your doctor works with you to help you find the best ways to manage your asthma symptoms.
Keeping up with your regular doctor’s visits ensures that your medications are working as well as they should. Together, you can develop and maintain an asthma action plan to keep you as healthy as possible throughout life.
People with asthma are at increased risk of complications from common illnesses, including the common cold, the flu, and COVID-19. Talk to your doctor to find out how you can protect yourself and your family from asthma-related health complications.
Breathe easier with asthma and respiratory care at Medical Associates of North Texas. Call our Fort Worth, Texas, office at 972-695-8053 or request an appointment online now.