Asthma is a very common lung condition that affects millions, not just in the United States, but all over the globe. According to EMedicineHealth, one-third of the 17 million asthma patients in the US are children. In fact, it is the most common chronic condition among younger people.
While asthma is a chronic diseaseómeaning it stays with the affected person for the rest of his lifeóit is highly manageable. The best thing you can do to control your condition and to live your life as normally as possible is to know what you can do to keep the disease and its symptoms at bay.
Learn about your illness.
Before anything else, it is best to know everything about your illness. When you have a good understanding about your asthma, you become less anxious and fearful, which is important during an attack when youíre suddenly not able to breathe freely. When you are more aware of your body and how it works and reacts to certain triggers, you will be less surprised by an asthma attack, increasing your chances of successfully controlling your condition when it happens. Donít hesitate to ask your healthcare provider about any qualms that may have been bugging you regarding your asthma.
Create an asthma action plan.
For people with asthma, an action plan is essential in keeping it under control in case of a sudden attack. This is especially important for children with asthma, especially when they are out of the comforts of home dealing with people who might have little to no clue about their condition.
If you havenít yet, work with your doctor when putting together an asthma action plan. This plan contains a list of the most vital things to remember to control your asthma, which includes when and how much medicine to take, a list of things that can trigger your asthma and how you can avoid them, and what to do when you experience specific asthma symptoms.
Steer clear from triggers.
The key to asthma control is to reduce your exposure to asthma triggers as much as possible. Considering the most common irritants of asthma symptoms, patients are encouraged to use proper air conditioning at home, as it effectively reduces airborne pollen that finds its way indoors. Also, minimize dust inside the home by decontaminating your dťcor and furniture. If you have pets yet are allergic to pet dander, have them regularly groomed and bathed. And donít forget to wear a mask when cleaning your home at least once a week.
Secure a peak flow meter.
Your doctor may require you to use a peak flow meter, which is a hand-held gadget that is used to measure how fast air comes out when you exhale hard after taking a full breath in. Particularly, what you are measuring is the peak expiratory flow, which is something that your doctor might have you monitor to help you determine trouble. Once the PEF goes down the normal level, that could be a sign that your asthma is worsening. In the clinical setting, a Datex Ohmeda SpO2 device may be used to measure your blood oxygen saturation, which further helps determine the extent of your condition.
Keep yourself healthy.
The most important thing you can do to keep asthma symptoms under control is to take care of your overall health. Having asthma doesnít mean you canít get regular exercise. Being active actually helps strengthen your lungs and heart, which eventually helps relieve asthma symptoms. Meanwhile, make sure to keep your weight within healthy limits. Being overweight not only puts you at risk for a myriad of health problems, but it can also easily trigger asthma symptoms.
Asthma may remain with you all your life, but that doesnít mean it can take all the life out of you. By being fully informed and involved in the treatment of your disease, it is completely possible to live life on your own terms amidst such condition.