Lifestyle Changes to Manage Asthma
by Michelle Badash, MS
Reducing Your Risk
Talking to Your Doctor
Living With Asthma
Living With Asthma
General Guidelines for Managing Asthma
Making some lifestyle changes can help you avoid triggers that may cause an asthma attack.
Because there are many types of allergens that may trigger asthma, it is nearly impossible to completely eliminate all allergens from your environment. However, there are many things that you can do to help reduce allergens and minimize your exposure to asthma triggers.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute offers these suggestions:
Other strategies for controlling allergens include:
Be sure your doctor knows the details of what you do at work. Do not overlook the effect of work (including work at home), hobbies, and recreation as avoidable causes of asthma symptoms.
When you or your child experience warning signs that an asthma attack may be imminent, begin treatment as recommended by your physician.
Warning signs include:
Weather changes may worsen asthma symptoms, especially in children. If the humidity increases or the temperature changes, pay close attention to your child's symptoms.
Although not all asthma attacks can be prevented, early treatment can significantly reduce the severity of the symptoms. Take all the necessary precautions to prevent asthma attacks, and treat symptoms as early as possible to avoid escalation to a serious attack.
Consider using an online program to manage your symptoms. These programs can help to improve the control of your asthma and your lungs' function. Organizations like the http://www.lungusa.org/ and the http://www.aafa.org/ offer information on web-based asthma management tools and support groups.
Your doctor may recommend that you limit strenuous physical activity after an asthma attack. In general, asthma should not limit your participation or success in physical activities. Consider the following when exercising:
When to Contact Your Doctor
Stay in contact with your doctor between visits, especially if your symptoms are changing. Whether you stay in contact over the phone, through email, or through your doctor's website, good communication can help you stay out of the hospital and have better control of your asthma.
Keep in mind, too, that if you are having a mild to moderate asthma attack and your medicine does not work in the time it is supposed to, call your doctor. If you are having a severe asthma attack, take your asthma medicine and get emergency medical help right away.
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Last reviewed October 2012 by Brian Randall, MD
Last Updated: 10/11/2012