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 remove all allergens from your environment. However, there are many things that you can do to help reduce allergens and 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, hobbies, and recreation as causes of asthma symptoms.
When you or your child has warning signs that an asthma attack may occur, 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.
Treat Symptoms Early TOP
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 having 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.
Ask Your Doctor About Physical Activity TOP
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:
Get a Yearly Flu Shot TOP
When to Contact Your Doctor TOP
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.
If you are having a mild to moderate asthma attack and your medication does not work in the time it is supposed to, call your doctor. If you are having a severe asthma attack, take your asthma medication and get emergency medical help right away.
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Last reviewed September 2013 by Michael Woods, MD
Last Updated: 9/30/2013