General Guidelines for Managing Asthma
Making changes to lifestyle habits can help some people avoid asthma attacks. These changes may be:
- Reducing exposure to allergens or irritants that trigger asthma
- Paying attention to warning signs
- Asking a doctor about physical activity
- Getting a yearly flu shot
- Losing weight
- Getting the flu vaccine
- Avoiding smoke
Reducing Exposure to Allergens or Irritants That Trigger Asthma
Allergens may irritate asthma symptoms in some people. Reducing contact may help.
Paying Attention to Warning Signs
Get treatment for these warning signs:
- Shortness of breath and wheezing
- Chest tightness or pain
- Using bronchodilators more often
- Problems sleeping
- Frequent coughing, especially at night
Asking a Doctor About Physical Activity
Exercising can improve a person's health and mood. It can also reduce asthma attacks. People with asthma should:
- Have good asthma control before exercising.
- Warm up for at least 10 minutes before exercise. This can be walking or other low-intensity activities.
- Avoid triggers when exercising, such as high pollution levels, pollen, freshly cut grass, or cold.
- Increase new activities slowly.
Weight loss may improve control in people who are overweight or obese.
Getting the Flu Vaccine
Asthma can lead to a higher risk of flu-related problems. Adults and children older than 6 months old should get a yearly flu shot.
Smoking can trigger asthma and make symptoms worse. There are tools that can help people to quit.
Other sources of smoke can also trigger asthma, such as wood stoves or campfires.
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Last reviewed September 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD Last Updated: 8/14/2020