How to Manage Asthma
Managing your asthma should be considered an art. Every new environment and situation demands adaptability and care. These tips can help you further your effort and make each day enjoyably asthma-free or at least asthma-reduced.
Published: Tuesday 02 May 2017
As your environment changes, your asthma symptoms are likely to be affected and you will be exposed to unfamiliar triggers. Your normal routine could be throw off by a different schedule, increasing the risk of attacks.
The key is to prepare for every eventuality in advance and control your asthma as best you can while you are away from home.
- Do your research - find out what potential triggers you could come across in the new location and make plans to avoid or minimise exposure.
- Make sure you bring along enough medication for your whole stay and any emergencies. An extra prescription couldn’t hurt either, just in case.
- It is also a good idea to have a list of emergency contacts, insurance information and all the documents necessary (prescriptions, travel documents with copies saved to your email account or Cloud account) for any medication emergencies when you are abroad.
- Have a back-up inhaler with you at all times and do NOT check them in (your luggage can be lost or delayed).
If you find your symptoms are worse at work, it is possible that certain triggers present at your workplace induce asthma attacks. In this case, it is best to speak to your doctor for advice on how to tackle these. Perhaps change the environment to one more asthma-friendly or minimise the exposure to common triggers including dust, pollen, chemicals, smoke, fumes, animal dander and mold. Ventilation and poor air quality at work can also affect your reactions.
It is worth keeping in mind that stress is a very common trigger for many asthma sufferers. If you are one such sufferer, try practicing relaxation techniques, joining a yoga class or meditating.
Reduce the presence of triggers in your home once you have identified them. Read up on the different types and remember that a trigger for one asthma sufferer is not necessarily the same for another. Each individual also has their own combination of triggers that can increase the incidence of attacks.
Set Yourself Targets
Make a plan and stick to it. Goals you can add to the list include: not having any hospital stays related to asthma or not allowing the symptoms stop you from participating in physical activities.
Follow your Doctor’s Advice
Ensure you are taking your treatment as directed. Even if you are not experiencing symptoms, take the medication as prescribed by your doctor. Make sure you do not run out or miss a dose. The best way to ensure you are taking the treatment properly is to establish a routine, for which you can set a reminder in your phone or calendar to alert you when the time comes for you to take a dose.
You can also keep a record of every time you have symptoms to discover all the triggers, combinations and also note when you have taken the medication, at which date you refilled your prescription and when you would need to fill it again. A dose counter can help you monitor the exact amount to dispense each time you need a dose of the treatment.
Visit your Doctor If:
- You have more than 3 severe asthma attacks per year
- You visit the hospital one or more a year due to asthma
- You have symptoms despite taking your medication as directed by the prescriber
These are signs that your asthma could be poorly controlled and you should contact your doctor for an action plan and tips on how to manage your asthma.
Should you need them Pharmica prescribes Ventolin inhalers that act quickly to treat asthma symptoms.
Authored by Iris Barbier
Born in France, Iris moved to the UK to study Biological Sciences at London Metropolitan University. Upon graduating, Iris moved up north, where she completed an MA in Science Journalism at the University of Lincoln.
As a qualified science journalist, Iris uses her expertise to write content for Pharmica’s online Health Centre. She ensures our patients get specialist knowledge on medical conditions and how to treat them.