Asthma is a chronic lung disease that affects over 25 million Americans. Its severity ranges from intermittent to mild persistent, moderate persistent, and severe. Asthma causes regular inflammation (or swelling) in the lungs. When the lining of your lungs is already swollen, it makes them much more sensitive to different “triggers” such as pollen or mold.
These triggers can irritate anyone’s respiratory system. Who hasn’t gotten a cold or coughed from campfire smoke? However, if you add something as common as seasonal allergies to someone who deals with chronic inflammation, the sensitive lining of the lungs can become even more irritated. This leads to even more swelling, even more mucus, and the bronchial muscles can constrict tighter.
All of this makes breathing nearly impossible, triggering an asthma “attack”.
Asthma attacks can be deadly. According to AsthmaMD, there are nearly 4,000 deaths every year from asthma attacks and almost 25% of Emergency Room visits across the country are asthma-related. Although there is no cure for asthma, diligent prevention and management of symptoms are relatively easy.
Below are 3 ways to best manage your symptoms to help prevent an asthma attack:
Know Your Triggers
Asthma triggers are complex and wide-ranging. The most common triggers for adults and children under 18 are:
- Animal dander
- Pollution or smog
- Food Allergies (such as wheat or seafood)
- Strong fumes
- Weather conditions (especially cold air)
- Strong emotional reactions or laughing
Talking to a doctor can help you decide what your individual triggers and allergies may be. If you know what may set off an asthma attack, you can better control your environment and mitigate complications.
Put Down The Cigarettes
First and second-hand smoke can cause severe damage to the lungs on its own. The toxins in cigarettes paralyze the cilia in the lungs, which causes excess mucus, irritation, and heavy coughing.
Smoking can not only trigger a severe asthmatic episode, the damage it causes to the bronchial airways can weaken the lungs and worsen asthma symptoms.
Children exposed to second-hand smoke are extremely likely to develop asthma and worsening symptoms.
Create An Action Plan
Having a written action plan can be key in monitoring symptoms and preventing them from worsening.
Action plans tend to include a list of personal triggers, dosages for daily medications, including allergy medications, signs that asthma may be getting worse, and different breathing exercises that may be recommended daily or in case of worsening symptoms.
Breathing exercises such as the Papworth Method or Buteyko Breathing can supplement medications to control breathing, strengthen lungs and bronchial muscles, and prevent stress from making asthma worse.
Asthma is a common disease that changes with your body and environment. It’s important to keep an asthma diary and discuss any changes with your doctor regularly. This will help ensure that your symptoms are minimized to improve your quality of life.
Visit us at Medical Supply Depot for all the equipment you need to manage your symptoms.