Asthma is a chronic respiratory illness caused by the tightening of the bronchi, the passageways that air flows through in the lungs. Sufferers experience bad congestion that causes breathing difficulties, a chronic cough, wheezing, and other symptoms which reduce quality of life. In this article, we’ll give you eight tips to treat and control asthma.
Although for some it might be a minor sporadic inconvenience, other people suffer from it chronically, and an asthma attack can put their life at risk.
Who suffers from it? How can you control asthma naturally? This illness can exhibit different levels of severity as time passes. Therefore, sufferers need to take good care of themselves to complement their treatment.
Who Suffers from Asthma?
The World Health Organization claims that there are 235 million people who suffer from asthma in the world, nearly 5 per cent of the global population.
It’s a condition that affects people of all ages, although it tends to be more common in children. Even though the exact cause isn’t known, there are some possible environmental and genetic factors.
An asthma attack can be caused by exposure to irritants or substances that trigger allergic reactions. They’re also commonly due to respiratory illnesses or demanding physical activity.
Related factors include the following:
- Allergenic substances in the air (dust, pollen, mites, pet hair, etc.)
- Respiratory infections such as flu or the common cold
- Physical exercise
- Excessively cold air
- Contaminated air (such as by cigarette smoke)
- Medications such as beta-blockers, aspirin, or ibuprofen
- Strong emotions or stress
- Acid reflux
Tips to Control Asthma
Asthma is a chronic and unpredictable illness. As a result, it’s a good idea to have the right treatment with a medical control and assess possible complications.
As well as this, all sufferers should take measures to avoid an asthma attack. Below, we’ve shared some main recommendations on how to control asthma.
1. Avoid Exposure to Allergens
Asthma sufferers should try to stick to environments free from substances which could make their symptoms worse.
It’s important to avoid dust, mites, and animal fur, or any other identified allergen.
2. Do Breathing Exercises
Many asthma-sufferers should avoid demanding exercises. Despite this, it’s good to learn some breathing exercises to control anxiety if symptoms get worse.
3. Avoid Cigarettes
Cigarette smoke is one of the main triggers of asthma. Therefore, it’s important to avoid smoking or exposure to cigarette smoke.
4. Be Careful Doing Sports
There are some sports that are recommended for asthmatics. Swimming and exercise in warm, closed rooms are particularly recommended.
The important thing is to get assessed first so that you don’t engage in any harmful activities.
5. Take Your Medication
One mistake that many asthma sufferers make is not taking their medication when they don’t have symptoms.
It’s really important to follow the treatment prescribed by the doctor to have a good quality of life.
6. Don’t Self-Medicate
Be careful! Self-medication could bring on side effects, particularly if you already consume certain other medications.
It’s fundamental that you consult with a doctor before taking any other type of medicine.
7. Use Your Inhaler Properly
Correct use of an inhaler is crucial for reacting to an asthma attack. Although your doctor should have shown you, here’s a quick reminder of how to use your inhaler:
- Open your inhaler and prepare it, either by shaking it or twisting it.
- Exhale, hold your breath, and place the inhaler in your mouth.
- Breathe in deeply and hold your breath for 5 to 10 seconds. Then, return to breathing normally
Note: If your inhaler contains corticoids, it’s a good idea to rinse out your mouth afterwards.
8. Have Regular Check-ups
Regular check-ups by a specialist can be key in the prevention of any health complications. You should go for a pneumology consultation for spirometry testing regularly.
How to React to an Asthma Attack
Asthma attacks can be alarming and cause great worry, for witnesses as well as the patient.
However, it’s vitally important to stay calm and act quickly:
- If you have an inhaler, use it as soon as possible.
- If your doctor has recommended a different medication, take it as quickly as you can.
- Loosen your clothing to avoid a sensation of asphyxia.
- Control your breathing.
If you don’t notice any improvement, you should go to the emergency room. Sometimes, you may need professional intervention.