Do you know the signs and symptoms of asthma? 20 million Americans have asthma, a condition that affects breathing and lung function. More and more people are being diagnosed with asthma, and the treatments vary depending on the person affected and the severity of the symptoms.
Some of the most common symptoms of asthma to be aware of are:
– A tight chest feeling
– Coughing and wheezing
– Trouble sleeping
– Weakness and trouble breathing – especially during exercise
Allergens and colder weather can make these symptoms worse or more frequent. It is important to know how to control and treat your asthma symptoms so that they do not get worse and cause an emergency. We’ve compiled a list of tips below to help keep asthma symptoms minimal and mild.
1. Avoid smoke. Smokers are much more likely to suffer major asthma symptoms. But even non-smokers should be careful to stay away from tobacco smoke which damages airways and could cause an asthma attack.
2. Know what triggers your asthma. If you can identify the things that trigger your asthma, you will be better able to avoid having an asthma attack or experiencing symptoms. Things with strong scents, cold weather, or smoky air can all trigger asthma. You may find it helpful to keep a journal to write down triggers as you discover them.
3. Avoid Allergens. Allergens in the air can be triggers for asthma symptoms. Be extra aware of allergen levels during the allergy seasons.
4. Reduce Stress. Stress is a common trigger for many people with asthma. When a person is stressed, the body releases hormones that increase breathing and heart rate. It is no surprise then that finding ways to relax can be very helpful in preventing and reducing allergy symptoms. Massage, meditation, relaxing baths and exercise are great ways to relax and can be very effective for asthma symptoms.
5. Find a medication that works well for you. Usually a person with asthma requires two types of medications: One for emergencies that works quickly and long-term, and one for long-term relief. An allergist or asthma specialist will be able to help walk you through which medications are needed and will be most effective for you.
6. Exercise. Regular exercise can dramatically improve asthma symptoms. However, some exercise can actually be harmful so it is important to be intentional about the specific kind of exercise you do. Warming up and focusing on exercise that does not require long periods of strenuous work is the best way to exercise in a way that best for your health.
7. Keep your home clean. Carpet, furniture, pets, bedding, and other household items collect allergens and dust which can cause complications with asthma. To reduce symptoms in your home vacuum, mop, and dust regularly.
8. Eat Healthy. Getting certain vitamins and nutrients in your diet can play a crucial role in controlling asthma symptoms. Vitamin C, for example, is anti-inflammatory. It helps clear air passages and improves lung function. Reducing salt can also improve asthma symptoms.
9. Spend some time in the sun. When we spend time in the sun, our bodies produce vitamin D, which is important for overall health and can be very helpful for reducing asthma complications.
10. Have an emergency asthma plan. In the event of an asthma attack, it is important to have a plan that you and a person nearby knows. Write down what medications are necessary and how to take them. If needed you can show this plan to a nearby person so that they can get you the help you need.
While common, asthma can be life-threatening if not properly monitored and treated. Talk to your doctor about the best ways to lessen and prevent your asthma symptoms.
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