5 tips to manage your asthma

Keep your asthma under control

Asthma is a long term respiratory condition but with adequate management, it does not have to disrupt your life. Here are 5 tips to help you manage your asthma and keep your symptoms under control: 

1. Use your inhaler correctly 

Incorrect inhaler technique can result in your symptoms getting worse as it prevents the medicine from reaching the lungs properly. If you are unsure how to use it properly, or need to brush up on your technique, seek advice from your doctor or a nurse, or view this article on correct inhaler use. There are video resources available online from organisations such as Asthma UK which instruct you on how to use your inhaler. A metered-dose inhaler requires you to press down on the canister and breathe in at the same time. Getting it wrong may cause the medicine to hit the back of the mouth or throat instead of going straight to the lungs. If you struggle to use your inhaler properly, you can use a spacer for assistance. 

2. Identify your triggers 

There are many possible factors that can trigger asthma symptoms. These commonly include: 

  • The cold or flu virus 
  • Allergies 
  • Dust mites 
  • Animal fur 
  • Smoke 
  • Pollution 
  • Medications 
  • Stress 
  • Emotions 
  • Weather 
  • Damp 
  • Exercise 

You may not know what triggers your asthma when you are diagnosed with it. Keeping an asthma diary to record when and where your symptoms flare up, what environmental factors are present and what you were doing can help to identify your triggers. You can then take steps to avoid them or minimise your contact with them. 

3. Keep allergies under control 

Allergies are a common trigger for asthma. These can include dust mites, pet hair or fur and pollen. Taking antihistamines and using nasal sprays to control hayfever; limiting your exposure to animals and cleaning regularly and installing an air purifier are all things you can do to keep allergies under control. In turn, this will reduce your asthma symptoms.  

4. Have regular check-ups 

Your doctor will help you put together a written action plan to help manage your asthma. This will detail how and when to take your medicine, what your triggers may be and what to do in the event of an asthma attack. Keeping this up to date is important so that you are able to keep your asthma under control. Your doctor may wish to test your breathing and lung function and review your symptoms to ensure your condition is not worsening. 

5. Use your preventer inhaler daily 

If you find that you are using your blue reliever inhaler more than twice a week, you will need to tell your doctor so that they can prescribe you with a preventer inhaler. This is a steroid inhaler that is used twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening, to prevent asthma symptoms from occurring, relieving inflamed airways. You should keep using it even if you feel better as your airways are likely to become inflamed again. 

View all asthma treatments

Sources: 

Asthma UK> Managing Asthma in Adults
NHS> Asthma-causes

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