Asthma is a common chronic disease that can make it difficult to breathe. It is caused by inflammation and tightened muscles around the airway. While asthma is the most common chronic disease in children, people of any age can be affected. Common asthma symptoms include shortness of breath, chest tightness, wheezing and coughing.
Learning how to improve asthma by finding the right asthma treatment is crucial. While asthma is a lifelong condition, you can still live a fulfilled life thanks to proper treatment and management tools. Use the following tips for treating asthma to build a successful asthma management plan which allows you to live your life to the fullest.
1. Properly Prepare for Medical Visits
Asthma is not a temporary issue. There is currently no cure for asthma, so it requires daily effort to keep symptoms under control. While asthma is currently incurable, with proper care, the symptoms can be pretty mild. One of the best ways to manage asthma symptoms is to make an effort to work with your doctors.
By coming to doctor appointments prepared with questions and updates, you can make the most out of your appointments. In between appointments, you should take note of:
- Any new or worsening symptoms.
- Issues with medications.
- The number of asthma attacks you’ve experienced.
- Other important areas of discussion.
The more information you can provide your doctor, the more personalized care you can receive, which can often lead to better treatment options. Some questions you may want to ask your doctor include:
- Is this new symptom normal?
- Are there things I should change in my daily life to reduce the risk of an asthma attack?
- How can I monitor my asthma?
- What are my treatment options?
- Can this thing or experience be an asthma trigger?
- Should I add anything to my action plan?
Documenting your asthma experience may also help you cope with your asthma. You can express your feelings and work through any challenges in a productive way.
2. Develop an Asthma Management and Action Plan
A management plan is the routine you follow to best cope with your symptoms. Meanwhile, an action plan is available for anyone to use in case of emergency.
Action plans inform the people around you of the steps to take to help you during an attack. This is extremely helpful in an emergency situation — especially if you’re around people who are unfamiliar with asthma. This action plan should include crucial information, such as current medications, that can be relayed to doctors.
Useful information for an asthma action plan includes the following:
- Your primary health care provider’s contact information
- A list of asthma triggers or things that make your asthma worse
- Names and dosages of current medication
- Important medical history
- A detailed list of symptoms that indicate professional help is needed
- Instructions on medications to use during an asthma attack
- Emergency contact information
If you have specific wishes when it comes to an emergency, provide a detailed, step-by-step list of instructions. This can include information like:
- Hospital preferences.
- Approval to call an ambulance on your behalf.
- Whether or not you want your family informed.
Well-detailed action plans can make it much easier for people to help you during an emergency. Even with family or close friends, action plans can be beneficial — they have instructions and information to guide them during a stressful and potentially scary situation. Action plans are especially crucial for kids with asthma, as they may not be able to remember or relay the necessary information in a time of need.
3. Identify and Reduce Asthma Triggers
Once you know what can trigger your asthma, you can try and avoid any interaction with these triggers. While some triggers are unavoidable, there are ways to minimize their effects. There are a variety of triggers that can worsen your asthma symptoms. Take note of when asthma attacks occur to identify your personal triggers.
Common asthma triggers and ways to manage them are listed below.
These microscopic bugs can be in your home without you knowing. Allergen-proof sheets and pillowcases — and washing bedding weekly — can help reduce the chances of a dust mite-induced asthma attack. Also, use vacuums with HEPA filters to clean your floors.
Of course, smoke of any kind is unhealthy for people with asthma. If you have asthma, avoid smoking and secondhand smoke. Make your home and car smoke-free zones, and try to avoid anywhere where smoking is allowed. You should also consider explaining your situation to family and friends and ask them to refrain from smoking around you.
Air pollution, for the most part, is out of your control. However, you can minimize its effects by reducing your time spent outdoors on poor air quality days. Check the news or weather apps to learn more about the daily air pollution levels. If it is a high pollution day, you’ll want to move any outdoor activities inside or to another day if possible.
While you may love pets, they can be damaging to your health. Unfortunately, excessive exposure to pets can lead to an asthma attack. Ideally, you should try and keep your home a pet-free zone. However, if pets are around, you’ll want to decrease your exposure by keeping all pets out of your bedroom, using HEPA filter air cleaners and routinely bathing your pets.
4. Create an Asthma-Friendly Workout Routine
While exercising can be intimidating to people with asthma, exercise can actually help control asthma symptoms. During exercise, the lungs are strengthened. You’ll also practice breathing control and other breathing techniques. Maintaining a healthy weight through frequent exercise can also help decrease asthma symptoms.
Some exercises are better than others for those with asthma, so it’s always best to consult with your doctor before trying any new or intensive exercises.
Some tips for a successful asthma-friendly workout include the following:
- Working out indoors
- Properly warming up
- Performing low-intensity exercises
It’s also always essential to listen to your body. Take breaks when needed, and be careful not to push yourself past your limits.
5. Reduce Asthma Symptoms Through Chiropractor Visits
Visiting a chiropractor is another great way to relieve asthma symptoms. Frequent or routine chiropractor visits can help lead to fewer asthma attacks, improved airflow and better immunity.
Some people with asthma may find spine misalignment is worsening their symptoms. When the thoracic curve of the spine — the part of the spine that supports the rib cage — is misaligned, it can be harder for the lungs to expand properly. As a result, asthma symptoms will likely worsen. A chiropractor will be able to identify this misalignment and adjust the spine back into its proper place, providing some relief.
Chiropractors can also help release some tightness felt in the chest. For example, if needed, they can make adjustments to the part of the spine that supports the head to relax the muscles in the neck. Whatever your situation, a chiropractor can work with you to provide the best care to relieve some pain and other symptoms.
Contact Dr. Gertner at Upper Cervical Chiropractic of NY
If you’re seeking additional treatment for asthma, trust Dr. Gertner of Upper Cervical Chiropractic of NY to help. As one of only 200 doctors worldwide who are able to perform an advanced spinal correction known as NUCCA, Dr. Gertner can help return your body to a healthy state.
With integrity, honor, safety and compassion at the forefront, we aim to help all of our patients experience relief. Our care can help you build a lifetime of wellness so you can continue to enjoy the things that matter most. When you’re ready to experience the comfort and care you deserve, reach out to our team to see how we can help.