Coping With Asthma: Four Tips to Reduce Flare-Ups
Asthma sufferers can feel miserable from the chest tightness, shortness of breath, and wheezing brought on by an asthma attack. In fact, frequent asthma flare-ups can cause patients to reduce activities, miss school or work, and increase trips to the doctor or emergency department. Learning how to effectively manage asthma can reduce these occurrences and improve quality of life. If asthma is interfering with your usual activities, try these four tips to better manage the disease.
Pinpoint Your Triggers
Asthma triggers vary from person to person, so take some time to identify your own unique triggers. Some of the more common triggers include dust mites, mold, pet dander, pollen, and strong odors. Some people also experience an asthma attack with exercise or when they have a cold or respiratory infection. Other triggers include tobacco smoke and exposure to cold, dry air.
Tame Your Environment
If dust mites, mold, or pet dander trigger your asthma, take steps to control them in your home. This includes:
- dusting and vacuuming frequently and using a vacuum equipped with a HEPA filter
- encasing mattresses and pillows in dustproof covers
- washing sheets, blankets, and stuffed animals weekly in hot water
- reducing room humidity with a dehumidifier to discourage mold growth
- keeping pets out of the bedroom or outside when possible
- bathing dogs or cats weekly to reduce pet dander
Be Ready With an Action Plan
Work with your doctor to develop an individualized asthma action plan that is based on your symptoms, history, and current treatment. An action plan will help you track changes in your condition and adjust medication or make other changes if needed. It can also guide you in knowing when to seek medical help for an asthma attack.
Make Medicine A Regular Routine
Many patients are prescribed both a daily medication and rescue medication to use during an asthma attack. It’s important to take daily medication even if you are not experiencing symptoms. It’s best to take your medicine at the same time each day. Use an alarm or reminder on your cell phone so you don’t forget your medication. You can also sign up for a free, online medication reminder service.
Be sure and refill your prescription on time so you don’t run out and risk missing a dose. Try adding a refill reminder to your calendar. Some pharmacies also offer automatic refill services.
Need Help With Your Asthma?
The pulmonary team at LeBauer Healthcare is specially trained to care for patients with asthma. Our pulmonologists can review your symptoms and create a treatment plan that’s right for you. Call LeBauer Pulmonary Care at 336-547-1801 for an appointment today.