People with asthma suffer from chest tightness and coughing and often have trouble sleeping during asthma attacks. For athletes, competitive swimmers, cross-country runners, and other physically active individuals, exercise-induced asthma (EIA) can limit performance and sideline a training regimen.
Whether it’s the playground, office, or gym, asthma can interfere with daily life. Unfortunately, there is no cure for asthma. To manage their symptoms, they can use inhalers or other medications. Since severe cases can be life-threatening, it’s vital for people with this asthma to know the right response to regulate their condition.
Here’s a five-step guide on how to manage your asthma symptoms:
1. Test for Asthma
The good news is that most asthmatics can be recognized and treated so they can effectively control their symptoms. A simple breathing or skin test can tell a doctor if you have asthma.
A skin test uses small amounts of an allergen, such as pollen. After that, a small amount of your blood is taken and put on your skin.
The breathing test includes exhaling into a tube to measure lung capacity. If the test shows that your airways are inflamed, you may have asthma.
2. Take Medications Properly
Doctors encourage asthma patients to use inhalers every day to prevent asthma attacks. You must know how to treat your asthma. Inhalers and medicines you take by mouth are also helpful.
An inhaler is very simple to use and can instantly relieve symptoms. To use it, you must put in additional work in bringing it along with you at all times. While oral drugs can work as well, the effects may take a while to come up.
In addition to taking your medicine, you can do the following:
Keep track of how fast you can move. This is an easy way to measure lung capacity. For peak flow, use a meter or ask your doctor. Most clinics keep a stock of peak flow meters.
At home, exhale as long as you can in one breath to measure peak flow. You may learn what your lungs can do. The American Lung Association recommends measuring asthmatic peak flow before exercising. If you can’t do it alone, ask a family member, friend, or trustworthy person.
3. Know When to Use Your Medication
Asthma drugs function best when used before symptoms develop. Many people only use inhalers or other asthma treatments while sick. However, that’s not the best way to manage asthma.
Most asthma treatments can lead to a rebound effect. You’ll experience significant asthma symptoms if you stop taking your prescription for a while. Thankfully, this is only temporary.
4. Eat Well, Get Plenty of Rest, and Manage Stress
You can manage your asthma symptoms with good eating habits, rest, and stress management techniques.
One of the most important steps is to avoid air pollution. Air pollution can trigger asthma attacks. Doctors usually suggest you stay indoors on high pollution days.
For asthma patients, eating healthy is essential, and you should avoid foods that contain high levels of saturated and trans fats, salt, and sugar. These foods can increase inflammation in the body, triggering asthma attacks.
5. For Athletes, Don’t Forget to Use Your Medication
You need to know that physical activity can trigger an asthma attack if you have asthma. Therefore, it is essential to use your medication if you plan to work out or be involved in athletic activities. Avoid working out in areas that have high levels of air pollution.
Even if you have asthma, you don’t have to stop exercising altogether. Consult your doctor and make adjustments to your workout to work for you. Exercise can help improve your overall health.
If you have asthma or think you may be developing asthma symptoms, see a doctor right away. Asthma is treatable. With the right treatments, you can live a normal life. The tell-tale wheeze in the middle of the night, the coughing fit that won’t go away, the shortness of breath on a walk that used to be easy—these are all signs of asthma. See your doctor if you feel like your breathing isn’t what it used to be.
Contact us if you feel you need assistance with asthma symptoms management. Agile Urgent Care provides accessible, cutting-edge, and affordable care for injuries or illnesses that can’t wait for your regular doctor but aren’t severe enough to warrant a pricey emergency room visit. Contact us immediately and let us know how we can assist you!