You Can Live Well With Asthma
You can live a full and active lifestyle despite having asthma. You'll need to work closely with your doctor, follow your treatment plan, avoid asthma triggers and use self-care.Work With Your DoctorAsthma is a serious disease that requires help from a medical professional.
Keep an asthma and allergy diary. Keep track of your symptoms and their severity.
Accurately describe your symptoms to help your doctor diagnose your condition and its possible triggers. Even mild symptoms such as cough, night-time shortness of breath and exercise intolerance can be asthma. Tell your doctor under what conditions your symptoms are better or worse. Do your symptoms increase at certain times of the year? Do you have attacks at work, at night or when you participate in certain activities? Are you more prone to attacks when you're under stress?
Talk with your doctor before using over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. Some OTC drugs work for some types of asthma and not for others. Antihistamines may help control allergy-related asthma symptoms.
Treat infections promptly. If you develop an infection, particularly a respiratory infection, see your doctor since you may need to be treated.
Work out a treatment plan with your doctor and follow it. Be sure you understand how and when to take medications and any possible side effects they may cause. Have your doctor show you how to use a peak flow meter.
Use your medications appropriately. How and when you use certain drugs can be important. For example, over-reliance on non-prescription or prescription bronchodilators can give you a false sense that your condition is under control.
See your doctor if you have a period of severe or prolonged breathlessness, coughing, sputum production, chest tightness, exercise intolerance or fatigue.Peak Flow Meters: a Key to Managing Your Asthma
A peak flow meter is a simple device for measuring lung function. By regularly monitoring how your lungs are working, you can make the right decisions about when to increase or decrease your medications and when you need to seek medical help. Your doctor will probably want you to take measurements twice a day, in the morning and in the evening.Here's how to use a peak flow meter:
1. Place the indicator on the device to zero.
2. Stand up.
3. Take a deep breath.
4. Place the meter in your mouth, closing your lips around the mouthpiece.
5. Blow out as hard and fast as you can.
6. Write down your measurement.
7. Re-set the indicator to zero and repeat two more times.
8. Record the highest reading.