What the chronic asthmatic will tell you, and which you ignore at your peril
- Knowledge empowers you to act in your best interests and take adequate precautions that protect you from the worst health hazards
- Clinical studies confirm that the adrenaline rush typical of healthy exercising is extremely good for asthmatics
- You could be that one in a million person that is hyper-sensitive to painkillers and anti-inflammatory meds
Asthma is a chronic lung disorder that causes inflammation in the air passage leading to the lungs, making it incredibly difficult to breath. Common symptoms include Shortness of breath, Wheezing, a tight feeling in the chest and Coughing. Asthma can be either Innate (since childhood) or caused by extended exposure to hazardous gases or toxic fumes. Allergic asthma is also seen when there is an allergy accompanying the disease. Living with a debilitating condition such as asthma can bring many challenges. But there is hope, if you educate yourself about the cause of asthma and how to best manage this disease, that knowledge will empower you and help you take the adequate precautions to protect yourself from any health hazards that you may face in your everyday life. Here are 5 examples of how you can overcome asthma and live a healthy, normal life.
If something activates an asthma attack, it’s to be avoided at all cost
Triggers, both visible and invisible, if identifiable, need to be avoided.
- Pet hair, skin scales, animal urine, and droppings: If pets are upping the asthma risk, avoid them by the proverbial mile.
- Asthma and smoking never mix. If you are addicted, seek professional help. Avoid smokers like the plague.
- You work in a nuclear power plant, asbestos or chemical industry. If asthma recurs, you need to change your occupation quickly.
- Keep a journal of your everyday activities. This will help you identify various triggers and that may worsen your condition.
Any trigger, identified through self-assessment, needs to be brought to the attention of your physician immediately. A specialist can advise you on what treatment regime that would best suit you. Consulting an Immunologist or an Allergist would be the best option as they specialize in the treatment of asthma.
Be physically active
Clinical studies confirm that the adrenaline rush typical of healthy exercise is extremely good for asthmatics. Your body needs higher levels of adrenalin to keep the inflammation at bay. Feel the air fill your lungs as you cycle the through the busy streets and boulevards. Put your endurance to the test with some laps in the pool or simply jog your way to peak physical condition. Many men and women have excelled in sports despite their asthmatic disability. If you experience discomfort, relief is just a mere 20 seconds away in an inhaler. Always consult a doctor before choosing an exercise regime, some regimes are better than others for asthmatics and it’s important to find the one that’s right for you. Dancing, aerobics, Zumba or indoor cycling are much less likely to cause an attack. People with allergic asthma should be more cautious and always exercise in a clean environment, devoid of dust and mold. Cold and dry weather may worsen the symptoms, so it is wise to avoid going out during those times.
Get a purifier
Though it is not an alternative to treatment, air purifiers can go a long way in providing you a clean environment to live and breathe in every day. Most use HEPA filters, as they are equipped to trap any small irritants in the air. Remember to clean the filter regularly. If the air quality in the city you live in degrades, then get a mask for yourself and try to avoid dirty areas.
Eat properly and sleep well
A healthy diet that provides all nutrients naturally without additives, supplements and preservatives is the ideal diet for an asthmatic. Regular exercise is essential for keeping the body slim and fit. Regular sleep also keeps stress levels low. When the body is well rested, its rejuvenating abilities increase threefold. Both obesity and stress are best avoided as they are considered to be powerful triggers for inducing asthma. Obesity is known to encourage listlessness and fatigue through excessive inactivity. It can also render medication and therapy ineffective to the body. Eating processed foods should be avoided. Cooking at home with organic ingredients is always one of the best ways to fight obesity. A fit body encourages good blood circulation and prevents inflammatory conditions from affecting the body. People who exercise regularly fare much better in lung function tests.
Ensure that painkillers and anti-inflammatory meds are not working against you
You could be that one in a million person that is hyper-sensitive to painkillers and anti-inflammatory meds. Meds such as aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) and Ibuprofen (NSAIDs) are known to provoke adverse changes in fat metabolism. What that means is that your fatty acids get broken down to produce substances that can irritate and inflame the lung passages. What works as an anti-inflammatory in the otherwise healthy person could encourage lung inflammation in a person that is hyper-sensitive to medication. The most important medication that an asthmatic need is an inhaler (Albuterol). Get a suitable inhaler and always remember to refill it periodically and always carry it with you.
Learn everything about your condition
Start with learning everything about asthma and relate it to your condition. Stay in frequent contact with your doctor as you build an effective plan of action to manage your symptoms, and prevent sudden attacks. Use the internet and find out about the various treatments available and their results. The internet has unlimited resources which can assist you with every bit of information you need to deal with the worst possible scenario.
Be on top of your condition, regularly consult with a specialist
Knowing that you have asthma and reaching for the inhaler is easy to accomplished, but it doesn’t really empower you. You need to tackle this ailment aggressively. Your immediate priority should be to isolate the allergen that may be responsible for the attack, unless it is something unavoidable like a hereditary condition. If an allergen can be avoided, do what you can to reduce exposure to it.
Regular consultation with a lung specialist also ensures that you keep on top of the latest advancement in treatments and better medications being introduced to the market. In some instances, a nebulizer with more focused medication delivery may be more effective than inhalers. Use the Lung Function test to determine the success of medication and effectiveness of long-term asthma treatment plans.