Diagnosed as a young child, I have lived with Asthma for most of my life. Asthma is a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways. In the early years, it affected every aspect of my life. I learned quickly that if I wanted to live a normal life, I had to take precautions and control my Asthma.
Unfortunately, I didn’t outgrow Asthma as some children do, but I learned to cope quite well with it. My Asthma is inherited as well as induced by allergens. I took allergy shots off and on during my youth and into adulthood, until they just didn’t work anymore. This helped me cope with Asthma by controlling my reactions to allergens and lessening the frequency of Asthma attacks. Now antihistamines do the trick.
My home has central air, so in the summer time if the outside air quality is bad, from pollution or wild fires, I can close the windows and avoid breathing it in. Also changing the furnace filter frequently can keep the air quality in your home high.
Avoiding any one that smokes and places that allow smoking is really a big deal for me. Second hand smoke can set off an Asthma attack in a heartbeat.
In the wintertime, I like to walk with my dog in the snow, watching the big fluffy flakes fall from the sky. I have learned that in order to enjoy the cold weather, I need to bundle up and cover my mouth with a warm scarf to avoid breathing in the cold air, my lungs are very appreciative of that behavior.
You need to take an active role in managing Asthma. For successful and ongoing treatment, build strong partnerships with your doctors. Treat symptoms when you first notice them, this will prevent worsening of the symptoms and the possibility of a severe Asthma attack, which can be fatal. Above all, take your medication as directed.
As with anything health related, exercise and eating a balanced diet are important. Keeping active and your lung function high helps avoid Asthma attacks and those late night visits to the emergency room.
Maintaining a healthy weight is important. The more you weigh the harder your respiratory system has to work to keep the oxygen levels high in your body.
There is no cure for Asthma. But, with today’s knowledge and treatments, you can live an active, normal life.