I was diagnosed with asthma over fifty years ago and have learned some important tips to cope with my diagnosis. Along with the following tips, you should always discuss changes or questions with your physician.
Have regular check-ups with your physician or practitioner
- · Discuss any changes in symptoms
- · Review medications and the frequency with which you need them
- · Keep other health factors such as weight under control
Always carry your rescue inhaler with you and use as prescribed.
I ran to a neighbor’s home to help her when her son had fallen. She had Easter lilies in her kitchen. I didn’t have my rescue inhaler and had a full blown asthma attack before I could get home. I am allergic to lilies.
- · Sudden symptoms can occur when you least expect them
- · Never use your rescue inhaler more than prescribed (overuse of your rescue inhaler can cause the opposite effect on your breathing
- · If you are using your rescue inhaler on a regular basis, it might be time to discuss adding a different type of inhaler with your physician. (Such as an inhaled corticosteroid.) Review the effects, benefits, and side effects with your doctor.
Know your allergens
I had a long haired cat in my home all of my life without any symptoms. I cared for a short hair cat for a relative and ended up in the ER. I found out I was allergic to short haired cats. I wasn’t aware there would be a problem.
- · Remember allergies can change over the years. You can develop new allergies at any time in your life.
- · If you are having unexplained onset of symptoms talk to your doctor about possible testing if she thinks it might help.
- · If you don’t know what is causing your new onset symptoms…you can’t avoid exposure to the cause.
Watch the pollen counts.
I am allergic to many pollen. When I know which pollen are prominent during a certain time, I can limit my activity outdoors as needed.
- ·Watch the local weather forecast. Weather forecasts now include pollen counts. This can make it easier for those diagnosed with asthma to cope with symptoms and prevent them.
- ·Know your allergies. If you know which pollens trigger your symptoms you can try to avoid them
- · Talk to your physician about using local honey. Daily doses can sometimes help against local pollens. Always discuss with your doctor before trying any natural remedies.
Avoid contact with others suffering from the flu or cold symptoms.
- · Keep in mind that asthma symptoms almost always worsen when you contract a cold or the flu
- · Discuss getting the flu shot with your physician (Avoid the flu shot if you have an allergy to any of the ingredients of the flu shot.)
- · Check the labeling or with your doctor before taking any over-the-counter cold remedies. Some cold medicines can make your allergy symptoms worse.
Avoid extreme weather conditions whenever possible
- · Hot and humid conditions almost always increase asthma symptoms
- · Extreme cold weather causes changes in the lung, which can trigger an asthma attack
- · Very windy days can cause allergens to return to the air and increase symptoms
Always ask for information before renting, buying, a home, apartment, or a seasonal vacation spot.
My husband and I rented a condo at the Jersey shore for our family’s summer vacation. When we arrived we discovered the condo had been recently painted. I was sick for the entire two weeks of our vacation.
- · Did the previous tenants own a cat or dog? These areas have residual allergens…sometimes for years.
- · Was the vacation condo you’ve rented for vacation just painted…or treated for ants/termites? These odors can trigger symptoms and ruin your entire vacation.
- · Is the building covered in cedar shingles? (A common allergen)
Always check the content labels of comforters, pillows, rugs, chairs, sofas, and bedding.
- · It is required by law to include all materials on these labels
- · Does the item contain wool? (A common allergen)
- · Also avoid fur, sheep’s skin, and other animal related materials when purchasing clothing