Seven ways to manage asthma

One in 12 adults in the UK have asthma, but although it is a long-term condition, doctors now believe that, with the right precautions, most people can live active lives

Always ensure you have an emergency inhaler

Asthma attacks kill three people every day in the UK, but two-thirds of these demises are thought to be preventable. Asthma symptoms can be controlled with inhalers and oral drugs, but, in case you have a severe attack, it is advisable to have a reliever inhaler on hand as it can act rapidly to relax straining airways. If you have to use a reliever inhaler three times a week or more, this is a sign that your asthma isn’t well managed and you should see your doctor to review your drug regime.

Identify your common triggers

Everyone with asthma has certain environmental triggers that construct them susceptible to an attack. Record the things that could be stimulating your symptoms worse and work out strategies for avoiding them. Common culprits include mould, tobacco smoke and air pollution.

Watch your weight

Various studies have found that obesity may result in more severe asthma symptoms and can even trigger the onset of the disease. The link isn’t fully understood, but scientists guess it is because the condition is triggered by inflamed and swollen airways and many obese people have chronic low-grade inflammation.

Keep your home clean

Dusting and vacuuming rooms twice a few weeks( while wearing a filter mask ), employing high-efficiency particulate air( Hepa) filters to keep the indoor air clean, and washing bedding weekly can lead to an improvement in symptoms. Using anti-dust mite coverings on mattresses and pillows can reduce contact with microscopic beasts, present in dust, which can trigger an attack.

Avoid pets

Some asthmatics are very sensitive to the proteins in flakes of scalp from animals, which can cause the immune system to overreact and trigger an attack. If you still want to keep a pet, grooming and bathing it frequently can help to reduce the likelihood of a reaction. Discuss use a nasal spray to control allergic symptoms with your doctor or asthma nurse.

Breathing exercises

Research suggests that a regular programme of breathing exerts, such as the Papworth and Buteyko techniques can improve quality of life and reduce the need to use a reliever inhaler. However, these are complementary therapies that should be used alongside drug , not as a replacement.

Moderate exercise

Asthmatics can exercise. After all, Paul Scholes and Paula Radcliffe are just two examples of upper-clas athletes who have asthma. Exercise is often good for asthmatics as it improves lung efficiency and boosts the immune system. However, if you haven’t exerted for a while, or have been experiencing regular attacks, “its best” to stick with moderate aerobic exercisings, such as walking, yoga or swimming( although the chlorine in swimming pool can trigger an asthma attack in some people ).

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