Family Health

Living with Asthma: Managing its Impact

May 12 • 2017

Did you know 1 in 12 people have asthma? This number continues to grow as years go on. While the diagnosis can be difficult to comprehend, knowing the affect asthma has on your body can help you – or a loved one – live with it more easily.

What is Asthma?

Despite how common it is, many people don’t understand what asthma truly is. This disease impacts the airways of your lungs by causing the lining of to be inflamed and irritated. Because of this, your airways become more sensitive to everyday things that might otherwise not affect you, like weather changes, stress, dust, chemicals, pet hair, or smoke. These can trigger your airways to become even more swollen, leading to an attack. Breathing becomes harder as your airways tighten, making treatment like an inhaler necessary for you to return to normal breathing.

How to Manage It

An asthma diagnosis is a lifestyle change – but it doesn’t have to be a difficult one if you know the right steps to take to manage it.

The first and most important step is identifying and removing as many triggers as possible. Everyone’s are different, but being able to recognize and eliminate them if possible can reduce the frequency and severity of asthma issues. Other proactive ways to reduce the risk of an attack include keeping your home clean, cooking at home, staying active, and avoiding humidifiers.

Once you have determined you have asthma, create an action plan. Outline what medications you use, when to use them, and how to identify the symptoms of an attack. This can help you and your loved ones be prepared for any issues that might come up. Make sure you always have the necessary medication on hand in case of an asthma attack. If your child is the one suffering from asthma, help them use a peak flow meter to understand their breathing.

Asthma may mean you have to adjust the way you live, but there are many things you and your doctor can do to ensure that severe issues don’t occur.

May is Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month. If you think you or your loved one may have asthma, speak to your Baptist doctor today to determine what course of action to take next.