Managing your asthma is important as it can help you avoid missing out on the things you love in life.
The first thing to do is make sure you’re taking your inhalers correctly and as prescribed. You can also manage your asthma by eating healthily, getting a good night’s sleep and going to your asthma reviews.
Here are some tips on how to manage your ashtma:
Some medicines could interact with your asthma medicine. So it’s best to always talk to your GP, asthma nurse or pharmacist before you take another medicine, even an over-the-counter medicine or complementary treatments.
If your GP prescribes you medicines which may interact with your asthma, they will monitor you and decide whether the benefits of taking both medicines outweigh the risks or if it’s better to consider an alternative. For example, some types of beta-blockers, given to help conditions such as high blood pressure, may interact with asthma.
Smoke is a common asthma trigger, according to Asthma UK 82% of smokers with asthma say that tobacco smoke affects their asthma. If you have asthma your airways will be more sensitive than normal and can get easily irritated by smoke. This means you’re likely to get more symptoms and need higher doses of asthma preventer medicine to keep on top of them. The best way to stop this is to quit smoking. If you want help to quit smoking, ask in store about our Stop Smoking Service.
Exercise can be a trigger for asthma symptoms. This is because when you exercise you’re more likely to breathe in through your mouth which means the air is colder and drier than when you breathe in through your nose. Some people with asthma find that their airways are sensitive to the change in temperature and humidity and react by getting narrower and making it more difficult to breathe.
Although exercise can trigger your asthma, regular exercise can actually help you to reduce your asthma symptoms.
According to Asthma UK here’s how exercise can help you manage your asthma:
- Improving how well your lungs work so you have more stamina and get less breathless
- Boosting your immune system so your asthma’s less likely to be triggered by coughs and colds
- Supporting your weight loss, which will cut your risk of symptoms and an asthma attack
- Releasing ‘feel-good’ chemicals in your brain to lift your mood. Studies show that if you’re stressed or depressed you’re at higher risk of asthma, and therefore staying happy and healthy is good for your asthma.
Most people with asthma can eat a normal healthy diet, including plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and foods low in sugar, salt and saturated fat. This, along with regular exercise, can help you to maintain a healthy weight which can help keep your asthma symptoms under control.
Know Your Triggers:
It’s important to understand what triggers your asthma. Why not try keeping track of where you are and what you’re doing when your symptoms get worse, that way you can begin to understand what your triggers are and how best to avoid them. If you want to try to identify your asthma triggers, why not read our blog on the most common asthma triggers.
Certain infections, such as the flu, are known to bring on asthma triggers. As asthma already causes your airways to become more swollen and sensitive to your triggers, the flu can make that worse as it also causes swelling. That’s why is best to have the annual flu jab as well as the one-off pneumococcal vaccination. Why not visit your local LloydsPharmacy to find out more about our vaccination service.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep:
Everyone benefits from a good night’s sleep as it is the time when our bodies can repair themselves and our brains can consolidate our memories from the day as well as process all the information we’ve encountered. But, asthma can make it difficult as symptoms such as coughing, wheezing or breathlessness, are often worse at night which can make it hard to fall asleep or they might wake you up in the night. Controlling your asthma with your prescribed treatment during the day should help, but if you’re having trouble or are just concerned it’s best to speak to your GP.
Reviews and Monitoring:
An asthma review is an appointment with your GP or asthma nurse so that you can talk about your asthma and assess how you can manage your symptoms better. It’s best to have an asthma review at least once a year, though if you have severe asthma you should have them more regularly. As well as talking about your symptoms, you can talk about your medication and check you’re using your inhaler correctly.