Asthma is one of the most common diseases worldwide. While there’s currently no cure, medical advancements have made it possible for people with asthma to manage their symptoms and lead a normal life. If you’ve recently been diagnosed with this condition, here are some ways to stay in control of your health.

How to Manage Asthma Successfully

1. Develop and follow your asthma action plan.

Your doctor can help you create an asthma action plan if you don’t have one already. The goal of this plan is to manage asthma symptoms depending on their severity. For example:

  • In the green zone, you’re symptom-free, but may still need daily medicine to control your asthma.
  • In the yellow zone, you’re experiencing symptoms. This part of the plan will tell you which quick-relief inhaler to use and how.
  • The red zone is considered an emergency, and will instruct you on how to get immediate care if symptoms worsen.

2. Track your symptoms.

To confirm your asthma action plan is working, keep a log of your symptoms. Track which of those you experience, how severe they are, and when they occur. At your next doctor’s visit, this information will help your provider determine whether your asthma action plan is working as it should.

According to the American Lung Association, asthma is considered well-controlled if you’re using a quick-relief inhaler fewer than three times each week, your asthma doesn’t wake you up at night, and you can do physical activity with minimal symptoms. If you haven’t hit these milestones, your doctor may adjust your action plan to get your asthma under control.

3. Identify and avoid your triggers.

Knowing and avoiding your triggers is an important way to manage asthma. Your airways are more sensitive to certain irritants that may not bother other people, but steering clear of them will help.

If you experience allergic asthma, common allergens like pollen, mold, pet dander, and dust mites may trigger symptoms. For others, irritants in the air, such as fires, strong fumes, pollution, and cigarette smoke, can lead to episodes. You could also encounter symptoms during experiences that change your breathing patterns, such as exercise and strong emotions like intense stress. Finally, certain health conditions, including respiratory infections, food allergies, and pregnancy, may make symptoms worse.

Not all triggers are avoidable, but being aware of yours can help you make asthma-friendly choices. For example, stay indoors when the pollen count is highest if you’re affected by seasonal allergies.

4. Learn how to use your inhaler.

You already know to take any necessary daily medications as part of your asthma action plan. But if you suddenly need your quick-relief inhaler, it’s essential that you know how it works. If you’re unsure, ask your doctor to demonstrate proper usage so that the medication reaches your lungs. In the meantime, you could also search for your inhaler brand online to see if there’s an instructional video.

5. Strengthen your lungs by exercising.

Exercise can strengthen your lungs and the muscles your body uses to breathe. But if exercise is an asthma trigger for you, you may need to take certain precautions. Your doctor can make personalized exercise recommendations based on your specific symptoms, including that short bursts of activity with rest in between may be the most tolerable type of exercise for you. Swimming, biking, and yoga are often recommended as ways to promote healthy lung function.

Schedule an Appointment With YourTown Health

Here at YourTown Health, our providers can help you and your family members manage any chronic conditions you may have — including asthma —  as well as short-term illnesses and medical issues. Schedule an appointment by calling 770-463-4644 or send us a message online.