Four Ways to Prevent Asthma Attacks
Medication is essential in the management of asthma, to prevent attacks and keep the condition under control. However, even with medical treatment, many people look for additional ways to alleviate the symptoms and experience a general sense of well-being. While asthma itself is not preventable, practical preventative measures can reduce the risk of suffering frequent asthma attacks and worsening the condition. When coupled with medication, these measures can help asthma patients to maintain good physical, mental, and psychological health with fewer incidences of attacks. Here are four effective measures that one can take to prevent severe asthma attacks.
Limit Exposure to Triggers
A large part of keeping asthma under control involves limiting exposure to asthma triggers like dust, pollen, mold, pet dander, cigarette smoke, and stress. Asthma triggers are common, which is precisely what makes them so troublesome. In some cases, avoiding all triggers can be difficult, but with a little planning, one can prevent exposure to them and reduce the risk of suffering from an attack. Here are some tips on how one can avoid asthma triggers and protect themselves from flare-ups.
- Use air conditioning to reduce indoor air pollutants such as dust mites and pollen.
- Stay away from pets as they can trigger an asthma episode in individuals who are allergic to dander. Alternatively, one can keep the pets out of the bedroom and away from furniture.
- Remove and clean carpets and heavy drapes regularly to get rid of dust.
- Invest in allergen-barrier coverings for mattresses and pillows.
- Quit smoking tobacco cigarettes and encourage every member of the household to do so as well.
People react differently to various types of asthma triggers. One should make a list of their worst triggers and take actionable steps to create an environment that’s free of them.
Undertake Breathing Exercises
Breathing exercises are not only useful in preventing an asthma attack but also help people breathe easily during severe attacks. During an attack, the muscles in the body get tense. These changes bear panic and fear which causes the airways to clench up leading to an asthma attack. Breathing and relaxation exercises train one to remain calm and in control during an episode. Deep breathing calms the nerves, eases stress, and relaxes the muscles warding off an imminent attack or making it less severe than it would have been.
Most people face difficulties in breathing out during an asthma episode. Breathing and relaxation techniques aim to relax the breathing organs so that one can exhale more easily. One can access resources with breathing and relaxation exercises online or in print. Enrolling in a yoga class can also be a great option for asthma patients.
Work Out Regularly
Many affected individuals believe that exercise is not suitable for them as it can be an asthma trigger. However, physical activity is a major step in preventing asthma attacks as it improves blood pressure and decreases resting heart rate. Exercise also increases the uptake of oxygen in the body and the amount of air that’s released during exhalation. Regular exercise can ease asthma symptoms in the long term and reduce the risk of suffering an attack. Here are some things that should be observed when engaging in sports and exercise.
- Ask the doctor for special treatment that prevents problems during physical activity.
- Choose activities that match your level of fitness.
- Undertake warm ups and cool downs before and after physical activity respectively.
- Stop physical activity if there are signs of breathing difficulties.
- Always carry reliever medication to work out sessions.
People who haven’t exercised before should start with easy work outs and work their way up to more demanding ones.
Consider Flu Vaccination
The influenza virus can be particularly hard on asthma patients, even those whose symptoms are well-controlled by medication. People with asthma have sensitive airways, and the flu virus causes further inflammation which can worsen the condition or trigger attacks. Flu vaccination protects individuals against influenza and reduces the risk of severe asthma symptoms. People who are not yet vaccinated against the flu should seek immediate medical care to prevent the infection.
Individuals should take these steps to prevent asthma attacks and ease related symptoms. Note that these self care tips do not substitute medical treatment. Asthma medication should be taken religiously, and one should not let up on it even if they feel that the condition has improved.