What is Asthma?
Asthma is characterized by inflammation of the bronchial tubes with increased production of sticky secretions inside the tubes. People with asthma experience symptoms when the airways tighten, inflame, or fill with mucus.
What Are Triggers?
Asthma Education – People with asthma have sensitive airways and react to things that they are allergic to and to other things in the air. These are called triggers. Some common triggers include:
- House dust or mold
- Cold weather
- Household cleaners and paints
Signs of an Asthma Attack:
- Feeling short of breath or tired
- Tight chest
- Sneezing or runny nose
If you notice any of these signs you may be having an asthma attack and you should call your doctor. The doctor wil show you what to do.
Once you know what causes your asthma, you can control it. Some of these tips may help.
- Wash pets once a week and keep them away from your bedroom.
- Don’t let anyone smoke in your home or car. Sit in no-smoking areas when in public places.
- Use throw rugs instead of carpets. Rugs are easier to wash.
- Clean damp areas, like bathrooms, often.
- Use air conditioning if you can. It helps remove pollen from the air.
- Cover your mouth and nose in cold weather.
Taking Care of your Asthma.
Medicines for Asthma:
Medicine can help you breathe better. Some medicines are inhaled. Some are taken as pills. Your doctor will tell you what kind of medicine you should take and when. Ask your doctor to help you make an asthma care plan, and see your doctor at least every six months.
How Medicine Helps:
Asthma medicines keep the air tubes in your lungs open.
- Medicine makes breathing easier once an asthma attack has started.
- It helps prevent attacks during exercise.
- It helps prevent attacks at night.
Many asthma medications come in a small container called an inhaler. You use the inhaler to spray medicine in your mouth. You then breathe the medicine into your lungs. If you have an inhaler, make sure you ask your doctor or pharmacist how to use it.
This handheld device measures how well you can push air out of your lungs. A peak-flow meter can help you know when to take your medicines or when your asthma is getting worse.
Exercise and Asthma
Exercise can cause asthma symptoms. But that doesn’t mean that people with asthma can’t be active. Here are some tips to help you exercise without coughing, wheezing or feeling short of breath:
- Ask your doctor about taking medicine before you exercise.
- Warm up for about 10 minutes before your work out.
- Try not to work or play outside when the air pollution or pollen levels are high.
- If your child has asthma, be sure gym teachers and coaches know. Let them know what your child needs to do to control asthma.
See your doctor if you have trouble breathing when you exercise, do sports, play or work hard. He or she can help you with a plan that helps you stay active.