8 Tips to Treat and Control Asthma

August 28, 2018
It's really important that asthma sufferers avoid environments full of cigarette smoke, as well as strenuous activities which could provoke an attack.

Asthma is a chronic respiratory illness caused by the tightening of the bronchi, the passageways that air flows through in the lungs. Sufferers experience bad congestion that causes breathing difficulties, a chronic cough, wheezing, and other symptoms which reduce quality of life. In this article, we’ll give you 8 tips to treat and control asthma.

Although for some it might be a minor sporadic inconvenience, other people suffer from it chronically, and an asthma attack can put their life at risk.

Who suffers from it? How can you control it? This illness can exhibit different levels of severity as time passes. Therefore, sufferers need to take good care of themselves to complement their treatment.

Also read: Asthma Symptoms, Triggers, and Diagnosis Facts

Who Suffers from Asthma?

Woman taking her inhaler to treat her asthma

The World Health Organisation claims that there are 235 million people who suffer from asthma in the world, nearly 5 per cent of the global population.

It’s a condition that affects people of all ages, although it tends to be more common in children. Even though the exact cause isn’t known, there are some possible environmental and genetic factors.

Risk Factors

An asthma attack can be caused by exposure to irritants or substances that trigger allergic reactions. They’re also commonly due to respiratory illnesses or demanding physical activity.

Related factors include the following:

  • Allergenic substances in the air (dust, pollen, mites, pet hair, etc.)
  • Respiratory infections such as flu or the common cold
  • Physical Exercise
  • Excessively cold air
  • Contaminated air (such as by cigarette smoke)
  • Medications such as beta-blockers, aspirin, or ibuprofen
  • Strong emotions or stress
  • Acid reflux

Tips to Control Asthma

Asthma is a chronic and unpredictable illness. As a result, it’s a good idea to have the right treatment with a medical control and assess possible complications.

As well as this, all sufferers should take measures to avoid an asthma attack. Below, we’ve shared some main recommendations.

1. Avoid Exposure to Allergens

Woman wiping down a table

Asthma sufferers should try to stick to environments free from substances which could make their symptoms worse.

  • It’s important to avoid dust, mites, and animal fur, or any other identified allergen.

2. Do Breathing Exercises

Many asthma-sufferers should avoid demanding exercises. Despite this, it’s good to learn some breathing exercises to control anxiety if symptoms get worse.

Recommended article: 5 Recommendations for Controlling Allergies

3. Avoid Cigarettes

Cigarette smoke is one of the main triggers of asthma. Therefore, it’s important to avoid smoking or exposure to cigarette smoke.

4. Be Careful Doing Sports

Woman running in the park

There are some sports that are recommended for asthmatics. Swimming and exercise in warm, closed rooms are particularly recommended.

The important thing is to get assessed first so that you don’t engage in any harmful activities.

5. Take Your Medication

One mistake that many asthma sufferers make is not taking their medication when they don’t have symptoms.

  • It’s really important to follow the treatment prescribed by the doctor to have a good quality of life.

6. Don’t Self-Medicate

Woman taking a pill with a glass of water

Be careful! Self-medication could bring on side effects, particularly if you already consume certain other medications.

It’s fundamental that you consult with a doctor before taking any other type of medicine.

7. Use Your Inhaler Properly

Correct use of an inhaler is crucial for reacting to an asthma attack. Although your doctor should have shown you, here’s a quick reminder of how to use your inhaler:

  • Open your inhaler and prepare it, either by shaking it or twisting it.
  • Exhale, hold your breath, and place the inhaler in your mouth.
  • Breathe in deeply and hold your breath for 5 to 10 seconds. Then, return to breathing normally

Note: If your inhaler contains corticoids, it’s a good idea to rinse out your mouth afterwards.

8. Have Regular Check-ups

Regular check-ups by a specialist can be key in the prevention of any health complications. You should go for a pneumology consultation for spirometry testing regularly.

How to React to an Asthma Attack

Woman taking her inhaler

Asthma attacks can be alarming and cause great worry, for witnesses as well as the patient.

However, it’s vitally important to stay calm and act quickly:

  • If you have an inhaler, use it as soon as possible.
  • If your doctor has recommended a different medication, take it as quickly as you can.
  • Loosen your clothing to avoid a sensation of asphyxia.
  • Control your breathing.

If you don’t notice any improvement, you should go to the emergency room. Sometimes, you may need professional intervention.

  • Callén Blecua M, Praena Crespo M, Grupo de Vías Respiratorias. Normas de Calidad para el tratamien- to de fondo del Asma en el niño y Adolescente. Documentos técnicos del GVR (publicación DT- GVR-2). 2015. [En línea]. Disponible en http://www.respirar.org/respirar36/ images/pdf/grupovias/DT-GVR-2-fondo.pdf

    López-Viña, A. y col. Normativa para el asma de control difícil. Archivos de Bronconeumonología. Vol 41. NÚM 9. Septiembre 2005, páginas 473- 535. [En línea] Disponible en: http://www.archbronconeumol.org/es-normativa-el-asma-control-dificil-articulo-13078654