For many people, asthma is a condition that is controllable with a combination of preventative measures, education and medication. When asthma is properly managed, those with asthma can live full lives with the same quality of life as those without asthma. So once you have been diagnosed, what can you do to help control your asthma?
- Follow your asthma action plan. Take all medication exactly as directed, keep all follow-up appointments and notify your doctor if you experience changes in symptoms, medication effectiveness or side effects.
- Learn what triggers your asthma and take steps to avoid triggers or eliminate them from your environment when possible.
- Maintain a healthy diet. Eat plenty of leafy green vegetables and fresh fruit, and drink lots of water.
- Exercise! Exercise is good for everyone, even those with exercise-induced asthma. Use your reliever inhaler 5 to 10 minutes before working out, if needed, and keep it close by during physical activities. Don’t let your asthma be an excuse for being unfit. The more you work your lungs over time, the healthier they will be.
- Don’t skip using your preventative inhaler just because you feel well. Use it as directed, regardless of how you feel or how long it has been since you had an attack.
Ramie Tritt, M.D., President, Atlanta ENT