Are there any lifestyle changes I will need to make to cope better with my asthma?
Though asthma is incurable, you in consultation with your doctor can make certain lifestyle changes and adopt a few practices to lead a more effective, smooth and full life. Here is a list of what you can do at your end:
Have an asthma action plan worked out together with your doctor – that which addresses emergency numbers to contact, medical basics (blood group, medical history, how and when to take the asthma medicine, it’s compatibility with other drugs, results expected, contraindications if any), what to do during an attack.
• Check your stocks of medication so you are never without them.
• Always keep a broncho-dilator and a nebuliser handy at home.
• Keep a diary of asthma observations (frequency, prodrome symptoms and severity) and events.
• Learn ways to protect yourself or reduce the harm caused by both known external and indoor triggers.
• Prevent dust and mold build-up at home by seeking professional help or dusting with damp cloth, keeping Ac filters clean etc.
• Have your home pest free by having it sprayed when you are out and return to air it with open windows.
• Wash stuffed toys once every 4-6 months, use vacuum cleaners on stuffed furniture.
• Keep your windows closed in pollen season. Turn on the fans or ACs instead to keep cool and ventilated.
• Use all low-scent index detergents, shampoos and cosmetics.
• Keep pets restricted from entering bedrooms etc.
• Avoid use of aerosols, bleaches etc
• Have the smoker in the family smoke outside in open air or in the toilet with the exhaust running.
• Wear a mask while dusting, mopping or cleaning dishes.
• Reduce stress by practising relaxation, meditation and breathing techniques.
• Exercise moderately with enough breaks built into your workout routine.
• Check contraindications for asthma for any medication you take.
Groups and Resources I can refer:
• National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
• Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
• Asthma and Allergy Friendly Certification Program
• Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
• AAAAI article on avoiding asthma symptoms