Ways to Control Asthma
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You can not cure asthma but you can control asthma. People with asthma can have normal, active lives when they learn to control their asthma. They can work, play and go to school. They can also sleep well at night.
Asthma is not a cause for shame. All over the world, many people have asthma.
How to control asthma
- Stay away from things that start your asthma attacks.
- Take asthma medicines the way the doctor says to take them.
- Go to the doctor 2-3 times a year for check-ups. Go even when you feel fine and have no breathing problems.
Asthma & baby
When you know there is asthma in the family, you may be able to keep your baby from getting asthma:
- When you are pregnant, do not smoke.
- Keep tobacco smoke away from the baby and out of your home.
- Put a special dust-proof cover on the baby's mattress.
- Keep cats and other animals with fur out of your home.
Symptoms of asthma
People have asthma for many years. People with asthma can have trouble breathing. They have asthma attacks that come and go. These are signs of an asthma attack: tight chest, cough, wheeze. Some asthma attacks are mild. Some asthma attacks get very serious. People can die from a bad asthma attack. People with asthma may wake up at night because of coughing or trouble breathing.
Cause of asthma
Asthma is a disease of the airways in the lungs. You can get asthma at any age. You can not catch asthma from other people. Many times, more than one person in the same family has asthma.
Airways carry air to the lungs. Airways get smaller and smaller like branches of a tree. When asthma is under control, the airways are clear and air flow easily in and out.
When asthma is not under control, the sides of the airways in the lungs are always thick and swollen. An asthma attack can happen easily. During an asthma attack, less air can get in and out of the lungs. People cough and wheeze. The chest feels tight.
During an asthma attack, the sides of the airways get even more swollen, the airways get squeezed make mucus.
Many things can start asthma attacks. These include:
- animals with fur
- cigarette smoking
- dust in beds and pillows
- dust from sweeping
- strong smells and sprays
- pollen from trees and flowers
- the weather
- running, sports, and walking hard
Sometimes, these things are called asthma triggers. To prevent an asthma attack, keep things that start asthma attacks out of the home.
- Many people with asthma are allergic to animals with fur. Keep animals outside. Give away pets
- Do not smoke at home. Get help to quit smoking.
- Keep strong smells out of the home. No soap, shampoo, or lotion that smells like perfume. Avoid incense.
- Take our rugs and carpets. They get dusty and moldy.
- Take out soft chairs, cushions and extra pillows. They collect dust.
- Do not let animals on the bed or in the bedroom.
- No smoking or strong smells in the bedroom.
- Keep the bed simple. Dust collects in the mattress, blankets and pillows. This dust bothers most people with asthma.
- Put special dust-proof covers with zippers on the mattress and pillow.
- Do not use a pillow or a mattress made of straw.
- A simple sleeping mat may be better than a mattress.
- Wash sheets and blankets often in very hot water. Put them in the sun to dry.
- Use windows to keep the air fresh and clean. Open windows wide when it is hot or stuffy, when there is smoke from cooking and when there are strong smells.
- If you heat with wood or kerosene. keep a window open a little to get rid of fumes.
- Close windows when the air outside is full of exhaust form cars, pollution from factories, dust, or pollen from flowers and trees.
- Plan to do these chores when the person with asthma is away: sweeping, dusting, vacuuming, painting, spraying insecticides, using strong cleaners and cooking food with strong odor.
- Air out the house before the person with asthma returns.
- If there is no one to help, people with asthma can use a mask or scarf when they sweep or dust.
Most people with asthma need two kinds of asthma medicine. Everyone with asthma needs a quick-relief medicine to stop asthma attacks. Many people also need a preventive medicine every day to protect the lungs and keep asthma attacks from starting.
Ask your doctor to write down what asthma medicines to take and when to take them. Use the medicine plan to know what quick-relief medicines to take when you have an asthma attack, what preventive medicines to take every day, and what medicine to take just before sports or working hard.