Effective asthma treatment requires routinely tracking symptoms and measuring how well your lungs are working. Taking an active role in managing your asthma treatment will help you maintain better long-term asthma control, prevent asthma attacks and avoid long-term problems.
1. Practice breathing from the diaphragm or abdomen instead of the chest. When you are breathing correctly the belly will push outward on breathing in, and contract or tighten when breathing out. The chest and shoulders do not rise up.
2. If you do start wheezing or getting short of breath try to breath slower while relaxing the rest of your body. This reduces the demand for oxygen in the body. If you are exercising slow down or stop.
3. Stop smoking or hanging out in smoky rooms whenever possible. If you live with a smoker who won’t quit or go outside to smoke then encourage the use of an air-filter or devise that sucks up the smoke. Don’t underestimate the dangers of second hand smoke, particularly on children and the elderly.
4. Try swimming as the exercise of choice. The increased moisture seems to lessen the chance of spasm of the bronchial tubes. Starting slowly with walking or a stationary bike can also safely improve cardiovascular stamina.
5. Drink extra glasses of water or liquids. With more rapid breathing it is easier to get dehydrated. Some regular tea is ok as it has a chemical to relax the bronchial tubes called Theo bromide, similar to the asthma medicine theophylline.
6. If you are using a rescue inhaler such as Albuterol more than three times a week you may need a preventive medicine either as another inhaler and/or a pill such as Singulair. Keep ahead of your asthma. At the first sign of worsening, use your medications early. In the end you will require less medicine overall. Make sure you tell your doctor if your symptoms become more frequent. In short, DON’T WAIT.
7. Often people with asthma also have allergies to pollen, animals, and dust. Discuss with your doctor getting allergy testing to see if desensitization shots will cure the problem. Be sure to mention stuffy nose and itchy, watery eyes “sinus problems” during your visit if they occur.