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Managing Your Asthma

MANAGING YOUR ASTHMAWhether you or your child has just recently been diagnosed with asthma, it’s important that you have a general doctor that can provide you or your little one with routine checkups and care to make sure asthma is being properly managed. Your general doctor is going to be implemental in helping you craft a customized asthma treatment plan to help you control your symptoms. Here’s how asthma is often controlled.

Treating Asthma with Medications

Asthma medications not only make it possible to lead an active life without worrying about your asthma symptoms, but these medications could also potentially save your life. One of the most common types of asthma medications is an inhaled steroid. An inhaled steroid is used to prevent an asthma attack by reducing swelling in the airways, which in turn reduces how much the airways react to specific triggers. These medications are taken daily to control symptoms.

Bronchodilators are also used to help loosen up tight muscles surrounding the airways. These medications are a great way to open up the airways quickly. You may know these medications as “rescue inhalers”. They are fast-acting relief from chest tightness, wheezing, and shortness of breath due to asthma. These medications aren’t used regularly, only as directed by your general doctor.

A nebulizer may be used if you find it too difficult to use an inhaler, which can sometimes be the case with children and older adults. The nebulizer turns liquid asthma medications into a mist, which is directed into the lungs via a mask that you wear over your mouth.

Managing Asthma Symptoms with Lifestyle

While medication is going to be the best way to control airway inflammation and reduce asthma attacks, there are still lifestyle changes you can adopt to improve your asthma symptoms. It’s important to understand your triggers first. For some, pet dander sets off their symptoms while for others, exercise may be the culprit.

It’s important to discuss lifestyle changes that can benefit you but also support living with asthma. This may include getting special bedding, cleaning the house more regularly, using a HEPA air filter in the bedroom, keeping the bedroom a no-pet zone, or participating in less strenuous forms of exercise such as walking or biking. Talk with your doctor to learn more.

Whether your child is showing signs of asthma or you have questions about your current asthma treatment plan and its effectiveness, your general doctor will be able to address these questions and concerns and provide individualized care to help get your asthma under control.

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