Having asthma means adjusting lifestyles. As a healthcare professional, it's good to know that there are things you can do to help alleviate your patients' suffering. This brochure provides some suggestions for simple lifestyle adaptations that may help your asthma patients improve their everyday life.
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FOR CARE TEAMS
Asthma and Severe Asthma Lifestyle Adaptations
Having asthma means adjusting lifestyles. Maybe your patients can't keep their windows open, even on a beautiful day. Maybe they will begin to wheeze or cough while trying to have a conversation. Maybe they will need to say no to their child's plea for a pet. An inability to breathe translates into an inability to do the things we take for granted every day: walking, doing chores, working, and sleeping. These restrictions may make your patients depressed, frustrated, or angry.1
As a healthcare provider, it's good to know that there are things you can do to help alleviate your patients' suffering. In most cases, a few simple lifestyle adaptations can help your asthma patients improve their everyday life.
The most important thing for your patients with asthma to do is quit smoking. It's also a good idea for them to avoid secondhand smoke.2
Patients with asthma should try to maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight can worsen asthma symptoms, and it puts your patients at higher risk for other health problems.3
The flu can also cause symptom flare-ups for patients with asthma. Flu shots and pneumococcal vaccines may help reduce their risk of asthma attacks.4
The goal of pulmonary rehabilitation is to help improve the well-being of patients with COPD. A healthcare team provides programs to help patients stay active and carry out their daily activities. But specific components of pulmonary rehabilitation, such as patient education, respiratory physiotherapy, and aerobic exercise training, may be effective for asthma, too. However, data to support complete pulmonary rehabilitation in the long term is sparse. A clinical randomized controlled trial called Effectiveness of Pulmonary Rehabilitation in Asthma (EPRA) has been mobilized in the United States in 2017 to determine whether and how long asthma control improves after pulmonary rehabilitation.5,6
Common Sense Tips
Here are some other suggestions to help your patients who may have trouble breathing4:
Encourage patients to limit their environmental exposure by3:
Also encourage patients to:
And, most importantly, emphasize the need to call their healthcare provider if symptoms become worse!
References: 1. Mayo Clinic. Coping and support. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/asthma/basics/coping-support/con-20026992. Accessed November 21, 2017. 2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Asthma and secondhand smoke. https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/diseases/secondhand-smoke-asthma.html. Accessed November 21, 2017. 3. Mayo Clinic. Lifestyle and home remedies. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/asthma/basics/lifestyle-home-remedies/con-20026992. Accessed November 21, 2017. 4. Mayo Clinic. Prevention. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/asthma/basics/prevention/con-20026992. Accessed November 21, 2017. 5. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Treatment. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/copd/treatment. Accessed November 21, 2016. 6. Schultz K, Seidl H, Jelusic D, et al. Effectiveness of pulmonary rehabilitation for patients with asthma: study protocol of a randomized controlled trial (EPRA). BMC Pulm Med. 2017;17:49.