Having asthma changes how people live. Not being able to breathe means you cannot do some of the things you used to take for granted every day. This brochure provides some things you can do to help make your chores easier to do and enjoy some of the things you like to do again.
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Living With Asthma or Severe Asthma
Having asthma changes how people live. Maybe you can't keep your windows open anymore, even on a beautiful day. Maybe you will begin to wheeze or cough while trying to talk to someone. Maybe you will need to say no when your child begs for a dog or a cat. Not being able to breathe means you cannot do some of the things you used to take for granted every day: walking to the store, doing chores, working, and sleeping. This can certainly make you feel sad, frustrated, or even angry.
With a little planning, you can make your chores easier to do and enjoy some of the things you like to do again.
Top of the list
The most important thing, as you probably already guessed, is to quit smoking if you currently smoke. It's also a good idea to stay away from other people who smoke. These things can irritate your lungs and cause an asthma attack.
If you have asthma, you should try to stay at a normal weight for your body type. Being overweight can make asthma symptoms worse. It also puts you at a greater risk of getting other health problems.
The flu can also cause serious problems if you have asthma. Flu shots and pneumonia vaccines may help lower your risk of infections that can cause asthma attacks.
The goal of pulmonary rehabilitation is to help improve the well-being of patients with COPD. A healthcare team offers programs to help patients stay active and carry out their daily activities. But some of the things that make up pulmonary rehabilitation may also be good for asthma. They include exercise programs and education about asthma and your lungs. So far, there is still no proof to show that pulmonary rehabilitation works in the long term for people with asthma. A clinical study called the Effectiveness of Pulmonary Rehabilitation for Asthma (EPRA) was started in 2017 to see whether pulmonary rehabilitation really does improve asthma and, if so, for how long.
Common sense tips
Partner with your healthcare provider to:
Try to keep away from things in your environment, both inside and outside, that may make your asthma worse. Some steps to avoid triggers include:
Talk to other people about your asthma. Support groups made up of people with the same condition as you can give you insights and help you see that you are not alone.
Other tips to keep in mind:
And, above all, remember to call your healthcare provider if your symptoms worsen!