Asthma is a disorder that causes inflammation of the airways, making it hard for a person to breathe. It has no cure, so anyone who has been diagnosed with asthma will have it for life, although symptoms can improve over time. Learning to live with asthma is necessary for these people. I was diagnosed with asthma when I was 8, and have experienced the symptoms ever since. However, by changing parts of my life and remembering what to do, I have learned to live with it. Here are the important things to do to help you live with a diagnosis of asthma.
The first, most important thing to do is talk to your doctor. With your doctor, you can figure out if there are any medicines you can take to help your asthma, as well as get prescriptions for inhalers. You will most likely be given a prescription for a fast acting inhaler, such as Albuterol. You need to keep this inhaler on hand and ready to be used as soon as you have an asthma attack. It can get rid of the symptoms almost instantly, and can even save your life. It is very important that you carry it with you, but later in this article I'll give you tips for if you forget it and have an asthma attack.
The next important thing to do is figure out what your triggers are and how you can avoid them. Some common triggers are animal fur, dust, cold weather, and smoke. Whenever you notice that your breathing is getting a little bit worse, or you start wheezing, immediately use your rescue inhaler. Then, start trying to figure out what is causing it. Are you near people who are smoking? Have you been doing something physical, like running or riding a bike? Are there animals nearby? The first time something particular triggers your asthma, you might want to make a note of it, so you don't forget that it bothers you. The next thing to do is get away from the trigger. If it's cold weather, go inside where it's warm. If it's If it's animals or people smoking, walk away from them.
At many points in your life, you will have to explain your asthma to other people, and sometimes ask them to change what they are doing for you. For me, smoke is a really bad trigger, and it seems like at least once a week I am explaining to people that I can't be in their house or car if they smoke inside it, I can't hold a conversation with them while they are smoking, and I can't stand close to, hug, or kiss a person that just had a cigarette. The correct way to do this is to always be polite first. If you are holding a conversation with someone and they pull out a box of cigarettes, apologize and let them know that you have asthma and will have to move away from them if they start smoking. Most people will wait to finish the conversation, or at least give you time to walk away before lighting it. If they ignore you and light it anyway, don't say anything else, and just walk away. You can always continue your conversation another time if you need to.
Another important thing to remember is to always be proactive about your asthma. If someone invites you over to your house, find out if they have anything in their house that will be triggering, such as carpets (they hold a lot of dust and animal fur if they aren't vacuumed frequently) or animals. If you're invited to an outdoor party and you're worried about the cold air or pollen, find out if there will be an indoor place you can go if the outdoors gets to be too much for you. Most people already know someone with asthma, and will be understanding.
It is important that you always carry your rescue inhaler, but sometimes mistakes will happen, and you'll end up having an asthma attack and not having your inhaler with you. Here's what to do if that happens to you. The first and most important thing to do is get away from the trigger. If you can't find specifically what the trigger is, move away from where you are. If you're indoors, go outside, and vice versa. Find one person that you've spent a long time with (new people could have perfumes, smoke, etc. that could be causing your asthma), let them know you're having an asthma attack, and bring them with you wherever you go. This person can run and get something if you need it, or even call an ambulance for you if you decide it's required. Next, sit down and calm down. Being anxious or upset will only make your asthma worse. Figure out how bad your attack is. if it's mostly gone already, sit down for a few more minutes and relax before carefully going back to what you were doing, avoiding the trigger. if it's horrible, and it isn't improving, get the person to call for an ambulance.While you're waiting, have them find out if anyone else has an inhaler with them. Taking someone else's medication is normally not recommended, but it could be the difference between life or death.
I hope all of these tips help you live successfully with your asthma. Just remember that by being proactive, you can live just fine with asthma. And don't forget your inhaler!