How asthma patients take care of their lungs

Asthma is a common chronic lung disease that can make it difficult to breathe. Although there is no cure for asthma, those with the condition can live healthy, active lives if their asthma is under control. Asthma is a disease that affects the airways of your lungs. With asthma, your airways’ lining tends to always be in a hypersensitive state characterized by redness and swelling (inflammation). It’s similar to how your skin becomes red, irritated and sensitive after a sunburn. This hypersensitive state makes the airways react to things that you are exposed to every day, or asthma “triggers.” A trigger could be the common cold, stress, changes in the weather, or things in the environment, such as dust, chemicals, smoke and pet dander.

After an asthma flare-up, you probably will feel tired. You’re also at greater risk of having another flare-up for several days after an episode. For the days following a flare-up, be sure to:

Avoid your asthma triggers
Monitor your symptoms or check you airways using a peak flow meter

Airway Remodeling

Poor asthma management can lead to airway remodeling. Airway remodeling is a serious condition that happens when asthma is untreated or poorly managed. The lungs become scarred, asthma medicines do not work as well and less air is able to move through your airways. Airway remodeling does not have to happen. Work with a healthcare professional to minimize asthma flare-ups and find a treatment plan that works for your lungs.

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When you keep your asthma under control, you can prevent severe attacks and lasting damage to your airways. You need to treat your asthma even when you are not having symptoms. Although asthma is a lifelong disease, treatment can help control it and help you stay healthy.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It’s also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

Write down your symptoms in an asthma diary each day. Recording symptoms can help you recognize when you need to make treatment adjustments according to your asthma action plan. Use your asthma diary to record:

lungs

Shortness of breath or whistling sounds when you exhale (wheezing).
Disturbed sleep caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing.
Chest tightness or pain.
Quick-relief (rescue) inhaler use — record when you need to use your quick-relief inhaler, such as albuterol (Proventil HFA, Ventolin HFA, ProAirHFA), and write down how many puffs you take.
Disruptions to work, school, exercise or other day-to-day activities caused by asthma symptoms.
Asthma symptoms during exercise.
Changes in color of phlegm you cough up.
Hay fever symptoms such as sneezing and runny nose.
Anything that seems to trigger asthma flare-ups.

here are Some helpful tips for people with asthma.

1. Know your triggers and avoid them
Triggers like allergens and irritants can make your asthma symptoms worse by irritating your airways. The best way to control your asthma is to know what your asthma triggers are and how to avoid them.

2. Take your asthma medication as prescribed by your doctor
Many people think they can skip their asthma preventer (controller) medications when they don’t feel any symptoms – that’s not true. Asthma is a chronic (long-term) disease. If you have asthma, you have it all the time, even when you don’t feel symptoms. You have to manage your asthma every day, not just on days when you feel symptoms.

3. Learn how to use your inhaler properly
Your health-care provider can show you how to use your inhaler properly so that your medicine reaches the airways. Ask him or her to watch you use your inhaler. Your health-care provider may offer suggestions on how to improve your technique so that the medication gets to your airways.

4. Quit smoking and avoid second-hand smoke
If you smoke and have asthma, you should quit smoking as this can significantly reduce the severity and frequency of your symptoms. Smoking can also reduce the effectiveness of asthma medication. If you have asthma but don’t smoke, avoid being exposed to second-hand smoke because this may trigger worsening of your symptoms.

5. Keep fit by exercising
Exercise helps by strengthening your breathing muscles, boosting your immune system and helping to keep a healthy body weight. The key to exercising safely is to make sure your asthma is under control lungs before you start.

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