Living with asthma

Living with asthma

Living with asthma can be challenging, but if you pay attention to the details of an asthma management plan, you or your child can lead an active, healthy life.

A positive approach to living with asthma will start with an asthma management plan focused on controlling your asthma and preventing it from interfering with your lifestyle. Work with your doctor to devise a plan that works for you.

A management plan should include:

    • Asthma medication(s) to help prevent and control asthma symptoms
    • Lifestyle and environmental changes that will help you avoid your asthma triggers
    • Plans for dealing with the occasional asthma emergencies, i.e. asthma attacks
    • Regular medical follow-ups.

Living with asthma is easier with knowledge The more you know about asthma, what causes your symptoms and how to prevent them, the better you’ll be able to take care of yourself. Here are some things you need to know:

    • Find out how to use your medicine correctly; including how and when to take it, potential side-effects and how it controls your asthma
    • Know what your triggers are and how to avoid them. Once you know what your triggers are, you can strive to avoid or at least limit your contact with them.

Don’t let asthma get in the way of everyday life

The key to living with asthma successfully is to keep it under control. Asthma treatment has come so far in the last couple of decades that people who have asthma today can do just about anything that people without asthma can do, including competitive sports.

Contact with asthma triggers can be limited by controlling your environment, monitoring your condition and following your treatment plan strictly. Even people who take their asthma medicine exactly as prescribed and who work to avoid triggers can have the occasional asthma attack. When your asthma is not under control, some of the signs that you should not ignore are:

    • More frequent asthma symptoms
    • More intense asthma symptoms
    • Symptoms waking you up at night
    • Missing school or work because of asthma
    • Symptoms that do not respond as well to your asthma medicines
    • More often than usual use of your quick-relief inhaler.

You can still have a healthy, active life when living with asthma. Dealing with any health issue, including asthma, may be stressful at times and, unfortunately, stress can be a trigger for asthma attacks. Therefore it is important to learn how to cope with the challenges and frustrations of living with asthma in as positive a way as possible.