Living Well with Asthma Strategies for Managing Symptoms and Enhancing Quality of Life

Living Well with Asthma Strategies for Managing Symptoms and Enhancing Quality of Life

It is not just the medication that is important for therapeutic success in asthma. It is also crucial that the person concerned does something about bronchial asthma themselves. The most important thing is to stick to the therapy schedule that the doctor has drawn up. Those affected should deal with their illness. Here, you can discover what else to consider when living with asthma.

Dealing with the topic of asthma

Attending asthma training is part of dealing with asthmaFor example: 

  • the correct handling of bronchial asthma and medication
  • self-measurement using a peak flow meter is explained
  • the best breathing technique explained (breath school)
  • Essential aspects of living with asthma discussed in general

In particular, the doctor will explain the therapy and what to do in an emergency during an acute asthma attack. The affected person can make it easier to “monitor” the therapy if he keeps an asthma diary and enters his regular measurements.

It may also be advisable to join an asthma self-help group to exchange ideas with other sufferers.

 

prevent asthma

To prevent asthma attacks, it is essential to avoid triggers. If trigger factors and irritants are known, these should be eliminated wherever possible – whether it is cigarette smoke, animal hair or foggy, damp and cold weather. For parents of children with asthma, it is essential to avoid smoking in the child’s environment – smoking is one of the most critical risk factors for bronchial asthma.

It is also essential to avoid respiratory tract infections and teeth infections in asthma. Drinking enough is vital to keep the mucus in the airways as thin as possible.

Relaxation methods help many sufferers to better cope with bronchial asthma.

asthma and exercise

The measures described can often also be used to weaken and reduce seizures. Asthma is neither a reason nor an excuse for not exercising. On the contrary, the bronchial tubes are trained through sports and regular physical activity such as swimming or cycling. If such exertion during sport causes signs of asthma, a muscle-relaxing asthma medication can be taken shortly before sport as a preventive measure – after consultation with the doctor.

Asthmatics are often recommended for vaccination against certain airway diseases ( pneumococciinfluenza ). The same applies here: the opinion of the doctor treating you should be obtained.

 

Peak flow meter and asthma diary

To get through the day as his asthma manager, the patient has to check his lung function several times a day, ideally at fixed times, using the peak flow meter. This measuring device measures the peak respiratory flow, i.e. the most robust flow of air expelled from the lungs at the beginning of a strong exhalation.

The readings are documented in an asthma diary along with the medication. In this way, the affected person can better understand whether and to what extent their condition changes. The diary supports the treatment by the doctor and should be taken with you to every doctor’s visit. The term “traffic light scheme” is used to classify the measured values better.

  • Green stands for reaching 80 – 100 per cent of the personal best value, previously determined in several measurements. This puts the patient in a good position.
  • Yellow corresponds to 60-80 per cent of your personal best. The doctor should adjust the long-term medication and discuss further procedures with the patient.
  • Red means that the 60 per cent mark of the personal best value has been undershot, and the patient should see a doctor or a clinic immediately. The appropriate emergency medication must be available. No panic is needed, but relaxing breathing techniques should be practised.

This is how the peak flow measurement works.

For the measurement to be successful, you should proceed as follows:

  1. Slide the scale indicator to zero.
  2. Breathe in as deeply as possible and hold your breath.
  3. Put the mouthpiece in your mouth. Seal tightly with your lips! In any case, the tube must be kept straight, and the scale on the side should not be covered with your fingers.
  4. Exhale as quickly and forcefully as possible. The value can be read on the sliding display.
  5. The pointer is pushed back to zero to prepare for the subsequent measurement.
  6. Subsequent cleaning is essential. The mouthpiece can be removed and rinsed out with warm water. Then, it must be dried well.

asthma and obesity

Overall, the following rules for dealing with asthma on a daily basis have been proven:

  • Take medication regularly and as directed by your doctor.
  • a structured, balanced daily routine without hectic and stress
  • Allergen avoidance, for example, through current pollen forecast
  • Immediate visit to the doctor in case of infections
  • strict smoking ban
  •  Practice breathing exercises
  • Do endurance sports
  • Keep an asthma diary.

And finally, the same applies to asthmatics as it does to many other people in Germany: less is more because Finnish scientists have shown in a study that overweight asthmatics were less able to cope with their disease than those of average weight.

A strict diet improved the feelings and personal well-being, and lung function was demonstrably strengthened. The asthmatics could inhale and exhale air with much more force. The slimmer asthmatics also performed better in terms of inhalation and exhalation volume. As a result, the patients who lost weight also had fewer acute asthma attacks and needed fewer medications.

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