Asthma is a respiratory condition that causes difficulty when breathing. In order to treat asthma properly, you need to first monitor your symptoms. This will help you understand how well your lungs are actually working. This will help you create an asthma maintenance plan with your physician. Here are three tips on how to attack treatment for asthma sufferers.
1- Track Your Symptoms
Create a journal and everyday write down how you feel and your symptoms. Some symptoms you should look for are:
- Shortness of breath or whistling sounds when you exhale (wheezing).
- Changes in color of phlegm when you cough up.
- Anything that causes an asthma flare-up
- Disruptions to work, school, exercise or other daily activities caused by asthma symptoms.
- Disturbed sleep caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing.
- Chest pain or stiffness.
- Asthma symptoms during exercise.
- Hay fever symptoms such as sneezing and runny nose.
2- Document How Your Lungs Are Functioning
Your doctor will most likely want you to keep track of outcomes of certain breathing tests. There are two common lung function tests.
Peak flow – This is done with a peak flow meter. This test measures how quickly you are able to force air from the lungs. Peak flow readings show how well your lungs are working at their best. The results are provided as a percentage. This percentage is referred to as your personal best peak flow.
Spirometry Tests – Your Dr will use a machine to perform this test in their office. This test measures how much air your lungs can hold and how much air you can exhale in one second after taking a deep breath. This is known as expiratory volume (FEV1). This number is then compared with individuals without asthma.
3- Create A Treatment Plan In Accordance With Your Asthma Action Plan
If your lungs are not working properly, you need to speak with your Dr and adjust your treatment. By creating an asthma action plan, you will understand how to adjust your asthma treatment medication.
There are two main types of medication to treat asthma.
Long-term control medications – These are inhaled corticosteroids. This medication helps keep asthma in control. It helps keep inflammation at bay and also eliminates asthma flare ups.
Quick-relief inhalers – Quick relief inhalers are mainly known as albuterol. This is used as a need be basis. It helps open your airways to breath easier.
Here are a few reasons why you might have to change your medications:
- If your symptoms are still acting up.
- If your asthma is controlled, you may be able to decrease the quantity.
- If you have seasonal allergies, your medication may need to be increased during a certain time of year.
Your asthma symptoms constantly change. Making sure you monitor your symptoms can help keep your asthma controlled. Make sure you meet with your Dr regularly.