5 Coping Stategies for Asthma by Debbie Davis
Regardless of its severity, there are numerous strategies for coping with asthma on a number of different levels. There are strategies for medications, monitoring, early warning signals, onset of attacks, and prevention.
Let's look at these five asthma coping strategies and see when and how they can be applied, and what the possible benefits are both as short and long-term strategies.
1. Medications--Once you have been diagnosed your doctor will prescribe medication based on the severity of your asthma, pre-existing conditions and medications, and your overall health. This might involve tablets, but very likely it will also involve one or more inhalers.
These tend to be either preventative inhalers which are taken regularly every day regardless of the state of your asthma, or reliever inhalers which help to relieve the symptoms should they appear.
One strategy is to spend time learning how to use these properly, familiarizing yourself with their correct use and taking them with you wherever you go. Simply knowing they are available can be a psychological comfort, and worrying about using them, or about not having them, can produce just enough stress to trigger an attack.
2. Monitoring--Make sure you schedule regular check ups and keep the appointments. Unlike many other conditions, asthma can vary from time to time, sometimes getting worse and at other times getting better. To make sure that your condition doesn't worsen without you being aware of it, which could result in your medications not working as effectively as you'd hope, make sure that you attend regularly checkups with your doctor.
If you have a peak flow meter or other home test kit, use this regularly, and keep a log of the results, as well as a record of attacks to allow your doctor to spot trends that will make a diagnosis more accurate.
3. Early Warnings--Most asthmatics are aware very early on that their breathing has become constricted. In most cases, asthma doesn't occur as a sudden and unexpected shortage of breath, but rather a progressive degeneration of breathing with a tightening or constriction effect occurring gradually, increasing in severity.
A good strategy is to realize as soon as you detect the earliest onset of breathing difficulty, and sit down, stop, and try to control your breathing. If you sit calmly and concentrate on your breathing then, in many cases, you may find yourself able to prevent it from getting worse, and recover your breath without the need for medication.
4. Attacks--Should an asthma attack occur, it's important to remain as calm as possible. Stop whatever it is you are doing, and try to stay calm. Sit down, but don't squash your abdomen. Sitting on the front edge of a chair and leaning forwards slightly can help. Concentrate on your breathing and try to keep it slow, deep and regular.
If you start to panic then you may begin to hyperventilate, and this will make the condition worse. Think carefully about the location of your inhaler. Remember - stop, sit down, control your breathing and calm down - then you're ready to deal with your medication.
5. Prevention--There are many books written on preventative asthma coping strategies, and these cover factors in your home such as hypoallergenic bedding, avoiding pets, and using special filtered vacuum cleaners.
However, one of the simplest and cheapest is to practice some form of quiet meditation. Meditation is excellent for helping control your breathing, and by doing this you may help to build better breath control which will allow you to prevent or limit the onset of asthma from becoming any worse, or of dealing with it should you suffer a full asthma attack.
Filtering your air is also an effective way to prevent a build up of indoor pollutants that could possibly trigger an attack. By using a high efficiency particle arresting (abbreviated as HEPA) to remove household dust, dust mites, mold and mildew spores, pet dander and smoke, you are removing the very allergens that often cause flare ups.
An excellent HEPA air purifier to remove asthma triggers from your air is offered by PurerAir.com-- the Allergy Air Purifier See it now at http://purerair.com/allergy_machine.html Debbie Davis, President, PurerAir.com
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