If you or a loved one has asthma, you’ll know that managing all the symptoms associated with this disorder can be a challenge. This lung condition is common among people of all age ranges and signs that someone might have it include breathlessness, wheezing, a tight chest and coughing fit.
According to the NHS, asthma attacks kill three people in the UK every day. This makes it a very real concern for those who have the condition, along with their family and friends who must know how to act in the event of an attack, such as by always having at hand a portable oxygen concentrator.
However, if you’ve been recently diagnosed with asthma, there are steps you can take to reduce the chances of your symptoms flaring up.
If you’ve always been a smoker, now is the time to stop. Smoking affects the lungs and this is the area of the body that’s affected when you have asthma. So, whether you smoke a cigar or a roll-up, you’ll find that this action irritates your lungs, typically causing coughs and potentially leading to an asthma attack.
There are different ways you can kick the habit. There’s an app or you might prefer nicotine patches. Take the time to work out what suits you. Whatever you do, it’ll be better for your health in the long run.
Check for mould
Mould is a fungus that likes to grow in damp areas. It’s usually green, white, or black in colour and is fuzzy in texture. You’re most likely to find it in bathrooms and kitchens.
It’s bad for asthma sufferers because it creates spores that can affect the lungs when breathed in, triggering the coughing and wheezing asthma symptoms. You’re also more likely to pick up colds and cases of flu if you’re exposed to mould, and this can trigger your symptoms too.
To stem the onset of mould, try painting your bathroom in mould-resistant paint and making sure your home is well-ventilated. Keeping things dry is key as mould only likes to grow where there’s moisture in the air.
Change your lifestyle
By changing how you look after yourself, you’re more likely to see a reduction in your symptoms. As well as using your asthma medication, try different techniques and practices that focus on your breathing.
For instance, simple breathing exercises have been known to improve the quality of life for those with the condition. It can be helpful in keeping you calm, as stressful situations can cause faster breathing.
Similarly, removing stress where possible can be hugely beneficial. Try mindfulness exercises and massage therapy, to begin with. If there are wider concerns around your stress levels, such as your work life, you might need to consider speaking up and seeing if there are ways to get a support network around you.
Also, something as simple as using a self-care app can go a long way. Popping on a meditation track when you’re feeling your chest tighten can help you slow your breathing and relax.