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If you suffer from asthma, it is incredibly important to look after yourself. Asthma is a long-term condition so you should take your medication regularly and maintain an active and healthy lifestyle in order to keep your symptoms in check. In addition to following your asthma-management plan, there are several steps you can take to help keep your asthma under control and minimise the chances of having a full-blown asthma attack.
During an asthma attack, the airways of the lungs narrow and levels of mucus increase, making it difficult for sufferers to breathe. The lungs become inflamed and you will experience severe shortness of breath. This can be quite frightening; especially if it's the first time it has happened. To alleviate the symptoms it is important to sit down and make sure that any tight items of clothing are loosened. Try to stay calm as stress can make the symptoms worse. Take your medication if you have been prescribed an inhaler. If it is a first attack or if the medication isn't helping after about five minutes it is important to call an ambulance or see a doctor to get medical attention.
Asthma is a chronic condition, but that doesn't mean that the condition should affect your day-to-day life. Though it may affect your performance or ability if you're thinking of going into sports jobs, this does also depend on the intensity of your asthma. There are a number of steps you can take to minimise your chances of having an attack and most people find that their asthma does not prevent them from doing the things they enjoy.
Most asthma sufferers will start getting the symptoms of an attack a couple of days before it actually happens. Signs of this can include increased breathlessness and using your inhaler more regularly or changes in your peak-flow metre reading. These symptoms can be brought about by a number of different triggers, so being aware of the things that can contribute to an attack is an important first step in preventing your symptoms from worsening.
Incidences of asthma have increased significantly over the last few decades and there are a number of triggers that have been linked to the condition. By avoiding them you can reduce your chances of having an attack. Asthma attacks are normally the result of the body reacting to an airborne allergen. It could be cat or dog hair or even pollen or dust mites, so if you have asthma it is important to keep your home dust free. Try not to use too many cleaning products with strong smells, however, as the chemicals in them have also been linked to asthma attacks. It's best to use natural products if you possibly can. The same goes for deodorants, body sprays and hairsprays. Many of them contain allergens which can cause an attack, so it's important to monitor your symptoms if you are using a new product.
Some foods have also been linked to asthma, most notably dairy products, nuts, eggs and fish. It can be worth eliminating them from your diet one at a time to see is there is any improvement in your symptoms. The most important thing that asthma sufferers can do to help themselves keep well is to eat healthily and get regular exercise. Asthma doesn't have to rule your life - look after yourself and follow your action plan and the likelihood of having an attack will decrease.
Zoe is an avid blogger and freelance writer for a variety of health companies and brands. She is currently writing for health career specialists Nuffield Health. You can follow Zoe on Twitter: @bloggingstyle.