Living with Asthma
If you’ve just been diagnosed with asthma, you may feel a little discouraged. But you should know that with proper management and treatment, most people with asthma live perfectly normal, healthy and active lives.
Find out what your asthma triggers are. Ask your doctor about the common asthma triggers. Your doctor will give you lots of useful advice, and possibly refer you to a specialist or an asthma educator. An allergy assessment may be useful to determine your ‘allergic triggers.’ To find out what ‘non-allergic triggers’ you have, you may be asked to keep a diary of your symptoms.
Once you have a clear idea what things are making your asthma worse, you can learn how to avoid them. Avoiding triggers that are under your control will help you be better prepared to deal with the triggers that are more difficult to avoid, like pollen, smog and viruses.
To achieve and maintain total asthma control, you will need to avoid your triggers AND take a controller medication. If your doctor prescribes medication, take the time to learn what it does and how to take it properly.
In addition, your healthcare provider may:
- Suggest you use a peak flow meter to monitor your lung function. This allows you to note any changes that might mean your asthma is not being controlled properly.
- Suggest you keep a diary of the results of your peak flow monitor tests and your symptoms so that you and your doctor can use it to create a personalized Asthma Action Plan.
When it comes to staying healthy while living with asthma there are some basics that everyone with asthma should be aware of:
- Always get a proper asthma diagnosis from a healthcare professional.
- Take your asthma medications as prescribed; most people use a daily controller medication while also carrying a reliever (rescue) medication for emergencies.
- Don’t become reliant on your reliever inhaler to manage your asthma — if you are taking your reliever medication more than 3 times per week your asthma is not properly controlled and you should speak with your healthcare provider as soon as possible.
- Create an Asthma Action Plan with your doctor and use it as part of your asthma management routine. You can also use a Peak Flow Meter to help monitor your asthma and lung function.
- Know what your asthma triggers are and how to avoid them as much as possible. If you have allergic triggers work with your doctor or allergist to manage your allergy symptoms.
- Know the steps to take when having an asthma attack.
Asthma Action Plans
Exercising & Asthma
Red & Yellow Flags
Peak Flow Meters
Asthma & Influenza
Air Quality Health Index (AQHI)
If you have questions about your asthma, you can contact our free Asthma & Allergy HelpLine service, to speak with a Certified Respiratory Educator and get personalized support.