Today is World Asthma Day – a day founded by the Global Incentive For Asthma. This year the theme of the day is ‘You can control your asthma’. Today I am going to talk about my personal experience suffering with Asthma, and ways which I have found to control my Asthma.
Asthma is a condition that affects approximately 235 million people according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). It can vary in severity, ranging from mild symptoms which cause very little disruption to life, to chronic and brittle asthma which can be fatal. I myself have suffered with asthma from the age of 7, when I was diagnosed with severe asthma. Meaning I was on numerous inhalers and medications, often being required to be taken to hospital and medical centres for nebulisation and further treatment.
Over time I found medications that helped control my asthma symptoms, and allowed me to continue with life normally. After contracting swine flu in 2009 I was left very ill, resulting in being rushed into hospital and having to take over a month out of my university course. There were some key things I could have done to prevent the severity of the illness from affecting my asthma. These are some tips and tricks I have learnt over time to help control my asthma
- Find your allergens. I am, like most asthmatics, allergic to dust mites so ensure I use hypoallergenic bedding, vacuum regularly and avoid dusty environments. Many doctors and some health shops may offer allergen tests, these can help you identify what aggravates your asthma symptoms giving you more control by removing these effectors as best possible.
- Always have an inhaler on you. This allows me to react promptly with my inhalers and relieve any issues as soon as I feel any asthma symptoms worsening before they escalate.
- Have regular medical check-ups. Many doctors will offer asthma clinics. Usually once a year I will be seen by a doctor to check I am on the correct medication, using my inhalers correctly and receive a flu jab. The flu jab is important as contracting flu can be especially dangerous for asthmatics, so protect yourself as best you can.
- Learn to use inhalers correctly. It can be very easy to slip into bad habits and use inhalers incorrectly lessening their effectiveness. Check out Asthma UK inhaler technique guide to see if you are getting the best out of your medication.
- Make your home environment safe. Again like many asthmatics, I suffer with hay fever, which has before caused serious asthma attacks. So keeping allergens out of my home environment is essential. I often find opening windows in times of low pollen to have fresh air and using an air purifier when I cannot do this helps ensure I have fresh, clean, safe air.
This World Asthma Day why not make a promise to yourself to take back the control of your asthma. Book a doctor’s appointment to check you are receiving the best care possible for you, check your inhaler technique and make your home a safe environment and regain your control.