Managing asthma in adults: Minimize the impact of adult-onset asthma on your busy life
Asthma in adults is a fairly common issue. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, more than 17 million adults in the United States have asthma. Many people think of asthma as an issue that begins in childhood, so it can be disheartening if you begin experiencing symptoms and are diagnosed with asthma in adulthood. Armed with knowledge, medication, and your doctor’s advice, you can minimize the impact asthma has on your busy life.
Learn about adult onset asthma symptoms
Adult onset asthma is asthma that begins after adolescence. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, women are more likely than men to develop asthma as adults, and sometimes experience asthma symptoms for the first time during (or after) pregnancy. Much like asthma that begins in childhood, adult asthma symptoms include wheezing, coughing and tightness in the chest.
If you think you might have asthma, see your doctor. If you experience severe difficulty breathing, call 911.
Develop a treatment plan for managing asthma with your doctor
As you’re learning about how asthma affects you, your doctor will recommend treatments and medications to manage asthma symptoms. Working on this plan with your doctor puts you in control of your asthma, so you don’t have to worry about an asthma attack getting out of control. According to the Mayo Clinic, prevention is key to keeping asthma under control, and involves learning about and avoiding your triggers; it may also include taking a daily medication to keep symptoms in check. An emergency inhaler is another effective tool for managing asthma in adults. You can use emergency inhalers to relieve symptoms when you notice they’re getting worse, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
Make environmental and lifestyle changes to minimize triggers
Asthma in adults can be tricky to manage when triggers come from a number of possible sources. Medication alone may not be enough to manage your symptoms. Once you understand what triggers your asthma, you can be proactive and make sure things in your life and environment are not increasing the likelihood of an asthma attack. You might even find that your work environment triggers your asthma, and you wouldn’t be alone. More than 11 million people can find asthma triggers at their workplace, according to the American Lung Association. They also provide a great list of things you can do to minimize those triggers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among the most common triggers are tobacco smoke, dust and mold, so making other changes in your life like quitting smoking, using your air conditioner and keeping your spaces tidy can help minimize symptoms.
It’s important to stay active and exercise regularly, even after an asthma diagnosis. According to the Mayo Clinic, treatment will help control symptoms during physical activity, and regular exercise can strengthen your lungs to improve symptoms.
Stay in touch with your doctor
It’s important to keep your asthma treatment plan up to date by checking in with your doctor and discussing changes in your symptoms. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, your symptoms may change over time, and your doctor will adjust your medication as your asthma changes. Minimize time away from work by connecting with expertly skilled pulmonologists via Telehealth services. With Telehealth services, you can see an asthma specialist from within your own community, minimizing the burden of spending time away from work or arranging temporary child care.
By being proactive, asthma in adults can be effectively managed. Work with your doctor to develop an asthma care plan and understand and minimize your exposure to asthma triggers; check in with your doctor regularly to update your plan. By taking these steps, you can keep your adult asthma from interfering in your busy life.
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