Sure, experiencing breathing problems can be a bit of a hurdle. But, look at it this way – hurdles are meant to be jumped over. Asthma doesn’t have to stop you from living an active, healthy life. But, controlling your asthma means working with your doctor to identify the triggers behind asthma attacks and then to coming up with a plan to prevent them from occurring.
Here are 10 important questions to ask your allergist about asthma that can set you up for a happy and active lifestyle:
- Are the medications I’m currently taking correct? Should I be adjusting my medication if I feel better or worse, and which ones do I use if I get an asthma attack?
- How often is too often to be using my ‘rescue’ medications (such as a rescue inhaler)?
- Am I using my inhaler correctly? I’ve heard about spacers; do I need one?
- I’ve been feeling fine lately, so do I have to take my meds even if I feel well?
- Are there any side effects with my medication or possible interactions with other medications?
- How do I know if I need emergency care? If I’m short of breath, is that an emergency?
- Can I have a pet at home? Are some pets more likely to cause my asthma symptoms to flare up?
- What about carpeting, using household chemical cleaners, and should I keep my windows closed?
- Should I get a flu shot, and what about a pneumonia vaccination to help prevent lung infection?
- Can or should I exercise? What’s the best type of exercise for me?
Some of the common symptoms of asthma flare-ups:
- Feeling short of breath. Rarely, some pain the chest
- Feeling a ‘tightness’ in your chest
About your medications
There are a few different types of medication that treat asthma. There are so-called short-term acting medications (such as inhaled beta agonists) that help relax constricted airways. There are also long-lasting medications such as inhaled corticosteroids that help reduce inflammation in your airways and are often used in combination with other medication that helps keep airways relaxed and open.
Bring a list of medications you are currently taking, and any old medication you were prescribed in the past with you to your appointment.
Will I ever be cured from my asthma?
Asthma is a chronic lung disease, which means that even on the days you feel fine you still have asthma. With asthma, your lungs are ‘super sensitive’ to allergens or triggers. Everyone has different triggers; yours may be certain pollens or household cleaners; or cold air and exercise. Maybe pollution in the air makes your asthma symptoms flare up.
Regardless of what makes you asthma worse, asking questions when you visit your allergist can help keep your allergy symptoms at bay, and keep you breathing free.
What can I do?
Asthma is a life-long disease, and it can be serious…sometimes deadly. But, successfully treating asthma and managing symptoms can help you maintain a normal and active lifestyle; the key is to get treatment and follow your doctor’s advice.
For expert asthma care and treatment at Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Associates of Tampa Bay, call our offices today at (813) 971-9743, or use our online appointment request form.