Get control of your asthma this spring

Ah, spring! Flowers are in bloom; warmer weather is here, and the skies are blue. Unfortunately, so are spring allergies. If you have asthma, these affect you even more safari attachments. Asthma is a chronic condition where your airways are narrowed and swollen. This makes breathing difficult and can cause coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. Asthma flare-ups are particularly common during spring.

Common triggers for an asthma attack include:

  • Cold air.
  • Exercise.
  • Outdoor allergens: spores and pollens from flowers and trees, air pollution.
  • Indoor allergens: dust mites, mould, pets and smoke
  • Changes in temperature.

There’s no cure for asthma, but there are ways to manage the condition. Talk to your doctor about getting tested for common allergens. This is usually done with a blood test or skin prick test. Allergy testing can help you identify triggers so you can avoid them or manage your treatment when you’re around them.

Aim for prevention

Avoid allergens as much as you can. If you’re indoors, steer clear of indoor allergens like pet dander and dust mites. Vacuum regularly to get rid of both. If you’ve been outdoors, wash your hair and clothes to get rid of allergens like pollen. If possible, use an air conditioner in your house and car to limit pollen exposure. Lastly, use a nasal wash to clear out your nasal passages.

Keep your inhaler handy

Your inhaler is your best friend when it comes to managing your asthma. Always know where your inhaler is. Keep track of how much medicine it contains and when it will need to be replaced. Using it properly is important for getting medicine into your lungs. If you don’t know how to use it properly, ask a doctor or a pharmacist.

Some inhaler guidelines:

  • Shake the canister for 10 seconds and take off the cap.
  • Attach a spacer device to the inhaler to get more medicine into your lungs.
  • Breathe out completely and then take a slow, deep breath just after you press down on the canister. Hold your breath for 10 seconds. After 30 seconds, repeat with a second puff and a third, if needed.

Keep treatments handy

To minimise your allergic reaction, you need to be prepared with proper medication. Keep antihistamines (treatment for allergies) and nasal sprays handy. If your symptoms are particularly bad, talk to your doctor about a prescription medication that can help ease your asthma. You should start your allergy medication at least two weeks before you expect allergens to become a problem.

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Minimise your local pollen count

Maintaining your garden is important, especially during spring, but it can trigger your symptoms. Try gardening in the early morning or evening when the pollen count is at its lowest. Consider asking someone to help you. Freshly cut grass and fertiliser can worsen your asthma symptoms. Wear a mask to prevent yourself from breathing in harmful particles.

When to see your doctor

Although you can take certain steps to manage your symptoms, for severe asthma, you need to see your doctor immediately.

Signs of an asthma emergency include:

Breathe out completely and then take a slow, deep breath just after you press down on the canister. Hold your breath for 10 seconds. After 30 seconds, repeat with a second puff and a third, if needed.

Keep treatments handy

To minimise your allergic reaction, you need to be prepared with proper medication. Keep antihistamines (treatment for allergies) and nasal sprays handy. If your symptoms are particularly bad, talk to your doctor about a prescription medication that can help ease your asthma. You should start your allergy medication at least two weeks before you expect allergens to become a problem.

Minimise your local pollen count

Maintaining your garden is important, especially during spring, but it can trigger your symptoms. Try gardening in the early morning or evening when the pollen count is at its lowest. Consider asking someone to help you. Freshly cut grass and fertiliser can worsen your asthma symptoms. Wear a mask to prevent yourself from breathing in harmful particles.

When to see your doctor

Although you can take certain steps to manage your symptoms, for severe asthma, you need to see your doctor immediately.

Signs of an asthma emergency include:

  • Rapid worsening of shortness of breath or wheezing.
  • No improvement in symptoms even after using your quick-relief inhaler.
  • Shortness of breath after minimal physical activity.

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