As the cold and flu season quickly approaches, it is important to remember that they both trigger asthma attacks. For those asthmatics with colds and flu as a trigger, following are some general asthma health tips to keep in mind:
- See your healthcare provider whenever ill. Depending on your general health status, you may need adjustments in your plan of care due to the existence of other healthcare problems.
- Develop a plan with your healthcare provider focused on prevention in consideration of colds and flu acting as triggers.
- Talk with your healthcare provider about periodically measuring the effectiveness of your asthma plan of care. Spirometry testing may be ordered to do so; a test measuring the amount of air breathed.
- There are also internal environmental triggers in the home which require correction.
- Have your home treated for cockroaches, if they exist. The flesh and debris expelled into the environment when the insects are squashed contributes to asthma.
- Clean dust frequently from furniture, drapes, blinds, floors, and surfaces.
- Smoke elicited from fireplaces can irritate the lungs.
- Frequent housecleaning including vacuuming of carpets is necessary to minimize pet dander, bacteria, viruses, and allergens.
- The fumes elicited from aerosols and cleansers can irritate the lungs.
- Cigarette smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke will also cause lung irritation as well as asthma flare-ups.
- If you need to use your rescue inhaler more than two times per week or have night symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest tightness, wheezing, or cough; you need to see your healthcare provider immediately.
- Minimize stress, which does trigger an asthma flare-up. The deep-breathing technique is a good choice. It entails breathing in through the nose, counting to ten while holding, and then blowing air out slowly through pursed lips.
- Have your rescue inhaler handy whenever exercising in the event an asthma flare-up occurs during your activity.
Maintain your lung health throughout the cold and flu season!
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