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How To Help People With Asthma

Personal Asthma Action Plan

How to Treat an Asthma Attack – First Aid Training – St John Ambulance

As part of your initial assessment, you should be encouraged to draw up a personal asthma action plan with your GP or asthma nurse.

If you’ve been admitted to hospital because of an asthma attack, you should be offered an action plan before you go home.

The action plan should include information about your asthma medicines, and will help you recognise when your symptoms are getting worse and what steps to take. You should also be given information about what to do if you have an asthma attack.

Your personal asthma action plan should be reviewed with your GP or asthma nurse at least once a year, or more frequently if your symptoms are severe.

As part of your asthma plan, you may be given a peak flow meter. This will give you another way of monitoring your asthma, rather than relying only on symptoms, so you can recognise deterioration earlier and take appropriate steps.

Read further information:

What If Cockroaches Are A Trigger

And pets aren’t the only living triggers at home cockroaches can be a major asthma trigger that can be difficult to avoid in apartments. If cockroaches are a problem:

  • Don’t save boxes, paper bags, or newspapers.
  • Don’t leave open food or dirty dishes lying around your kitchen. Keep counters free of crumbs or spills.
  • Keep garbage containers closed and wash recyclables before putting them in the bin.

You want to be comfortable at home where you spend most of your time so try to remove as many asthma triggers as you can. When your house doesn’t cause asthma flare-ups, it really is home, sweet home!

Fresh Fruits And Vegetables

If you’re looking for a way to improve your diet while living with asthma, incorporating more fresh fruits and vegetables is a great place to start. Not only are they low in calories to promote a healthy weight, but they also contain essential nutrients that can support a healthy lung function.

Fruits and vegetables are packed with antioxidants like beta-carotene and vitamins C and E. Studies have shown diets high in fruits and vegetables, especially apples and oranges, can reduce the risk of developing asthma and reduce wheezing.

Bananas may also decrease the incidence of wheezing in children due to their antioxidant and potassium content, which can improve lung function.

Other important fruits and vegetables to include in your diet include broccoli, berries, leafy greens, melon, and avocado.

Read Also: How To Help Someone Having An Asthma Attack

Get To Know Their Triggers

Triggers are what can cause an asthma attack. Common triggers include animal dander, fragrance, smoke, and pollen. Some people can also be triggered by extreme temperatures, stress, and certain foods.

As stated before, everyones asthma is different, so it is best to ask what someones triggers are. Lighting a floral scented candle may seem innocent enough, but this could be enough to trigger someone into having a full-blown asthma attack.

Ecological Asthma Trigger #: Pet Dander

Asthma Treatment

People with asthma may have difficulty breathing when they come in contact with pet dander.

Dander is made up of tiny flakes of dead skin that pets shed. All animals produce dander, but cats are the biggest offenders because they have so much fur. Dogs also create dander, but to a lesser degree. Dander is kicked into the air when an animal shakes its fur or scratches its skin. It can also be released when an animal breathes, drools, or urinates.

Will an air purifier help me eliminate pet dander ? Yes. An air purifier will help here too. But again, if youre trying to eliminate pet dander, be sure to invest in an air purifier with a HEPA filter.
  • Pro tip: Use a vacuum equipped with a HEPA filter, and vacuum twice per week at a minimum. Dont forget to clean upholstered furniture and other surfaces . Read our full report about pet dander here. Youll also find our top 4 air purifiers for pet dander in there if your house is full of hairy beasts.

Ecological Asthma Trigger #5: Pollen

When pollen is ingested, it can cause an allergic reaction, leading to asthma symptoms.

Pollen is a powdery substance released by plants as part of their reproductive process. Pollen can cause asthma in two ways: inhalation and ingestion.

Will an air purifier help me reduce pollen in my home? Yes. An air purifier will remove airborne particles that can cause congestion, such as pollen. Again, its all about the filter. Here. Go HEPA or go home.

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How Can You Tell If You Have Asthma

It can be hard to tell if someone has asthma, especially in children under age 5. Having a doctor check how well your lungs work and check for allergies can help you find out if you have asthma.

During a checkup, a doctor will ask if you cough a lot, especially at night. He or she will also ask whether your breathing problems are worse after physical activity or at certain times of year. The doctor will then ask about chest tightness, wheezing, and colds lasting more than 10 days. He or she will ask whether anyone in your family has or has had asthma, allergies, or other breathing problems. Finally, the doctor will ask questions about your home and whether you have missed school or work or have trouble doing certain things.

The doctor may also do a breathing test, called spirometry, to find out how well your lungs are working by testing how much air you can breathe out after taking a very deep breath before and after you use asthma medicine.

Further Support For Carers

Weve put together a list of further help and support for carers.

  • A Carers Assessment – your local council can assess whether you have the support you need and are claiming the benefits you are entitled to.
  • Welfare benefits we have more information about benefits you may be eligible for if you care for someone.
  • Breaks and respite care the NHS has more information on getting help with carers breaks and respite care.
  • Carers Trust providing support and advice for carers, including those under 18, a forum and information about local support centres.
  • Carers UK provide help and advice for carers, such as benefits, carers assessments, and respite care.
  • Citizens advice provide help and support for carers, including making day-to-day life easier and information on carers benefits.
  • Age UK advice for older carers and a telephone befriending service.
  • The Childrens Society support for young carers and their families.
  • Money Helper information on money, health and how to prepare for a carers assessment.

For more support with caring for someone with severe asthma, call our friendly Helpline team on 0300 222 5800 . Or you can WhatsApp them on 07378 606 728.

Next review due: March 2025

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Benefits Of Exercising With Asthma

Even if you have asthma, you shouldnt avoid exercise altogether.

Regular physical activity is essential for managing health, improving energy, and reducing the risk of chronic disease. If you already have a chronic condition, regular exercise can help you manage it.

This includes asthma. With a doctors guidance, regular exercise could help asthma by:

  • promoting blood flow to your lungs and heart
  • improving endurance and stamina

Yoga Breathing Exercises For Asthma

How does asthma work? – Christopher E. Gaw

Yoga breathing or yogasana for asthma stems from the practice of yoga. As a form of exercise, yoga incorporates the need to breathe steadily in a controlled fashion whilst moving, stretching and balancing.

Some studies have shown encouraging results and an improvement in asthma symptoms after yoga breathing techniques have been practised. Yoga is also good for helping to relieve stress and, as stress can be a trigger for asthma, it may be good to try both yoga breathing exercises and yoga movements.

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How Asthma Is Treated

While there is no cure for asthma, there are a number of treatments that can help control the condition.

Treatment is based on two important goals, which are:

  • relieving symptoms
  • preventing future symptoms and attacks

For most people, this will involve the occasional or, more commonly, daily use of medications, usually taken using an inhaler. However, identifying and avoiding possible triggers is also important.

You should have a personal asthma action plan agreed with your doctor or nurse that includes information about the medicines you need to take, how to recognise when your symptoms are getting worse, and what steps to take when they do so.

These symptoms are often worse at night and early in the morning, particularly if the condition is not well controlled. They may also develop or become worse in response to a certain trigger, such as exercise or exposure to an allergen.

Read our page on the causes of asthma for more information about potential triggers.

Speak to your GP if you think you or your child may have asthma. You should also talk to your doctor or asthma nurse if you have been diagnosed with asthma and you are finding it difficult to control the symptoms.

Will I Have To Take Medicine All The Time

Maybe not. Asthma is a chronic condition that is controllable. Unfortunately, there is no cure for asthma. For that reason, you may have asthma symptoms when exposed to triggers. This is the case even if you dont have symptoms very often. Your triggers can change over time, and your treatment will depend on two things: how severe your asthma is, and how often you have symptoms. If your asthma is controlled, your treatment will focus on managing symptoms and treatment of episodes when they happen.

If your symptoms happen at certain times and you know what caused them, you and your doctor can use this information to determine the best treatment. If, for example, you have seasonal asthma because of a specific pollen allergy, you may take medicines only when that pollen is in the air. But asthma that specific is not common. Many people with asthma take some form of medicine most or all of the time.

Read Also: Is Asthma Caused By Pathogens

Signs Of Poor Asthma Control

  • You have frequent breathing difficulties and find yourself coughing or wheezing most days
  • Your asthma impacts your sleep if your asthma symptoms wake you up or keep you up at night your asthma isnt controlled
  • You cant exercise or exert yourself physically without experiencing breathing difficulties
  • You frequently miss work or school due to asthma
  • You use your reliever medication more than 2 times per week

Asthma And Breathing Exercises

How to Help Someone Experiencing an Asthma Attack

Exercising can be more challenging when you have asthma, especially if youre worried it might set off an asthma attack. But exercise is beneficial for your overall health and your asthma. In fact, having regular exercise could result in improving your asthma symptoms, as increasing your heart rate helps improve your lung power, boost stamina and reduce breathlessness.

In addition, regular exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of an asthma attack. Exercising also releases chemicals in your brain called endorphins, which can raise your mood and help you feel better.

The best types to do if you have asthma are:

  • Swimming the warm moist air in a swimming pool is asthma-friendly. Swimming is a good low-impact cardiovascular workout that helps the whole of your body and especially the muscles you use for breathing.
  • Walking walking is a great way to improve your fitness, especially if you need to build up slowly.
  • Cycling steady cycling can improve movement and endurance levels, without overstraining the lungs.
  • Jogging jogging can help strengthen the muscles you use for breathing, as well as improve your fitness as a whole.
  • Team sports team sports that involve short bursts of physical activity, such as netball, volleyball, football or athletics can be good choices to try.

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How Do Asthma Treatments Work

Asthma treatments work in these ways:

  • They relax the muscles that tighten around the airways. They relieve the squeeze. They can be short- or long-acting. By opening the airways, they help remove and reduce mucus. These medicines are bronchodilators or beta agonists.
  • They reduce the swelling and mucus inside the airways. These medicines are anti-inflammatories .
  • Bronchodilators

    Bronchodilators can be short- or long-acting. If you use short-acting bronchodilators more than two days a week, talk with your doctor about your asthma control. You may need to make changes to your treatment plan to better control your asthma.


    Anti-inflammatories come in many different forms. They are also called controllers because they help to control or prevent asthma symptoms. They reduce swelling and extra mucus inside the airways. They will not relieve sudden symptoms.

    Other Types of Medicines and Treatments

    Single Maintenance and Reliever Therapy

    The 2020 Focused Updates to the Asthma Management Guidelines recommends single maintenance and reliever therapy, also known as SMART. SMART uses one inhaler that has two medicines as a quick-relief and controller medicine. When on SMART, you can either take your medicine only as needed to relieve sudden symptoms, or you can take it daily as a controller and as needed for quick relief. This is based on your age and the severity of your asthma.

    Know The 4 Steps Of Asthma First Aid

    Its important for everyone in the community to know the 4 steps of asthma first aid.

    One of the most common reliever medications in Australia is salbutamol, often known as your blue puffer. These are available over the counter from a chemist.

    If you are not sure if someone is having an asthma attack, you can still use blue reliever medication because it is unlikely to cause harmCall triple zero immediately if:

    • the person is not breathing
    • their asthma suddenly becomes worse or is not improving
    • the person is having an asthma attack and theres no reliever medication available
    • the person is unsure if it is asthma
    • the person is known to have anaphylaxis. If this is the case, ALWAYS GIVE ADRENALINE AUTOINJECTOR FIRST, and then reliever, even if there are no skin symptoms.

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    What Causes The Attack In The First Place

    An asthma attack occurs when an asthma triggereverything from airborne allergens like pollen, dust mites, mold spores, pet dander, cigarette smoke, and air pollution to respiratory infections, strong emotions, and stresscauses the lungs to become inflamed and swollen, says Tonya Winders, the president and CEO of the Allergy & Asthma Network in Hendersonville, TN. Other triggers include physical exercise, some medicines, thunderstorms or high humidity, breathing in cold, dry air, and fragrances. Keep in mind, your asthma triggers can be very different from someone elses.

    Talk To An Asthma Expert

    How nasal breathing helps people with asthma?

    Your asthma care provider is there to help manage your asthma so you can be active and healthy. Many doctor offices or clinics have additional staff that helps you better understand your asthma treatment plan or how to use your asthma medicines. The Lung Association offers a free service for people with asthma and their caregivers through the American Lung Association Lung HelpLine. We are here to help you. Learn more about the Lung HelpLine.

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    Top Home Remedies For Asthma

    By Dr. Josh Axe, DC, DNM, CN

    Roughly 34 million Americans now have asthma, about 7 million to 8 million of which are children. Asthma is behind 12.8 million missed school days and 10.1 million missed work days in the U.S every single year. In addition, asthma costs the U.S. about $14.7 billion a year in medical costs, prescription drugs and lost productivity leading many people to search for home remedies for asthma.

    Heres something that might surprise you: Although asthma medications can help control symptoms in the case of an emergency attack, they can actually sometimes make asthma symptomseven worse long term. Most asthma medications also have a host of side effects due to how they affect the endocrine system and the immune system. Research shows some asthma drugs might contribute to problems including mood changes, acne, yeast growth and weight gain plus over time they might hinder normal immune functions that make allergic and asthmatic reactions more frequent.

    What are some effective, holistic ways of treating asthma that can help prevent attacks instead? Home remedies for asthma that dont require taking prescription medications or even using inhalers include limiting irritant exposure, reducing food allergies, improving gut health, supplementing with vitamin D or getting more naturally from the sun, and maintaining a healthy weight.

    Move To Another Location

    Asthma patients suffer an attack in case of a trigger. If you know the possible triggers of the victim, you should get him or her moved to another location to get them away from the trigger. An asthma attack can occur due to pollen, dust, animal dander, mold, dirt, gases, and many other reasons. Some people even suffer an attack when they get excited. You should ask the person, if possible, about the possible trigger and move them to a safe location.

    Consider taking a CPR online and first aid class to learn about skills that can help save the life of the asthma victim. In a CPR online class, you will learn about the steps to provide assistance to a victim who is not breathing. With the online class, you can go beyond the basic first aid skills and learn about important lifesaving skills.

    Make sure that you select the right CPR online class to learn about lifesaving skills. Apart from helping an asthma patient, you can assist people in different emergency situations when you know CPR and basic first aid. The skills learned in the CPR online class will allow you to help drowning, choking, and heart attack victims.

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