Many people suffer from asthma, and with the right care and treatment, those with the condition can lead normal, healthy lives. Self-care is vital when living with asthma to enable you to prevent attacks as much as possible. It’s also important to know what to do if an attack were to happen. With young people at a higher risk of suffering from an asthma attack, it’s good to educate yourself about living with the condition to help you enjoy a healthy lifestyle.
Asthma in the UK
According to the UK’s leading asthma charity, Asthma UK, there are currently 5.4 million living with the condition. With 1 in 5 households being affected, it’s likely that you or someone you know suffers with asthma.
According to a recent poll, young people are at the greatest risk of suffering an asthma attack, highlighting the need for self-care, as well as making sure that sure that sufferers receive the right advice from healthcare officials. It’s possible that young people might not be aware of the seriousness of asthma, and may put themselves at risk through neglecting their self-care. While asthma rates are beginning to plateau, it’s estimated that three people a day die from the condition. It’s important that people with asthma receive an appropriate personal asthma action plan to make sure that those living with the condition are able to manage it effectively.
Self-care tips for living with asthma
When you’re living with asthma, it’s important that you practice self-care to help you control your symptoms and equip yourself with the knowledge of what to do in the event of an attack. Some key tips for living with asthma include:
Use your inhaler as required
Your GP can advise you on the best way to use your inhaler, and you must make sure to use it regularly to help with your asthma symptoms. Using your inhaler regularly can help prevent asthma attacks and keep symptoms at bay.
Double check before taking new medication
It’s important that you make your asthma known when receiving any new medication. If you’re unsure, check with your doctor or pharmacist.
Not smoking is an important part of self-care, as it can lead to many serious health conditions. For asthma sufferers, smoking can heighten your symptoms and make them more frequent. Your GP surgery or pharmacist will be able to provide you with useful advice on how to give up smoking.
Exercise to stay fit
With the right treatment plan, you can exercise as normal. Exercise is important for helping you maintain a healthy weight and good standard of fitness.
Eating well is also important for your health, and can help avoid obesity which can put further strain on your body.
Vaccinations are very important for asthma sufferers. You should make sure that you get your flu jab each year, as well as a pneumococcal vaccination. Speak to your doctor about any other vaccinations they think you should have, especially if you plan on going abroad.
Getting help in the event of an asthma attack
Asthma attacks can be very serious, so it’s important to know what to do if you have one. Your doctor should be able to provide you with an action plan that will indicate when to seek help for your symptoms.
Seeing your GP
If your symptoms are appearing more frequently, or you’re relying on your inhaler more than usual, then it’s important that you get in touch with your surgery for an asthma review.
If you’re concerned about your symptoms during the evening or weekends, then call 111 for out of hours advice. 111 can also help you if you need advice on managing your symptoms but you don’t need an urgent appointment.
When to call an ambulance
If your symptoms are getting worse, or your inhaler and medication aren’t providing the necessary relief, you should visit your nearest A&E or call for an ambulance. Asthma UK have some useful advice for handling an asthma attack that is worth printing off and keeping somewhere safe and accessible.
With the right precautions and self-care, you can manage your asthma symptoms and stop it interfering with your life. Remember to check-in regularly with your GP for advice and to make sure you’re on the right treatment plan. Taking care of your health is important, and can prevent a potentially fatal asthma attack from taking place.