With proper precautions, asthma can be effectively controlled. Note that your ignorance towards asthma can result in the events like, an asthma attack or hospitalization. Follow the following set of rules for better asthma control (these rules are bare minimum requirements that you must follow):
- Know your physician
You and your family members should know the name of your physician and also his contact phone numbers in case of emergency; remember asthma attacks can be sudden. Also, discuss and chart out action plans with your physicians about what you should should do in typical ‘what if’ situations. Such as, possible action plans for situations like, sore throat, nocturnal dips, exercise induced asthma and others.
- Identify your environmental asthma triggers and avoid them
You must identify and be aware of those environmental asthma triggers that you are allergic to. For example, you might be allergic to certain food items, allergens, dust mites and a host of others. Try and identify these asthma triggers and avoid them in your daily life. This will lead you to have a better control over asthma. Prevention of triggers is key to asthma control.
- Know your asthma drugs
You must know the names and doses of all the drugs that you are prescribed by your physician. You should know how often the prescribed drug should be taken and whether your physician permits you to increase the number of doses you can take in day. Beware also of any drug-drug interactions: e.g., Theophylline can have interactions with several other drugs, and hence check-out other ailment drugs if you are on theophylline.
- Maintain your asthma drug stock
If you are on asthma drugs, it is important for you that an adequate supply (within expiry date) is kept at home even if they are needed very occasionally. Imagine yourself in an emergency asthma situation at home without asthma drug supply! Remember, asthma attacks can occur any time and it could be difficult to purchase medicines during the night. If you are on regular daily treatment with drugs, don’t wait until you have run out of their stock before purchasing new medicines.
- Give all details of your asthma medications and treatments to any new physician that you consult
If you need medical attention from a physician who is not familiar with your case, it is vital that you give him as much details about your earlier asthma treatment as possible. Such situations may arise, for example, if you develop a situation something unrelated to asthma, e.g., in an an accident, or if you need to have an (dental) operation.
- Don’t stop treatment suddenly
Unless you are advised by your physician, it is unwise to stop any drug suddenly. This is particularly important for preventive drug Cromolyn and for steroid drugs because asthma attack may reoccur rapidly if these drugs are quit suddenly. It is, however, safe to discontinue these drugs over a period if your physician thinks that way. Rely on your expert’s advice.
- Know what to do when you get an asthma attack
Even if your asthma is well under control you should consult your physician about what you should do if you get worse or develop a severe asthma attack. Usually this will mean increasing the dose, however, be sure how to do this safely and effectively. In some cases, this will mean adding stand-by drugs for a few days to your usual medication treatment.
- Know when to consult your physician
Note that some of the most difficult asthma attacks occur in the most capable patients because they tend to continue to tolerate the situation for too long before calling the physician. If you are not improving your asthma over a few hours despite the recommended treatment, it is worth speaking to the physician about it.
- Don’t take advice from amateurs
There are great many grand ma tales about asthma which are best useless and at times dangerous. You should not seek or take advice from anyone other than a medically qualified individual. This applies particularly to anyone offering to ‘cure’ by means of patent medicines, faith healing or hypnotism. Note that there is no cure for asthma, only treatment to relieve it, until the patient grows out of it.