Monday, April 20, 2009

Self Help For Asthma

Asthma is clinically diagnosed by a triad of Cough, wheezing and shortness of breath in combination or each symptom individually. In addition to close follow up with a Physician, self management to a certain degree is very helpful.

Patients with Asthma should avoid environmental triggers such as, dust or animal dander. Heavy draperies can collect dust. Wash bed sheets and pillows in hot water once a week. Possibly no exposure to Pets like dogs and cats. They should avoid exposure to extremes of temperatures as well. Make sure basements are not damp and there is no sign of mold in the house. Consider getting heating ducts cleaned. During winter, Humidifier may be needed.

No smoking otherwise medicines will not be effective and smoke can be life threatening as well. Nobody should be allowed to smoke around Asthmatics.

Make sure reflux and nasal congestion are adequately treated as these are the most commonly overlooked causes of uncontrolled Asthma.

Know how to use your Peak flow meter. If Peak flow suggests decrease to between 20% and 50% and accompanied by symptoms, use your rescue inhaler more often. If it falls bellow 50%, you might need more therapy. Keep your Physician informed and seek advice, sooner the better.

If the colour of your sputum changes to yellow or green, you will need Antibiotics and if accompanied with shortness of breath and wheezing, Prednisone is usually prescribed.

Yearly Flu shots and every five years, Pneumonia shots are very important to prevent Asthma exacerbation.

Know how to use your inhalers. Make sure to only use rescue inhaler and not maintenance inhalers during exacerbation.

Ideal body weight might be helpful. Adequate sleep time at night might be beneficial.

If you need to see me as a patient, visit,

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