There have been many advances in asthma treatment in recent years. Here are a few tips to help you take full advantage of today's excellent asthma treatments and improve your asthma control:
- Understand your medication: You won't get the most out of your medication unless you use it exactly as recommended by your doctor. Not sure how or when to use your medication? Consult your doctor or pharmacist. Show them how you take your medication so that they can check your inhalation technique. Many people don't use their inhalers properly.
- Update your asthma action plan: Talk to your doctor about whether your asthma action plan is up-to-date, and make sure you understand how to tell if your asthma is getting worse, and what to do if this happens. If you don't have an action plan, now is a great time to get one.
- Know your triggers and avoid them wherever possible: Keep track of things that tend to make your asthma worse (your "triggers") and do your best to avoid them. For example, try to quit smoking or see if a family member can take your pet(s).
- Manage health conditions: Check with your doctor to see if you have any health conditions that could be making your asthma worse or keeping you from having control, such as rhinitis. Recent studies indicate that other conditions, such as obesity and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), may contribute to worsening asthma. Ask your doctor about what you can do to manage these conditions.
Dr. Louis-Philippe Boulet, Professor of Medicine at Laval University, encourages his asthma patients to take these steps to improve their asthma. It's not always easy, but it's definitely worth doing.
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