Simple Ways to Control Asthma and Breathe Easy

How well do you control your asthma? If you find yourself experiencing frequent flare-ups, you may want to learn more about some of the latest tools and treatment options. Asthma action plans and anti-inflammatory medications can make a difference in helping you feel better.

Asthma Action Plan

One simple, but all-important strategy for managing asthma comes in the form of a simple written document called an Asthma Action Plan. With the help of your doctor, you can create this plan and use the information to keep your condition in check. A number of studies have found that when patients use these written guidelines to manage their asthma, they gain stronger control of their condition and rely less on the need for emergency medical interventions.

An action plan typically includes information about your common triggers, as well as detailed instructions on how to properly take your medications. Your plan should also include a list of signs to watch out for that could indicate you're getting into your danger zone, along with advice on how best to respond when this occurs.

Some asthma action plans also incorporate a peak flow monitor, which is a tube you breathe into that measure your lung capacity. Relying on this tool on a daily basis can alert you to changes in your breathing before you notice any physical symptoms, so you can adjust your asthma medication accordingly. You can find a sample action plan on the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology's website, or ask your doctor to provide one for you.

Anti-inflammatory Medications

The medical community recognizes the importance of using inhaled corticosteroids to manage airway inflammation that occurs with asthma. While this can be an effective form of treatment, some recent studies have discovered that, for certain patients with moderate to severe asthma, adding a second class of asthma medication, called statins, which traditionally have been used for high blood pressure, can enhance the corticosteroid benefits.

More research on the benefits of taking statins along with inhaled corticosteroids is now underway, but some scientists suggest that the combination may help many patients gain improved respiratory functioning. If you think you could benefit from this approach, you should talk to your doctor and find out if you're a good candidate for adding this medication into your daily treatment routine.


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