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Asthma is a lung disease that makes it difficult to breathe. If left uncontrolled, it may have serious consequences. No one likes wheezing, coughing, or feeling short of breath.  Taking control of your asthma can lead to an active healthy life. Create an action plan to live your best life.  Start today by:

  • Identifying your asthma triggers. Work with your healthcare provider to identify and minimize exposure to these triggers. Triggers include allergens, irritants or conditions that cause symptoms to worsen.  Being able to identify and avoid your triggers is important.
  • Learning to use your inhaler properly.  Follow the directions.  Shake the inhaler well. Check with your health care provider if you have any questions. 
  • Go smoke free.  If you smoke, quit.  Ask your doctor for ways to help you quit.  Ask family members to quit smoking, too.  Do not allow smoking in your home or car.
  • Enjoying a physically active lifestyle.  Work with your health care provider to develop an exercise plan. This plan will help you manage your symptoms so you can stay safe while exercising.
  • Taking medication as prescribed.  Medication is an effective way to control asthma symptoms.  Remember to take your medications as prescribed and carry your inhaler with you every day.
  • Eating healthy.  A well-balanced diet helps keep the mind and body strong.  Choosing the right foods supports your immune system and overall health, including your lung health.
  • Communicating with your healthcare team.  Learn as much as you can about your asthma.  If you experience short- or long-term side effects, let them know.  Do not suffer in silence.
  • Managing your stress. Stress can be an asthma trigger.  Implement stress-reduction strategies such as breathing exercise and mediation.
  • Monitoring your emotional health.  People with asthma are more likely to develop anxiety and depression.  If you begin to feel sad, anxious or depressed, talk with your doctor.

Written by Beth Stefura, OSU Extension Educator, Mahoning County stefura.2@osu.edu

Reviewed by:  Jenny Lobb, OSU Extension Educator, Franklin County  lobb.3@osu.edu

References:

American Lung Association (2020). What is Asthma? https://www.lung.org/lung-health-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/asthma/learn-about-asthma/what-is-asthma

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2020). Asthma. https://www.cdc.gov/asthma/default.html

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