Living with asthma

For the therapeutic success in asthma not only the medication is important. It is also crucial that the affected person does something himself against bronchial asthma. The most important thing: to adhere to the schedule of the therapy that the doctor has worked out. Those affected should deal with their illness.

This includes visiting an asthma school. It teaches how to deal with bronchial asthma and medications, how to use self-monitoring with a peak flow meter and the best breathing techniques (breathing school), and important facts about living with asthma in general. In particular, the doctor will explain the therapy and what to do in case of an acute asthma attack. The person concerned can facilitate the "monitoring" of the therapy if he keeps an asthma diary in which he also enters his regular measurements.

Prevent asthma

In order to prevent asthma attacks, it is particularly important to avoid triggers. If trigger factors and irritants are known, they should be switched off wherever possible - regardless of whether it is cigarette smoke, animal hair or foggy, damp-cold weather. For parents of children with asthma, it is particularly important to avoid smoking around the child - smoking is one of the most important risk factors for bronchial asthma.

Also important in asthma is to avoid respiratory and dental infections. Sufficient drinking is important to keep the mucus in the airways as thin as possible.

Relaxation methods help many sufferers to better cope with bronchial asthma.

Asthma and sports

Often, the measures described can also reduce and reduce seizures. Asthma is neither a reason nor an excuse for abstinence from sports. On the contrary: Through sport and regular physical exercise such as swimming or cycling, the bronchi are trained. If such an exercise effort causes signs of asthma, a muscle-tonic asthma medication may be taken as a precaution shortly before exercise, as agreed with the doctor.

It is often recommended that asthmatics be vaccinated against certain diseases of the respiratory tract (pneumococci, influenza). Again, the opinion of the attending physician should be obtained.

Peak Flow Meter and Asthma Diary

To be able to manage well as your own asthma manager, the patient must check his lung function several times a day, preferably at fixed times, using the peak flow meter. This meter measures peak breath flow, the strongest expelled air from the lungs at the beginning of a strong exhalation.

The measurements are documented in an asthma journal along with the medication. In this way, the person concerned can develop a better sense of whether and to what extent their own state changes. The diary supports the treatment by the doctor and should be taken at every visit to the doctor. The term "traffic light scheme" is used to better classify the measured values.

  • Green stands for reaching 80 - 100 percent of personal best, which was previously determined in several measurements. This puts the patient in good order.
  • Yellow is equivalent to 60 - 80 percent of personal best. Here, the doctor should adjust the continuous medication and discuss the further procedure with the patient.
  • Red means that the patient has fallen below the 60 percent mark of personal best and the patient should go to the doctor or clinic immediately. The appropriate emergency medication must be available. Panic is not appropriate, but decompressive breathing techniques should be practiced.

This is how the peak flow measurement works

For the measurement to be successful, proceed as follows:

  1. Move the indicator of the scale to zero.
  2. Breathe in as deeply as possible and hold your breath.
  3. Put the mouth tube in your mouth. Close tightly with your lips! The tube must be held straight in any case and the scale on the side should not be covered with your fingers.
  4. Exhale as fast and powerful as possible. The value can be read off the sliding display.
  5. To prepare for the next measurement, the indicator mark is pushed back to zero.
  6. The subsequent cleaning is important. The mouth tube can be removed and rinsed with warm water. Then it has to be dried well.

Asthma and overweight

Overall, the following rules have been found for the daily handling of asthma:

  • Take medication regularly and according to the doctor's instructions
  • a structured, balanced daily routine without hassle and stress
  • Allergen avoidance for example by current pollen forecast
  • immediate visit to the doctor for infections
  • strict smoking ban
  • Practice breathing exercises
  • Run endurance sports
  • Lead Asthma Diary

And finally, for asthmatics, the same applies to many other people in Germany: less is more. For Finnish scientists have shown in a study that overweight asthmatics could handle their disease worse than normal weight.

Not only did the feeling of well-being and well-being improve under a strict diet, but above all the lung function was demonstrably strengthened. The asthmatics were able to inhale and exhale air with much more force. The volume of the inhaled and exhaled air was also better for the slimmer asthmatics. Patients who had lost weight also suffered less acute asthma attacks and needed fewer medicines.

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