5 Ways to Lower Your Risk for Asthma Complications

5 Ways to Lower Your Risk for Asthma Complications

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that makes breathing difficult and affects nearly 1.8 million people in New York. Asthma symptoms vary in severity and can change over time, but the goal of all asthma treatment plans is to reduce your risk of complications.

At MS Family Medicine Health Care PC in Rosedale and Garden City, New York, we’re all about keeping our community healthy. Our medical director Michele Reed, DO, FAAFP, and her team provide primary care services for asthma, creating individualized plans that improve your health and breathing and reduce your risk of complications.

We want to share with you some ways you can lower your risk for asthma complications. 

1. Know your triggers

Asthma makes normal breathing difficult by reducing the flow of air in and out of your lungs. During an attack, your airway narrows, swells, and fills with mucus. Many people with asthma have attacks when they come in contact with irritating substances.

Common substances that trigger asthma include:

Knowing what triggers your asthma helps you avoid contact with it or take immediate action when exposed to the irritating substance. 

2. Regular exercise

Exercise is also a common asthma trigger. However, that doesn’t mean people with asthma shouldn’t exercise. In fact, regular exercise may reduce asthma complications by increasing the amount of air your lungs can hold when inhaling.

If you have exercise-induced asthma, we can create a plan that allows you to get the physical activity you need without increasing your risk of asthma complications. 

Watch our own Dr. Reed talk to cycling instructor Phil Martin about the importance of going at your own pace when it comes to exercise on the FitDoc Podcast.

3. Pay attention to symptoms

Early treatment of your asthma symptoms may prevent more serious complications. Coughing, wheezing, or feeling short of breath are early signs of an asthma attack. Taking your quick-relief medications right away may prevent your symptoms from getting worse.

You also need to take long-term medications for your asthma to control symptoms and prevent asthma attacks. Corticosteroids, biologic medicines, and long-acting bronchodilators are examples. 

4. Have an asthma rescue plan

An asthma rescue plan is a written plan created by you and your doctor that spells out exactly what you need to do when you have an asthma attack. It includes a list of your asthma triggers and the symptoms that indicate you’re having an asthma attack. 

The rescue plan also includes the medicines you need to take, when you need to take them, and when it’s time to call your doctor or go to the emergency room. 

5. See your doctor

Asthma is a chronic disease, which means it’s with you for life. Even if your symptoms are under control, you need to check in with your doctor regularly to re-evaluate your plan and make adjustments when appropriate.

Physicals and annual checkups are also a good time to update vaccinations and discuss other health issues that may complicate your asthma, such as allergies and the flu. 

You also need to schedule an appointment with your doctor when your asthma symptoms worsen. It’s not unusual for asthma symptoms to change over time, and updating your treatment plan can help you regain control.

At MS Family Medicine Health Care, we want to help you take control of your asthma, breathing, and health. Book an appointment online or over the phone today to schedule a consultation with our compassionate team.

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