What are the ways to achieve better asthma control?

Asthma is a very common respiratory problem in children, adolescents and adults. Asthma in many people leads to daily symptoms of cough, wheezing and breathlessness. Cough and breathlessness can limit exercise capacity.

Children with Asthma can also have night time symptoms disturbing sleep. Acute asthma attacks can be dangerous requiring emergency visits and sometimes hospital admissions.

With proper care and treatment children with asthma can remain asymptomatic, do normal exercise, sleep well and lead a normal life. These are four tips which can help you improve your child's asthma.

What are the ways to achieve better asthma control

1. Take your Preventive Inhalers regularly
Take your preventer inhaler every day even if you are well. Preventive inhalers would keep your symptoms under control and prevent asthma attacks. Most patients with asthma are not taking inhalers properly leading to poor asthma control. Hence, learn how to take inhalers with spacers correctly for getting the desired effect from the inhalers.

2. Identify and avoid your allergens/triggers
It's important to identify possible asthma allergens and triggers by making a note of where you are and what you're doing when your symptoms get worse. Your child pulmonologist or allergist shall help you know your allergens by performing an allergy test. This is usually in the form of a Skin Prick Test or a blood allergy test (also called Immunocap). Common allergens include dust mites, storage mites, pet dander, molds, cockroaches and pollen. Speak to your allergist or pulmonologist regarding prevention of your allergens. Common triggers are cigarette smoke, perfumes, deodorants, paints, smoke from agarbatti etc.

3. Know your Asthma Action Plan:
Every person whether child or adult should have a personal asthma action plan. Asthma action plan is a written document which guides your child’s treatment in case their symptoms get worse. It provides written information on how and when the reliever inhaler is to be used. It also provides information on what needs to be done in case of an acute asthma attack including when to contact your doctor or report to a hospital emergency.

4. Regular check-ups with your pediatric pulmonologist or allergist:
These appointments would help to monitor your asthma symptoms, perform breathing tests or lung function tests like spirometry or impulse oscillometry and adjust the asthma medicines. During these appointments you shall be able to discuss your queries and questions.

In case your child is having asthma do get in touch with a pediatric pulmonologist or allergist for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

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