During an asthma attack, the airways swell and contract. This greatly hinders breathing. Asthma is a disease that lasts a lifetime, but it may not affect your life. If you take care of your health, you can lead an active and fulfilling life.
There are two stages of asthma control:
- Constant control of asthma. You and your doctor can make a treatment program that will help reduce the swelling of the airways and prevent asthma attacks. The daily plan of action will also help you monitor asthma and observe how effectively the prescribed treatment is.
- If seizures occur, stop them immediately. The treatment program will help prevent them and stop them.
If the diagnosis of asthma to you or your child is set recently, it certainly seems that there is so much to remember and learn. But all you need to do to control asthma is not so difficult to remember and do. A little practice and it will become a part of your daily activities.
What does it take to control asthma?
There are few ways that you can use to control asthma and monitor the effectiveness of the prescribed treatment. Maintaining your health, you can stop the attack in time, avoiding the need for urgent hospitalization. Your attending physician will help you create a treatment program and teach you everything you need.
The daily treatment program describes what medicines and when you need to take. As a controlling medication, a corticosteroid is most often used. Take medication daily, and this will reduce the swelling of the airways and prevent seizures.
The treatment program can be:
- List of asthma triggers that exacerbate the symptoms of your asthma. Try to avoid contact with pathogens and asthma will be under control.
- Objectives of treatment. Personal goals can motivate you to follow a treatment program. For example, the goals may relate to getting rid of the symptoms of nocturnal asthma or stress asthma.
- A diary. In the diary, record the parameters of the pneumotachometer, which symptoms have aggravated, the possible reason for this, what medications you took.
The treatment program will help you quickly make a decision about treatment in case of an exacerbation of the disease and the need to prevent an attack. The program will tell:
- How to find out when asthma is out of control, and what steps to take to prevent an impending asthma attack.
- What to do if the attack is very serious, and where to turn for emergency help.
To prepare a treatment program, you and your doctor are working together. The treatment program describes zones that are based on the parameters of a pneumotachometer or symptoms.
The doctor will teach you everything you need to treat and use the treatment program. This includes:
- How to use a pneumotachometer to measure the maximum volumetric expiratory flow rate. The maximum volumetric expiratory flow rate shows how open the respiratory tract is at the moment. A decrease in the indices indicates that the airways narrow and the asthma symptoms become worse. At this point, you need to start treatment to prevent an attack.
- How to use a dosed inhaler. The use of a separator with a metered inhaler greatly facilitates the flow of the drug into the lungs. But to get the maximum effect, you need to be able to correctly use the inhaler. If you are unsure how to do it correctly, ask your doctor. The doctor will also tell you whether you can use a separator with your type of inhaler.
- What symptoms to pay attention to. Symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, or fatigue during exercise can mean poorly controlled asthma. The appearance of these symptoms may mean that you need to go to a doctor and that he regulates the treatment program.
- How to identify, avoid contact and reduce the number of asthma triggers.
Test your knowledge
It is very important to know how to properly use a pneumatic tachometer.
Asthma control has advantages, both short-term and long-term. Short-term benefits help reduce the severity and frequency of seizures. Long-term benefits include lung support and the ability to lead a normal life.
How to control asthma?
Follow the daily treatment program
- Take your medicine every day, as the doctor prescribed. This will help keep asthma in check and avoid bouts.
- Do not forget about the purposes of treatment. This will give an incentive to adhere to the treatment program.
- See the list of pathogens. Avoid contact with pathogens and you thereby reduce the likelihood of asthma attacks.
Use a pneumatic tachometer
Use a pneumatic tachometer. This is the best way to test how the lungs work (pulmonary function). Pulmonary function can worsen without the manifestation of symptoms or symptoms.
- Use a pneumotachometer as often as the doctor advised you. Basically it’s twice a day, in the morning and in the evening.
- If there are difficulties in using the pneumotachometer, talk to your doctor.
Adhere to the treatment program
Each time, when measuring the maximum expiratory flow rate, check with the treatment program. If the parameters of the pneumotachometer have fallen to 80% of your personal best score, follow the instructions of the program. To find out what 80% of the personal best indicator is, you need to multiply the resulting indicator by 0.80. for example, if your best score is 400, then 80% of 400 is 400 multiplied by 0.80, which is 320. To find out how much is 50% of the best figure, you must multiply the best figure by 0.50.
- Green means “Go.” You are in the green zone, if the results of the pneumotachometer are 80% -100% of the personal best result.
This is what you need to strive for. Take your medications daily, as indicated in the instructions.
- Yellow means “Warning”. You are in the yellow zone, if the results of the pneumotachometer are 50% -80% of the personal best score. At this point, there may be no symptoms, but pulmonary lung function decreases. If there are symptoms, they can be: coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, asthma can limit daily activities or prevent sleep at night.
We must act. The treatment program will tell you what medicines you need to take, how many and when. If you are constantly in the yellow zone, then consult a doctor: you may need to increase the dose of medications taken or replace the medicine with another.
- Red means Stop. You are in the red zone if the results of the pneumotachometer are 50% or lower from the personal best score. There may be severe shortness of breath, and fast-acting medications may not work. This is an extremely dangerous condition.
Take the medications indicated in the treatment program for this zone. You need to call a doctor or go to an ambulance.
Keep a Diary
- Record the parameters of the pneumotachometer in the diary.
- If you have an attack, write down the possible causes that caused it (if you know), the medications you took, and the symptoms
Visit to the doctor
Take regular visits to the doctor. During the examination, the doctor will ask how constant the symptoms and indices of the pneumotachometer are, whether there are any improvements or worsening, whether there are seizures at night or during physical exercises. The doctor may ask you to demonstrate how you use the pneumotachometer. This information will help the doctor determine if the condition of asthma has changed and whether it is necessary to change the medicine or dose.
Going to see a doctor:
- Take a treatment program and a diary. Ask all questions you are interested in about the treatment program or symptoms. Inform if treatment is ineffective in controlling asthma symptoms.
- Take a pneumotachometer and medicines with you so that the doctor can check whether the treatment is properly prescribed, and whether you are using the pneumotachometer correctly and taking the medicine.
- Make sure you know how and when to contact the doctor and where the hospital is located.
- Tell your doctor if you have any difficulties understanding the treatment program.
Test your knowledge
If you follow a treatment program and follow all instructions, then going to the doctor is not necessary.
Even if you do everything as you need, in any case, you need to regularly go to see a doctor. A doctor can estimate that you are receiving proper treatment to control asthma and reduce the harm caused by the lung.
Where to go?
After reading this information, you are now ready to control your health.
Talk to your doctor
If you have questions about this information, ask them at the next appointment with a doctor. You can mark sections or make notes where you have questions.
Separator for metered-dose inhaler
A separator is a tube that is attached to a metered-dose inhaler. The separator tube has a valve that holds the medicine in the tube until it is inhaled. Thanks to this, you can inhale the medicine for one or more breaths (depending on your ability). Separator:
The separator is recommended for use with an inhaler, especially those containing corticosteroids. Separators are also recommended for children who may have difficulty in correctly using a metered-dose inhaler. The separator is not used together with a dry inhaler.