When I was a kid I had exercise-induced Asthma, which I did not realize meant my Asthma was not well controlled. I actually don’t ever remember seeing a doctor for Asthma as we had no Health Insurance, but I do recall at one point in time having an inhaler so I can assume a doctor prescribed it to me. It used to make exercising extremely difficult growing up. I thought I outgrew it as I didn’t need an inhaler anymore and I just learned to stay away from tiny particles that would get in my lungs and cause symptoms. What is Asthma? Asthma is a chronic lung disease that causes episodes of wheezing, coughing, breathlessness, and tightness in the chest. It can happen in boys and girls, but after age 15 it is more common in girls and women. There is no known cause, but there are ways to help avoid Asthma attacks. Since Asthma affects the bronchial tubes in the lungs it can be very dangerous to ignore Asthma. On my next doctor visit, I will be discussing Asthma with my doctor, if only to give him a heads up that I have been having symptoms and to discuss options.
Now that I am older I feel like Asthma is returning, which it probably is because it never really goes away it just kind of gets better. Some studies show women after Menopause have less likelihood of getting Asthma especially if they don’t take Estrogen replacement drugs. For me, that does not appear to be the case. I have to be very careful about smoke, pollen, pollutants, dust, mold, certain pet danders and other small particles that get in my lungs and cause me to have cold-like symptoms that seem to take forever to go away. I will probably have to start running air conditioning the whole year rather than opening windows. I hate that, though. I love the fresh air coming in. But, since I have CKD and I want to avoid steroid medications I will do what I have to keep symptoms under control.
I no longer have exercise-induced Asthma I work out quite fine. However, if you have Asthma and you want to exercise be sure and discuss with your doctor so they can prescribe medication for you to take before exercising. If you have CKD or Diabetes discuss those medications in relation to those illnesses as well.
Here are some other tips to help prevent an Asthma attack:
1- Know your triggers and avoid them or wear a mask if you can’t avoid them.
2- Keep your home clean and dust-free. Wear a mask when dusting. Vacuum all rugs at least once a week. Clean window fans at least monthly and try to buy a Hepa Filter.
3- If you can remove rugs and put down tile or wood floors, do so.
4- If dander bothers you keep your pets well-groomed and clean.
5- Don’t let cockroaches take up space in your home. Eliminate them as quickly as you can and seal up cracks in your home to prevent them from entering.
6- Be careful what chemicals you clean with and use a mask to clean if you need to.
7- Don’t smoke and don’t let others smoke in your home or vehicle.
8- If you are say raking, mowing or other tasks where pollutants or small particles may get on your clothes wash your clothes as soon as you are finished. This goes for visiting homes of others who may have pet dander on their furniture. Remove your clothes as soon as you get home and wash them.
9- Take medications prescribed to you as prescribed. If you are having side effects or you think the medication is having adverse reactions to other illnesses discuss it with your doctor to see if something else can be prescribed. Never just stop taking medications for your Asthma. If you have an attack and you can not get relief call 911.
10- If you live in highly polluted cities, wear a mask, or if possible move to the countryside.
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