Whether it’s hay fever or asthma, chronic respiratory diseases aren’t easy to deal with. They seem to flare up at the most inconvenient of times, and people who suffer from them can have a hard time managing symptoms and leading a normal life. If you’re worried about how your respiratory problems will affect you in the future, it’s important to take some steps that will make everything easier to deal with. If you’re in need of tips, here are some things that should help you manage your condition.
Types of respiratory diseases
One of the most well-known diseases is asthma, and it usually affects children. It’s a form of hypersensitivity to certain allergens, and it causes your bronchi or lungs to spasm during an attack. Other types of respiratory diseases include chronic allergies, rhinitis (hay fever), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (OCPD). Asthma and OCPD have very similar symptoms and can be difficult to distinguish, but asthma responds to medication a lot better and can be more easily treated.
Regardless of the severity of your condition, quitting smoking should be your first step for obvious reasons. Cigarettes have a lot of toxins that can irritate your airways and make everything worse, and while letting go of them forever could be challenging, ultimately it’s necessary to maintain good health. Inhaling passive smoke isn’t ideal either, so if you’re sick and have a family member who’s a smoker, ask them to refrain from lighting a cigarette in your presence and try not to spend time in rooms where smoking is allowed.
Medication and when to see your doctor
Regular doctor appointments are advised if you want to keep your disease under control, and if any medication is prescribed, make sure to take it consistently. Listen to what health professionals have to say because they can monitor your condition and advise you on how to best avoid flare-ups. If you have asthma keep an inhaler with you at all times, and if you suffer from OCPD you’ll probably have bronchodilators and corticosteroids prescribed to help relax the muscles around your airways and reduce any swelling. You can also look into oxygen therapy and pulmonary rehabilitation that will help you stay active in a safe manner.
Keep the air fresh
Avoiding pollution, pet dander, and dust mites is essential to keep everything in check, so make sure your home always has fresh, clean air. It’s a good idea to keep your windows and doors open in the morning and in the evening to let everything circulate, but you should also consider getting a purifier. Find the best air purifier with a HEPA filterthat will eliminate most of the pollutants that could irritate your respiratory system, and keep it on during the day. This is particularly useful when the allergy season starts because you won’t have to spend it sneezing and wiping your runny nose all the time.
Keep your home clean
Irritants and allergens can easily get stuck on our clothes, our carpets, and even our bedding, so cleaning your home regularly is essential. Change your bed linens every week, do your laundry often, make sure to vacuum both the furniture and the carpets, and check your bathroom and kitchen for mold. Mold spores can be pretty dangerous for those with poor respiratory health, so don’t allow any moist areas where it can grow.
Eat well and stay active
Being overweight can make it significantly more difficult to breathe, so keep your waistline in check by eating a diet full of healthy food. You’ll want to avoid too much salt and carbohydrates, and stick to fresh produce, sources of lean protein like fish and chicken, and any potassium-rich foods.
Exercising is also very important, but if you have trouble breathing when your heart rate goes up, you should definitely consult your doctor first. It’s possible they can send you to a rehabilitation center where you will be monitored while you work out to ensure your complete safety. Besides exercising, it’s also important to simply stay active and keep moving. A sedentary lifestyle can worsen your symptoms, so try going out for light walks every few days.
Pay attention to emotional health
Respiratory problems can be very frustrating. Sometimes they feel far too limiting, and the fact that you have to keep thinking about your own health is exhausting. That’s why emotional support is so important—it can help you manage depression or anxiety and find the motivation to actually enjoy your life. Make sure to talk to your friends and family, or book an appointment with a psychotherapist. A professional can really help you get your thoughts and emotions in order.
With the right plan, any kind of condition can be managed with a lot more ease. Take a look at these tips, make a health strategy, and you can start living a better life.