Yesterday was World Asthma Day! To raise awareness of the condition and mark the day, we’re talking all things asthma – from what it is, to how to manage symptoms. Today, our private doctors at LDC bring you some top lifestyle tips, to help you breathe a little easier…
Step 1. Know your triggers
First things first, it is essential that you recognise your triggers. As asthma.com states, “triggers are allergens, irritants, or conditions that cause your asthma symptoms”. While they are individual to each person, common triggers include dust mites, pets, pollen, mould, sprays, tobacco smoke, food, stress, weather and exercise. (Visit their website for lots more information on triggers). While it isn’t possible to avoid them all, by knowing what makes your symptoms worse you can eliminate risks.
Step 2. Asthma proof your home
There are lots of ways you can try to “asthma proof” your home. For example, reduce the amount of soft furnishings that you have and replace carpets with wooden flooring, laminate or tiles. Vacuum and mop often, and dust your surfaces using a damp cloth (to stop the dust from getting into the air around you). Wash your laundry regularly, including bedding, and use dust mite covers to stop such pests getting into your pillows and mattresses. Finally, clean out your air con or heating systems at the beginning of each season. Such methods should go some way in eradicating dust mites, which thrive in homes due to the warmer temperatures.
You should also be aware of any mould – this is also the case in your workplace, too.
Vacuuming and moping your home often is important for eradicating dust mites (which are common asthma triggers)
Step 3. Limit where your furry friends can go
This may sound like a tough one (especially if your cat or dog sleeps in your bedroom!), but you should think about limiting where your pets can go in your home. This is because pet dander (which is the dry skin produced by a number of animals, including cats, dogs and rabbits) can make its way into the air and trigger your asthma.
Although it might be tough, try to limit where your pets can go in your home
Step 4. Detox your diet
Many health blogs talk about the importance of diet when suffering from asthma – some suggest you should eliminate gluten and dairy, whilst others highlight the need for magnesium rich food and other supplements. Therefore, cooking your own food might prove easier, since you can include/ limit whatever food is best for you. Eating healthily also helps you keep to a healthy weight, which, in turn, is said to control asthma symptoms.
Step 5. Get your sleep
A good night of sleep can make a world of difference. ‘My Lungs My Life’ suggests that “if you have not slept well, [you should] think about changing your sleeping position – you may sleep better if you are more upright with pillows for support. Consider rearranging your pillows or getting an ‘A’ shape pillow”.
You might be able to sleep better if you change your sleeping position
Step 6. Work on your breathing
According to a number of sources, breathing exercises can “expand your rib cage and allow you to breathe more deeply each time” – aiding with asthma. Read more, here.
Step 7. Quit smoking!
And avoid second-hand cigarette smoke. As the NHS states, this should reduce symptom frequency and severity. Find out more on the NHS website.
While these methods can help you to breathe easier, it is important that you continue to take any required medication (keeping it close by) and to have a plan in place should an attack occur. And for any more advice or information on asthma, simply book a private doctor appointment with London Doctors Clinic! We have nine GP surgeries across central London, so should never be too far away when you need to find a GP!