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Tips For Controlling Severe Asthma

Tips for Controlling Severe Asthma

Asthma is a respiratory condition characterized by inflammation of the airways due to allergies, infections, or irritants. It can range in severity, from mild to potentially life-threatening, which is why it is essential to have a control plan for severe asthma. Asthma can be broken down into a few categories based on its severity:

  • Intermittent asthma
  • Mild-persistent asthma
  • Moderate-persistent asthma
  • Severe-persistent asthma 

Symptoms of Asthma

Among the most common symptoms of asthma include: 

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing
  • Anxious or panicked feeling

Diagnosing Severe Asthma

Although more than 25 million people in the United States suffer from asthma, only about 5-10% of these cases are classified as severe asthma. Severe asthma can often be identified based on the frequency of symptoms, such as: 

  • Daytime symptoms more than twice a week
  • Experiencing symptoms at night more than twice a month
  • Using medicine more than twice a week 
  • Inability to perform activities due to asthma 

Severe asthma includes three groups, each with its own challenges: 

  1. Untreated severe asthma
  2. Difficult-to-treat severe asthma 
  3. Treatment-resistant severe asthma 

Controlling Severe Asthma

There are several different ways that you can control and treat severe asthma. Some of the most common treatments include: 

1. Corticosteroids

Corticosteroids are medications that can help control inflammation in the airways and can be taken orally or breathed in through an inhaler. There are two primary types of corticosteroid medications: 

  • Short-acting: this type goes into effect immediately to treat an impending attack
  • Long-acting: can be used on a daily basis to help reduce and eliminate flare-ups

2. Lifestyle Changes

Making lifestyle changes may also help you control your asthma. The best ways to do so can include:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Changing diet 
  • Avoiding environmental triggers: dust, pollution, pests, molds, pets
  • Exercising consistently

3. Biologics

Biologics, also known as precision therapy, is an emerging treatment that involves the use of biomarkers to disrupt symptoms of asthma. This type of treatment is unique in that it targets specific molecules related to asthma and may decrease the frequency of asthma attacks. 

Have an Action Plan

Patients who have asthma, especially those with severe asthma, should always have an Asthma Action Plan in place. Your action should include the three zones: 

  • Green: doing well 
  • Yellow: getting worse
  • Red: medical alert

Since this condition can be life-threatening, you should always make sure to continue taking your medications as prescribed by your healthcare provider. You should also remember to have an adequate supply of your medications prior to any natural disaster, such as an impending hurricane or tropical storm. Along with being prepared for any emergencies, it’s crucial to take everyday precautions to avoid contracting any respiratory diseases, which your asthma can significantly complicate. 

Asthma Care at Northeast Allergy

If you are experiencing uncontrolled moderate to severe asthma, get the life-saving treatment you need at Northeast Allergy. Our licensed professionals can help develop a customized Asthma Action Plan to control your severe asthma. Contact us today to start improving your quality of life.

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