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According to the World Health Organization, about 235 million people across the world suffer from asthma â€“ a condition that is characterized by repeated attacks of breathlessness and a typical wheezing. It is a debilitating disease that has the potential to completely restrict the activities of the affected person; however, by following the 3 steps outlined below, it is certainly possible to control its progress and lead an active life.
Step 1: Identify Your Triggers
Identifying the factors that trigger your asthma holds the key to managing this ailment. Some of the most common triggers include changes in weather, flu and cold, allergies to pollen, dust or pet hair, exercise, exposure to cigarette smoke and emotional stress. Find out specifically what sets off your asthma by maintaining a diary of your wheezing attacks and correlating it to these probable triggers.
Step 2: Avoid Triggers
Work at avoiding triggers. Keep your home clean of dust by regular use of a vacuum cleaner. If you have pets, do not allow them to move all over the house; bar them from entering your bedroom. Keep away from people who smoke and practice deep breathing or meditation to keep your mind calm. During cold winters, make sure you stay warm enough and cover up when you go outdoors.
Step 3: Use Medication Correctly
The correct use of anti-asthmatic medication is one of the most important factors that determine how well you cope. Take your medication as prescribed, including the use of an inhaler for emergencies. Inhalation therapy is the method of choice to control asthma; overcome any psychological barriers you may have about this having addictive potential.
Keep in regular touch with your doctor; do not wait for symptoms to aggravate before asking for help. Speak to your doctor about creating an asthma action plan that includes medication, diet and avoidance of triggers. On World Asthma Day being held on May 7, 2013, make a firm pledge to yourself to control your asthma and lead a fulfilling life.
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