Photo: Gary Coronado / Houston Chronicle
For anyone that suffers from asthma and allergies, springtime is more than just the beginning of warmer days and the smell of fresh cut grass, it also can be the onset of aggravating and bothersome symptoms brought on by allergies/asthma.
Asthma is a lung disease during which your airways narrow and swell, which causes difficulty breathing. Symptoms include coughing, wheezing, a tight feeling in one’s chest and feeling tired overall.
One of the most common springtime triggers is pollen. Other factors that may contribute to an asthma flare-up are irritants, such as perfumes and cleaning supplies, respiratory infections, smoking and secondhand smoke, animal dander, food allergens and exercise.
If you suffer from asthma, what can you do to help manage your condition and feel your best?
Avoid smoking and secondhand smoke. Not only is smoking a leading cause of lung cancer and linked to other respiratory illnesses, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, smoke can also trigger an asthma attack. Smoking is harmful to everyone’s health, however, anyone with a chronic lung disease is more sensitive to smoke.
Visit your physician regularly.
Take medications as directed.
Discuss a personalized treatment plan to address your symptoms and triggers.
Prevent infection, and be sure to get recommended vaccinations, such as the flu and pneumonia immunizations.
Often, asthma is diagnosed in childhood, however, there are many types of asthma, including adult onset.
One resource that may be helpful in managing asthma, COPD and other chronic lung conditions is the American Lung Association, which can be reached at 800-586-4872.
Also, Middlesex Health’s Center for Chronic Care Management offers asthma management and smoking intervention programs. For details, call 860-358-5420.
There are also better breathers club support groups for anyone with a chronic lung condition. They are offered at various locations in the state, including Middletown. For locations and times, visit lung.org/support-and-community/better-breathers-club.
Laura Falt is director of business development at Water’s Edge Center for Health & Rehabilitation in Middletown. Contact Falt, who welcomes the opportunity to be a resource to the community on services for older adults, at firstname.lastname@example.org.