Soothe Your Asthma Symptoms: Breathe Better With These 5 Habits
If you’re one of the 25 million Americans diagnosed with asthma, you already know that breathing isn’t something that just happens. During an asthma attack, your airways become narrow and it can become life-threatening — difficult to even catch your breath, let alone breathe easy.
Although prescription medications like inhaled corticosteroids can help during an asthma attack, there are other things you can do to help improve your breathing and soothe your asthma symptoms when they arise.
Track Your Asthma Symptoms
If you’re not already doing so, begin keeping an asthma diary. Each day, record your symptoms and any triggers you experienced and when. Pay attention to your asthma symptoms and keep track of what triggered your attack and how long it lasted. You may also want to document your daily symptoms, including things like
* Shortness of breath;
* Chest tightness; and
* Hay fever symptoms like sneezing and watery eyes.
Also track when you must take your rescue inhaler, how many puffs you had to take, and how quickly the medication took effect.
Tracking these items can help you pinpoint asthma attack triggers and give you insight into your symptoms.
Breathe Through Your Nose
You may be surprised to learn that the way you breathe can improve your asthma. Mouth breathing has shown to make asthma symptoms more severe, so try to breathe through your nose as much as possible. By taking air in through the nose, it warms the air and increases its humidity, which can relieve symptoms.
For the best results, practice diaphragmatic breathing, which focuses on breathing from around the diaphragm (a dome-shaped muscle below the lungs) instead of around the chest. Diaphragmic breathing slows your breathing and reduces the amount of oxygen the body needs. Practice by laying on your back and bending your knees over a pillow. Put one hand on your chest and one on your stomach. Breathe in through the nose and try to only focus the breath so that only the hand on the stomach moves, not the hand on your chest. The more you practice, the easier it becomes.
Take a Magnesium Supplement
If your body doesn’t have what it needs, it doesn’t function at its best. And one of the things that can impact asthma and worsen asthma symptoms is a lack of magnesium. In a recent study from Bastyr University in Washington, supplementing your diet with magnesium can improve your asthma and make breathing easier.
The study showed that a twice-a-day 170-milligram magnesium supplement improved the symptoms of mild to moderate asthma. Participants took the supplement for over six months and reported better asthma control, better breathing, and an overall better quality of life than before taking the supplement.
Reduce Dust Mites
In many cases, asthma is closely related to allergies, and certain allergens can spur asthma symptoms or even an asthma attack. One of the biggest culprits of allergic asthma is dust mites, which nearly 80 percent of American adults are exposed to on a regular basis.
But the good news is that you can easily reduce your exposure to dust mites. Cover your mattresses, box springs, and pillows in plastic mite-proof barriers that zipper shut. Wash all your bedding and linens at least once a week in 150-degree water (don’t use cold water, as it doesn’t kill the mites). Keeping your bedroom clean and uncluttered can also reduce the number of dust mites, as can using a dust cloth when cleaning.
Follow a Treatment Plan
Perhaps one of the most important things you can do when you have asthma is following a treatment plan. Working hand-and-hand with your doctor allows for easier medication adjustments and supplements when necessary.
Having a written plan that says when you should make medication changes and when you should seek immediate medical support can help you know exactly what to do when your asthma symptoms flare.
Contact us at CareCube today to find out how we can help with your asthma.
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