May is Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, but I tell you, we’re always aware of asthma in my home. My son was diagnosed with asthma when he was quite young, and he’s grown very responsible about managing his condition. But for everyone else out there who does not know as much about asthma, this post is for you.
What is Asthma?
According to the National Institutes of Health, “asthma is a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways.” It’s as uncomfortable as it sounds. The airways inflame when the person breathes in certain inhaled substances. These substances irritate the airways, which respond by contracting and sometimes producing more mucus, making breathing difficult.
When this happens, the person wheezes, suffers from shortness of breath, coughs, and experiences tightness in their chest. Before my son was diagnosed some years ago, he’d lose his breath and get a little dizzy when his asthma was triggered, sometimes just while he was sleeping at night. It’s a serious thing.
Symptoms can vary in their levels of severity. Those with asthma need to treat their symptoms as soon as they appear. If they do not—and even sometimes if they do—things can escalate into a full-on asthma attack.
How to Manage Asthma
There are a variety of asthma medications on the market. The key is finding one right for you, your age, and your triggers. Medications range from pills taken orally to inhaled medications. Many people with asthma also carry a quick-relief inhaler, which can mitigate symptoms in the event of a flare-up.
In addition to taking daily medication to manage asthma, those with the condition also need to learn and avoid exposure to their triggers. These can range from dust, pet dander, pollen, mold, secondhand smoke, and more.
To limit exposure to these triggers, those with asthma should clean their homes regularly to minimize dust, use a high-rated MERV furnace filter to trap potential allergens and triggers, encase pillows and mattresses in dust proof covers, and turn on the AC in the summer to maintain humidity and decrease pollen in your home.
Of course, regular exercise, a balanced diet, and breathing techniques also contribute to your overall health and will help lower the risk of asthma attacks. Exercise will help strengthen your lungs and heart, certain foods boost lung function, and deep breathing while meditating reduces stress. My son and I often go for jogs through our neighborhood—followed up by some meditation—and doing so has improved his condition. He’s even thinking of trying out for the track and field team at his school.
While asthma is a life-long condition with no cure, it’s not the end. Most people with asthma manage their condition very well and lead active, healthy lives. The key to coping with asthma is to take your medication faithfully, learn and avoid your triggers, and work to strengthen your lungs.
At DiscountFilters.com, when you choose your air filter size we present you with easy-to-understand options on what type of air filter you want. If you or someone in your family is dealing with asthma I recommend either the Allergy Prevention or Healthy Living filter, depending on the severity of the situation.