How you manage your health and wellbeing can impact your asthma management.
If you’ve just had a flare up, maybe now is a good time to consider what other areas of your health could help support your asthma recovery?
Asthma is a manageable health condition that although currently there is no cure- there are ways that you can safeguard your life free from asthma symptoms.
|People often treat their asthma as a short-term condition that comes and goes when they have asthma symptoms.|
|But having asthma is a long-term (chronic) condition that’s always there, even when you don’t have symptoms.|
|Looking after your asthma YEAR-ROUND is important to maintaining good asthma control.|
Healthy Eating Habits
Healthy eating might help your asthma:
- Fresh fruit and vegetables are full of antioxidants, which may improve your lung health and help avoid asthma attacks.
- Try to limit takeaway and processed foods. These foods are high in saturated fats, which promote inflammation and may increase your risk of poor asthma control.
- Being overweight can impact our health in many ways, losing as little as around 5% of your body weight could improve how you feel and how you breathe.
Enjoy Physical Activity
Exercise is important for everyone and is recommended as part of overall asthma management.
- Australian guidelines recommend being active on most (preferably all) days.
- Regular, moderate intensity physical activity improves heart & lung fitness and quality of life in people with asthma.
- You should not need to avoid exercise because of your asthma. Exercise-induced symptoms can be managed! Talk to your doctor about how to include activity as part of your asthma management. Ask them to write down instructions on an asthma action plan.
Smoking can make your asthma worse. There are so many benefits to quitting smoking.
In terms of your asthma, quitting smoking could:
- Reduce your asthma symptoms
- Reduce how much medication you need
- Reduce inflammation in your airways
- Improve your lung function
Overall, this can improve how you feel and help you live well with your asthma.
There are many ways to help you quit smoking. Speak to your doctor about medications to help you quit and ring the Quitline 13 78 48.
Look After Your Mental Health & Wellbeing
Having better asthma control can be one less thing to worry about.
However, your mental health can affect your asthma and asthma may affect your mental health.
- Talk to your doctor if you have been feeling down, anxious or not enjoying things as much as usual.
- Read our Asthma, Anxiety & Depression brochure
- Consider also exploring with your doctor whether specific breathing exercises could help
Manage Your Triggers
Every person has a different experience of their asthma symptoms – and every person may have a different trigger.
- The things that set off asthma symptoms are called triggers.
- Triggers are a mostly a problem when your asthma is not well controlled.
- Some triggers you can avoid, others are more difficult.
Common triggers include cold and flu, dust mites, exercise, laughter, mould, pets, pollen, smoke and strong scents.
Talk with your doctor about your triggers and ask your doctor to write on your Asthma Action Plan about what to do when your asthma has been triggered.
For people with asthma, immunisation is important. Immunisation is an evidence-based approach. It can prevent and protect you from respiratory infections caused by viruses like influenza, COVID-19 or pneumonia.
People with asthma should have:
- The flu vaccine every year
- The pneumococcal vaccine (in childhood and in later adulthood)
- COVID-19 vaccine and booster/s
Discuss your individual health situation with your doctor or vaccine provider.
For more information see: Vaccinations and Asthma or COVID-19 vaccine and asthma FAQ
The most common conditions that are also found in people with asthma are:
- Hay fever (or allergic rhinitis),
- Infected Sinuses (or rhinosinusitis),
- Reflux (or gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, GORD),
- Mental illness such as depression, anxiety and panic disorders,
- Chronic infections and
- Obstructive sleep apnoea.
Managing these conditions may also help in the management of your asthma.
Discuss with your doctor whether any other conditions you have may be having an impact on your asthma, and how to best treat them.
Talk To Us
If you would like to talk more about how your lifestyle might impact your asthma, you could speak to our friendly Asthma Educators.
Call now: 1800 ASTHMA (1800 278 462) (Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm)
Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
National Asthma Council Australia’s Australian Asthma Handbook: https://www.asthmahandbook.org.au