Many people don’t realize that asthma is a serious medical condition. Asthma is not just a “coughing disease.” In fact, asthma is the leading cause of chronic illness in children and it accounts for more than 1.5 million missed school days each year. It also results in more than 10 million visits to the doctor and 3 million emergency room visits annually. Asthma can be a very serious disease, causing difficulty breathing and even death. But with proper asthma management offered by an expert, this doesn’t have to be a reality.
Despite these facts, however, many people do not take their asthma seriously enough and do not seek treatment until they have an attack. This can lead to long-term health problems for the individual as well as increased costs to the healthcare system.
The good news is that asthma can be controlled with proper treatment. The key is to get early diagnosis and treatment from a qualified healthcare professional such as a primary care physician. A PCP can work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan that will help you manage your asthma and keep you healthy.
Here are a few tips for asthma management:
1) Get an annual flu shot as part of your asthma management plan.
While the flu vaccine will not prevent asthma attacks, it can help to reduce the severity of symptoms and the number of hospitalizations each year. It works by protecting against the most common types of influenza viruses.
When getting an annual flu shot, be sure to ask your doctor if you should also get a pneumococcal vaccine. This vaccine can help to protect against pneumonia, which is a common complication of asthma.
2) Avoid triggers.
Asthma attacks are often triggered by things like dust, pollen, smoke, or cold air. If you can avoid these triggers, you may be able to prevent an attack. The best way to avoid triggers is to know what they are and to take steps to avoid them.
For example, if you are allergic to pollen, you should stay indoors on days when the pollen count is high. If you smoke, quitting will be the best thing you can do for your asthma.
3) Take your medicine as prescribed.
If you have asthma, it is important to take your medicine exactly as prescribed by your doctor. This includes both “rescue” medicines, which are taken when you have an attack, and “maintenance” medicines, which are taken every day to prevent attacks.
During an asthma attack, it is important to use your rescue inhaler as directed. This will help to open up your airways and make breathing easier.
4) Have a written asthma action plan.
An asthma action plan is a written document that outlines your specific asthma triggers, medicines, and what to do in the event of an attack. This plan can be very helpful in managing your asthma and should be developed with your doctor.
Here’s what your action plan may look like:
- Albuterol (rescue inhaler)
- Singulair (daily maintenance medicine)
c) What to do in the event of an attack:
- Take 2 puffs of albuterol
- Sit up and take slow, deep breaths
- Call 911 if symptoms do not improve in 10 minutes
5) Monitor your asthma.
It is important to keep track of your asthma symptoms and how well your medicines are working. This can be done by keeping a diary of your symptoms and medications. Be sure to bring this diary with you to all of your doctor appointments.
For instance, you may want to keep track of how many times you use your rescue inhaler each week, or how often you have asthma attacks. This information can be very helpful in managing your asthma.
6) Keep your doctor appointments.
If you have asthma, it is important to see your doctor regularly. Your doctor will need to monitor your symptoms and adjust your treatment as needed. Be sure to keep all of your appointments and arrive on time.
Imagine you are running late for your doctor’s appointment. You may be tempted to skip it, but this could be a mistake. It is important to keep your appointments so that your doctor can help you manage your asthma.
7) Learn as much as you can about asthma.
The more you know about asthma, the better equipped you will be to manage it. There are many resources available, such as books, websites, and support groups. Be sure to ask your doctor for recommendations.
Learning about asthma can help you to take an active role in managing your condition. It can also help you to feel more prepared in the event of an attack.
Asthma is a serious condition that should not be taken lightly. However, it can be managed successfully with the help of a primary care doctor. By following these tips, you can help to keep your asthma under control.
How Primary Care Can Help
If you have asthma, it is important to see your primary care doctor regularly. Your doctor will need to monitor your symptoms and adjust your treatment as needed. Be sure to keep all of your appointments and arrive on time.
Your primary care doctor can also help you to develop an asthma action plan. This plan should outline your specific asthma triggers, medicines, and what to do in the event of an attack. This plan can be very helpful in managing your asthma.
In addition, your primary care doctor can help you to learn more about asthma. There are many resources available, such as books, websites, and support groups. Be sure to ask your doctor for recommendations.
By working with your primary care doctor, you can help to keep your asthma under control. With the right treatment and support, you can lead a healthy and active life.
Are You Looking for a Prineville Primary Care to Help with Your Asthma Management?
If you are looking for a Prineville primary care provider to help with your asthma management, consider contacting doctors at Mountain Medical Urgent Care. Our providers are experienced in treating asthma and can provide you with the care you need. To learn more, visit our website or call us at 541-388-7799.