If you have just been diagnosed with asthma, it can be scary. You may not know what will trigger an asthma attack, and dealing with feeling that you can't breathe can cause panic, which just makes the whole situation worse. However, there are tips that you can use when you are first working through your diagnosis. They can help you feel more in control of what's going on, which can help you keep your calm when you are having an asthma attack.
Keep Your Rescue Inhaler on Your Person
If you have been prescribed an albuterol inhaler, you should keep it with you at all times. You may feel the urge to leave it on your nightstand or in your bathroom, but if you aren't at home when you have an asthma attack, that won't help you, so keep it in your purse or pocket so that you have it when you need it. Make sure that you keep the cap on it so that you don't end up with pocket lint in it, or find a case that you can use to carry the inhaler.
Know the Difference in Inhalers
Your doctor may have prescribed more than one inhaler. One may be the rescue inhaler that you keep with you to fight off an asthma attack. Another one may be an inhaled corticosteroid. That steroid is to help keep the inflammation down in your lungs for long-term asthma control. The directions to take this medication may be that you use it in the morning and at night. However, this is not the inhaler that you want to use if you are having an asthma attack. It won't stop it—that's what your rescue inhaler is for. But the steroids will make it so that you may have to use your rescue inhaler less often.
See a Respiratory Therapist
Another thing that you can do is to see a respiratory therapist. You may need to have a referral from your primary care physician to see one of these specialists. However, they may also have one on staff, so all you need to do is make an appointment with them. The respiratory therapist you see will help you learn how to use your inhalers properly and give you some exercises that you can do that will help to make your lungs stronger and increase how much air you can breathe in at once.
Getting a diagnosis of asthma can be scary, but there are things that you can do to make it less so. For more information, contact a respiratory therapist at a location such as Corner Home Medical.
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