Though there is an unlimited amount of information at our fingertips, you’d be surprised how often people get misdiagnosed with asthma. When you or your child first develops it, your doctor may write it off as allergies or even the common cold.
While we’re not encouraging you to scare yourself on Web MD, we do think you should seek out more information if what you’re currently hearing at the doctor doesn’t seem right.
That’s one reason it’s so important to see a respiratory specialist about how to control asthma when you have lasting symptoms. What are those symptoms? Learn below.
Think you have asthma? You’re not alone. 1 out of 13 Americans have an asthma diagnosis. The most common symptoms are:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness
- Lung pain
- Trouble sleeping due to breathing issues
- Whistling or wheezing exhales
- Coughing or wheezing attacks
Asthma symptoms get worse when there’s a co-diagnosis of other respiratory illnesses, such as the cold or flu. So if the fever is gone, but the other symptoms remain, go back to your doctor and express your concerns.
You are the only one that can advocate for you or your child. Your doctor cares, but they have a lot on their plate. Always get a second opinion if you have a sneaking suspicion and be open to multiple tests.
Types of Tests of Asthma Diagnosis
If you suspect that you or your child has asthma, there are a few types of tests your doctor can run.
The most common thing doctors start with is allergy testing, which will rule out environmental triggers that aren’t asthma-related. However, many people are allergic to something, and those allergies can make asthma symptoms worse—so ask for more tests to get to the bottom of the issue.
Another standard test is the Methacholine test. Methacholine is a substance that causes an asthmatic reaction in those with asthma. The test is an inhalation test in a doctor’s office, and the doctor will watch the response.
Everyone will respond in some form, but if the response is intense, it’s likely that you or your child has asthma.
There are also
- Imaging tests
- Nitric Oxide tests
- Sputum eosinophils tests
- And Provocative testing
Always talk to your doctor about which tests they’re ordering, why, and what the additional options are!
Breathing Easier: How to Control Asthma with Lifestyle Factors
Asthma is a disease within the body, and besides taking medication to treat the symptoms, there’s no way to cure it completely. So, keep that in mind when you’re reading the ways to reduce asthmatic symptoms.
The following tips are things that can help control symptoms, but can’t get rid of them entirely.
Stop Smoking and Avoid Smokers
If you’re a smoker, the first thing your doctor will tell you is to quit smoking. There are plenty of free smoking cessation programs in your community, so ask your doctor if you need help finding them.
Since smoking is so detrimental to the body, it’s more cost-effective for communities to give smoking cessation programs for free, than it is to do nothing to help people quit smoking.
If you’re dealing with the diagnosis of a child, make sure they’re not around smokers or even people that smoke. Recently we’ve discovered such things as third-hand smoke, which is the transfer of carcinogenic smoking-related chemicals, even when the person isn’t around the smoke.
These third-hand-smoke chemicals can live in walls, fabrics, and on the hair/person of someone that smokes, even if they’ve traveled miles since they smoked their last cigarette.
Get More Exercise
While this may seem counterintuitive, as exercise makes it harder to breathe and asthmatics already have a hard time breathing, it’s not. Building up your cardio endurance makes both your heart and lungs stronger so that you can fair better in the event of asthma attacks/symptoms.
Try to find an activity that you or your child likes, that gets your heart rate up. It could be taking a bike ride instead of a walk, going to soccer, or even doing TikTok dances with a young person in your life.
The more you exercise, the better you can combat your symptoms.
Get Your Vaccines
As we said, illnesses can make your asthma symptoms worse. That means if you were leaning towards the anti-vax movement, we recommend that you don’t.
For someone with asthma, getting the flu can make your symptoms worse not only while you’re sick, but for months (yes multiple) afterward. Get the vaccines that your doctor recommends and learn the right way to wash your hands!
Wash Your Hands
Want to hear something scary?
Only 30% of adults wash their hands every time they go to the bathroom. Adults—we need to do better!
You should wash your hands for 20 seconds, not the average six. The CDC has more information on the right way to wash your hands (and songs to sing while you do it!)
Shop Around for Asthma Meds
The last thing you want to do, when you’re diagnosed with anything, is accept the price at your closest pharmacy. Different pharmacies and companies can set prices their own prices for the meds you need, and it’s unlikely that the lowest price will be at the place you go first.
Sometimes, you can find the best deals for meds by shopping online. Search our site for your asthma medication brands, compare your receipts, and see just how much you can save!
There are many things you can do to learn how to control asthma, but not every tip will work for every person. Each case of asthma is unique, which is one reason there are so many types of medications out there.
Do your research, live your best-breathing life, and don’t overpay for asthma meds.
Search our online pharmacy for savings today!