Allergic asthma is a common condition affecting millions of people. It is one of America’s most common and costly diseases. The good news is, asthma conditions can be managed with proper prevention and treatment methods. Learning to take control of your asthma symptoms is the first step to improving your lung function. Here are 5 tips from our Board Certified Allergists to help you breathe better today.
1. Stand Up
Did you know that lying down actually worsens asthma symptoms? When you lie flat, it’s easier for fluids to drip down the back of your throat and cause coughing. Lying down can also lead to increased fluid accumulation in the airway walls and narrowing of the breathing passages. So if you experience worsened asthma symptoms while lying down, try standing for a few minutes to see if they subside. At night, try sleeping in a reclining position as opposed to lying flat.
2. Do Not Hold in your cough
While it may be tempting to hold in your cough as to not disturb others, this does more harm than good. Coughing helps to clear your airway of fluid, food, particles, or irritants. We encourage you to cough or clear your throat as needed to help you breathe better. Just remember to cough safely into your arm or a napkin to prevent the spread of germs and viruses, and wash your hands afterward.
3. Try Pursed-lips Breathing
Pursed-lip breathing is a breathing technique designed to make your breaths more effective and get more air into your lungs. This technique calms you down so you can better control your breathing. To practice pursed-lip breathing, sit down in a chair and relax your neck and shoulder muscles. Then breathe in slowly through your nose, keeping your mouth closed. Lastly, pucker or “purse” your lips and breathe out. Repeat these steps until your breathing improves.
Pursed lip breathing improves ventilation and releases trapped air in the lungs. It is known as one of the simplest ways to control shortness of breath.
4. Stop Smoking
We can’t say this enough. If you have asthma, stop smoking! This includes cigarettes and vaping. Smoke irritates your lungs and makes it even harder to breathe. It also decreases the number of air spaces and blood vessels in the lungs, resulting in less oxygen to critical parts of your body. Constant exposure to secondhand smoke can also damage the lungs. It is essential to avoid smoke when possible if you want to breathe better.
5. Seek Professional Treatment
Breathing techniques and avoiding asthma triggers all help you breathe better. However, professional treatment is needed to ensure your lungs function the way they should. The allergists at NY Allergy & Sinus Centers use a variety of methods to assess your lung function. We also offer personalized treatment plans to treat your asthma and evaluate your treatment plan when needed to ensure your medications continue to work for you. Whether you need an inhaler or a nebulizer, we can get you what you need to breathe better fast. Call our office today at (212) 686-4448 or book your appointment online for asthma management and treatment.