(RxWiki News) In the United States, an estimated 15.4 million people are treated for asthma each year, according to a new study.
And that places an enormous burden on both individual patients and the US economy, said the researchers behind this study.
Asthma is a long-term disease of the lungs that affects both children and adults. Symptoms of asthma include trouble breathing, shortness of breath, wheezing, chest tightness, and coughing in the morning or at night.
These symptoms can cause people with asthma to have to miss days at work or school and not sleep well. When not managed well, asthma attacks can even land you or your family in the emergency room. Not only does asthma account for a large financial cost, it affects quality of life. Although asthma cannot be cured, medications and treatment strategies can help manage the condition.
Consider the following tips for managing asthma:
- Take your asthma medications as directed by your health care provider. Some medications are only taken when you have symptoms. Other medications are taken every day to keep you from having symptoms.
- Make sure you always have access to your inhalers.
- If you notice that you are using your quick-relief medicines more and more, speak to your health care provider. You may need a different medicine.
- Ask your health care provider about an asthma action plan if you do not already have one.
- Identify what triggers your asthma and take steps to avoid it. Some common triggers are tobacco smoke, pets, pollution, perfumes and dust.
- Avoid being outside or having windows open during seasons when your asthma is worse.
- Try to avoid getting sick — infections can make asthma worse. Wash your hands frequently and stay up to date on your vaccines.
- Vacuum and clean your house often.
Talk to your health care provider about safe ways to manage asthma and avoid asthma attacks.
The asthma study was published in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funded the research. The study authors disclosed no potential conflicts of interest.