You follow your doctor's orders to manage asthma, yet your symptoms still persist. Frustrated? You don't have to resign yourself to feeling sick.

Learn about the five potential pitfalls that can derail even your best efforts, along with some easy-to-follow tips to help you steer your asthma management plan back on track again.

Asthma Management Challenges

  1. Not using your medication properly. Not only should you take your asthma treatments and medications as directed, but are you should also use them correctly. Getting complacent about using your inhaler can impede your lungs from functioning normally. The best way to avoid this trap is to practice your technique in your doctor's office so that she can give you some pointers to ensure you'll get the full benefit from your medicines. You can also ask your pharmacist for help with proper usage.
  2. Not addressing your asthma symptoms fast enough. It's very easy to ignore your asthma warning signs when you're caught up in work and family obligations. The important part of asthma management is to pay attention to how you feel every day. Use a peak flow monitor to measure your lung function regularly. Also, pay attention to how many times you get up at night because of asthma-related reasons, the need for more frequent inhaler usage, or symptoms that are interfering with your daily living. Once you become aware of any changes you'll have time to respond by taking your medication to head off an impending attack.
  3. Exposing yourself to allergens. If you suffer from allergy-related asthma, exposure to seasonal and indoor triggers can spark your condition. Steer clear of allergens that make you sick such as pollen, mold, dust, or animal dander. Taking allergy medications at certain times of the year and allergy-proofing your home are easy and important asthma management steps.
  4. Skipping the annual flu vaccination. You may not think you need it, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stresses that getting a flu vaccine is an important step to help keep your asthma in check. This is because asthmatics are more likely to experience complications from the influenza virus. Most doctors offer flu shots in the fall and early winter. You can also find flu shot clinics in many pharmacies and stores, which make it ultra convenient to keep yourself well this season.
  5. Forgetting to "exercise" caution when engaging in strenuous activities. If you're one of the many asthmatics whose symptoms are triggered by exercise, your doctor may suggest you use your fast-acting relief inhaler before you hit the gym or head outside to workout. Spending the time to warm up and cool down can also help prevent exercise-induced asthma.




"Adults With Asthma Should Receive Flu Vaccination." National Center for Environmental Health. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 27 April 2009. Web. 7 Aug. 2011.
"Asthma and Exercise: Tips to Remember." American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. AAAAI, n.d. Web. 7 Aug. 2011.

 "Taking Control of your Asthma." Asthma Foundation, Australia. Asthma Foundation, n.d. Web. 2 Aug. 2011.

"Top 5 Allergy Mistakes to Avoid this Season." American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. ACAAI, n.d. Web. 3 Aug. 2011.