Advice for living with asthma

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Sport and physical activity

Engage in sports, because activity can improve endurance and lung capacity. Asthmatics can especially benefit from endurance sports such as jogging, walking, cycling, and swimming.

Drink enough fluids because sufficient quantities of liquid (approx. 2 litres per day) help to reduce the viscosity of the bronchial mucous, thereby making it easier to cough up.

Maintain a healthy weight, because excess weight can lead to shortness of breath and cause additional strain to the lungs. Reducing the excess weight can thus help to improve pulmonary function.

Awareness

Reduce stress because stress may trigger asthma symptoms. Relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga can help to reduce stress and better deal with the disease.

Avoid triggers if symptom-inducing stimuli are known. For example, those with animal hair allergies should not keep pets and refrain from touching animals. Those with dust-mite allergies should use special linens and get rid of “dust magnets” from the home.

Avoid tobacco smoke because tobacco smoke irritates the respiratory tract. Asthmatics should abstain from smoking and avoid smoke filled rooms if possible.

Prevention

Prevent infections because colds can lead to respiratory irritation. It is therefore important to keep a distance from people with colds, to avoid large gatherings during the cold season, and to regularly wash your hands. Plenty of sleep, exposure to fresh air, a vitamin-rich diet, and regular sauna sessions can help strengthen the immune system.

Take advantage of vaccination services because respiratory infections such as influenza (flu virus) and pneumococcus can severely aggravate asthma. Consult your physician regarding vaccination.