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Asthma Relief and Self-Care

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Managing Your Child’s Asthma at School

It’s important to communicate with your child’s teachers and other caregivers for optimal asthma relief when your child is away from home. Managing your child’s asthma at school is vital even if your child has only a mild case of asthma and doesn't need to take asthma medicines when at school.

With one out of every 10 children diagnosed with asthma today, most schools have many children with asthma, so many teachers -- and certainly the school nurses -- are very familiar with helping children with asthma. Still, it is important to make sure your child gets adequate asthma support at school and that all the relevant people at school are familiar with what is needed to help your child. Also, if your child is bringing asthma medications to school, it’s important that you instruct the teacher and any other adult who cares for your child how to properly give these medications.

For more detail, see WebMD's article on Managing Your Child’s Asthma at School.

Controlling Asthma Triggers

Controlling asthma triggers is possible if you know which triggers or allergens cause your symptoms. Your asthma triggers may be dust mites, molds, pollens, pets, cockroaches, and household irritants. Secondhand tobacco smoke may also be an asthma trigger. Other asthma triggers include ozone, environmental toxins, strong odors, weather fronts, cold air, and humidity.

Once you know your asthma triggers, make plans to avoid these triggers at home, at work, and during recreational activities.

For more detail, see WebMD’s article on Controlling Asthma Triggers.

Do You Need an Air Filter?

If you suffer from asthma at home, an air filter may help reduce allergy triggers. Learn what these air filters do to help reduce allergy and asthma triggers.

For more detail, see WebMD’s article, Do You Need an Air Filter?

Natural Asthma Remedies

Natural asthma remedies may include treatment such as herbs, dietary supplements, acupuncture, chiropractic, massage therapy, biofeedback, homeopathy, nutrition, and botanicals. The problem is there are few research studies on natural therapies.  

Natural therapies such as yoga breathing exercises may help people with asthma learn how to control their breathing and relieve stress, a common asthma trigger. Massage therapy may increase relaxation, helping the person with asthma breathe easier. Dietary changes are another natural remedy as you avoid foods that may trigger asthma symptoms. It’s important for your health care provider to be aware of any herbs or supplements you’re taking as they may interfere with your asthma medications.

For more detail, see WebMD’s article on Natural Asthma Remedies.

A Natural Cure for Asthma?

After suffering with asthma for months or years, you may wonder if there’s a natural cure for asthma. If so, millions with asthma would benefit! But the reality is there is no natural cure for asthma. In fact, it’s highly advisable to avoid any remedy, natural or otherwise, that claims to be a "cure" for asthma.

Some natural relaxation remedies like deep abdominal breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, and biofeedback can help relieve stress. Emotional stress is a trigger of asthma symptoms, so learning to relax is important in managing your asthma and reducing breathing problems. Numerous safe and effective asthma medications, particularly asthma inhalers, can decrease inflammation and treat and prevent asthma symptoms. While these medications do not cure asthma, they can help you to breathe normally most of the time.

Because asthma is a serious illness, it’s best to trust your health care provider to guide you in treating your asthma symptoms.

For more detail, see WebMD's article, A Natural Asthma Cure?

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Jonathan L Gelfand, MD on May 11, 2012
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