You can take steps to manage your eosinophilic asthma. The things you do every day can make a difference.
Staying one step ahead starts with knowing what your triggers are.
Maybe it's a condition, like a cold, sinus infection, or acid reflux. It could also be medicine, like aspirin, or food, like peanuts or shellfish. Smoke is a trigger -- even smoke from burning leaves. So are birds, cats, dogs, dust mites, cockroaches, and mold.
The environment can be a big trigger in ways you wouldn't think. Grass is a common one, but storms, air pollution, and changes in seasons or temperatures can also cause an episode. Others include:
- Exercise. You can still work out, but check with your doctor about the best activities for you.
- Feelings, like intense laughter or crying, yelling
- Smells, like cleaning products, candles, and air fresheners
Once you've identified the problems, the next step is to find ways to work around them.
Everyday Lifestyle Tips
Though you can't avoid all flare-ups, you can do a lot to make them less likely. In addition to taking your medicine, these steps could help you avoid the things that could set off a flare.
Get down to a healthy weight and exercise regularly, which keeps your lungs strong.
Make sure you get a flu vaccine every year, since eosinophilic asthma makes you more prone to complications from the flu.
Keep a food journal to help you pinpoint items that seem to set off asthma attacks. Then you can avoid those foods.
If you smoke, talk to your doctor about the best way to quit. It will help your whole body, as well as your asthma.
Got pets? Make sure they get bathed regularly, and keep them out of your bedroom.
Cut your exposure to mold, pollen, and dust mites by using your air conditioner and keeping windows closed. And replace your HVAC filter on time.
If the weather sets you off, try to do errands before the hottest part of the day, especially in summer. Check out apps that help you measure air quality based on your ZIP code.
Use Your Plan
Outsmart eosinophilic asthma episodes by keeping a daily asthma diary. It’s part of your asthma action plan, which you make with your doctor so you know exactly what to do if you have an attack.
Asthma plans are color-coded, like a stoplight:
- Green means you're doing well.
- Yellow means you have some breathing problems.
- Red means serious action is needed.
When you use your peak flow meter to measure your ability to get air out of your lungs, you can record your personal best in each category and see how it changes during a flare-up.
Your asthma action plan should also note:
- What symptoms to look for
- Which medicine to use at each level and how much
- An emergency contact
- Your doctor's name and phone number
Bring your plan and your asthma diary to each doctor appointment. It’s handy because it has a log of your peak flow readings, symptoms, medicines taken, and triggers.
It also helps you stay focused on what's normal and what's not. The goal is to keep everything from mild coughing and wheezing to full-blown asthma attacks at bay. If you find that you cough or wheeze on a daily basis, tell your doctor at your next appointment. Though it may seem normal to you, it may show your doctor whether or not your medication is working.
Stay on Top of Your Medicine
It's key to understand what you're taking, what it does, when to take it, and how often. Even if your asthma's not bothering you, keep taking your medication as directed until your next appointment. It's the best way to keep your airways open.
Have questions? Notice triggers? Seeing side effects from medication? Make notes including days, times, and details and share them with to your doctor on your next visit.