No one can guard against sickness 24/7. Eventually, everyone gets hit with a cold or flu and they have to deal with the side effects. Unfortunately, individuals with asthma have twice the side effects and twice the risk. Someone who already has trouble breathing often fears for the day they catch a cold. But there are several ways for an asthmatic individual to guard against severe side effects during sickness.
Perform Increased Breathing Tests
Most individuals who suffer from asthma take peak flow meter tests that measure their airflow. While going through sickness, they should perform these tests twice as often as they usually do. They should also take their test at the same time every day. This will keep their breathing patterns watched over during sickness in order to guard against any severe flare-ups or attacks.
Watch Out for Symptoms
Someone living with asthma while being sick should keep a sharp eye out for symptoms such as coughing, chest tightness or a sore throat. These symptoms may need additional medical treatment, such as increased controller medication or emergency breathing medication. If the symptoms continue despite the medication, individuals should call their doctor immediately.
Call the Doctor During Intense Flare-Ups
If medication is not assisting breathing problems or a peak flow drops below 50 percent of an individual’s personal best, they should contact their doctor. They should also get in touch with their doctor if they are experiencing more breathing difficulties than normal or going through intense flare-ups.
Take Time to Rest
The best thing an asthmatic individual can do while sick is stay home, do not go to school or work and get plenty of rest. They should drink a lot of fluids and, with their doctor’s permission, use over-the-counter medications to relieve symptoms. An example of this includes saline nasal spray to keep nasal secretions moist and nasal passages open.
Establish an Action Plan
Every individual who is going through life with asthma should have a basic action plan for how to handle flare-ups and attacks. They should also establish an action plan for what to do during a flare-up or attack while sick. If someone is noticing warning signs for an asthma attack, they should have an adjustment set for their medication as well as a plan of action.
Do Not Handle Severe Symptoms Alone
If someone is going through severe cold or flu symptoms, they should not try and control those symptoms alone. They need to keep the doctor’s number at hand and not hesitate to call with any questions or concerns. If possible, any sick individual who also lives with asthma should stay with a friend or loved one who can assist them while being sick and be available in case of an emergency.
Asthma mixed with sickness can sometimes be a frightening thing. But an individual who takes precautions, establishes a plan and takes good care of themselves can avoid severe symptoms or unfortunate trips to the emergency room.