Here’s some helpful hints, tips and hacks to help you navigate your busy life; living with Asthma. Whether you’re an athlete, or just like to keep fit, expecting a new baby or a keen traveler for business or pleasure. There’s something here for everyone.
Controlling Asthma during Exercise
Do you find that Exercise provokes your Asthma?
Well, you’re not alone and there are several ways that you may find will help you during exercise, whether you’re a high-performance athlete or just enjoy exercise for physical and mental health.
Is your Asthma well controlled when you are not Exercising?
If you need your reliever medication more than twice per week, or find your peak flow readings quite low, a regular preventer medication may be helpful in managing your exercise-induced Asthma.
Planning (Hints, Tips and Hacks)
- Choosing your exercise – Different types of exercise are more likely to induce Asthma Symptoms than others. Swimming for instance, is great for Asthmatics! Warm, moist air is being inhaled; making it less likely to agitate the airways and provoke your Asthma. Cycling and running however, are more likely to provoke symptoms because of all that cool, dry air entering your airways.
- The importance of a good warm up – 15-20 minutes is really beneficial.
- A mask or balaclava, particularly in the cooler months, can reducing heat; moisture loss and avoid agitated airways.
- Prescription Medicines – There are a number of good options for Athletic Asthmatics including, short acting relievers, preventer medications and Leukotriene antagonists (control for up to 12 hours). Check the options available to you if you haven’t already.
- Competing Athletes – Control, with a good warm-up and effective use of medication as we’ve discussed; is key. You can still compete! A number of medications are approved in competitive sport, a letter from your doctor may be all that’s required from your sporting body.
Medications that must be declared
Inhaled corticosteroid puffers (inhalers) and leukotriene antagonists are approved, just declare them to your sporting body. Declare Oral corticosteroids and importantly, don’t use them 6 weeks before competing. Regulations constantly change, do be sure to keep abreast of currently banned medications. This is especially important if you are competing in state, national or international sporting events.
Further information about banned substances can be found at Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA)
Asthma in Pregnancy
A degree of shortness of breath during pregnancy is perfectly normal. Your baby grows and takes up more and more diaphragm space.
In general, asthma either remains the same or in fact improves in majority of patients during pregnancy. However, in approximately one third it can worsen. This very much relates to asthma control prior to pregnancy and it is recommended that asthma control be optimized, especially where pregnancy is planned.
Uncontrolled asthma in pregnancy is associated with a small but statistically significant risk of complications including preterm delivery. Therefore asthma management needs to be proactive throughout pregnancy. The risk of uncontrolled asthma is much greater than any perceived risk of asthma medications to the developing baby.
Asthma medicines ARE SAFE
Evidence suggests, if taken correctly; medications used to treat asthma won’t harm your developing baby.
Traveling with Asthma
Pressurised aircraft cabins sit at around 80% of normal air pressure, no issue for controlled Asthmatics. If you can walk 100 meters or climb a flight of stairs without running out of puff, you should be just fine. If you’re experiencing shortness of breath while resting, please do consult your doctor before finalising any travel plans.
Hints and Tips
With the potential for change of weather conditions and potential exposure to Viruses, these hints and tips may help you remember your trip for the right reasons:
- take extra asthma medication supplies with you on your travel.
- Remember to pack your reliever medication in your carry-on luggage
- make sure you have travel insurance, and that it includes pre-existing ailments
If you’re looking for advice on diagnosing or treating asthma, contact (07) 3348 7921 today. Our expert team are experienced with asthma and would love to work with you to develop a treatment plan.
***People with Asthma CAN lead active lives!***