Most of us are familiar with the telltale signs that of a cold or flu – a runny nose, sore throat, cough, and a maybe even a fever. A person with asthma might also feel a pervasive tightness in their chest or wheezing that won't go away.
Respiratory viruses, like the ones that cause colds and flu, are the main culprits of asthma flare-ups in children and adults. It's important to stay healthy and treat your symptoms, as a cold virus can cause a severe asthma attack.
Staying Healthy During Flu Season
There's no guaranteed method to prevent catching a cold, but there are steps you can take to minimize your risk of getting sick.
- Wash your hands often with soap and hot water, particularly after touching door handles or using the restroom. In a pinch, an alcohol based hand sanitizer work as well.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, especially with unwashed hands.
- When possible, keep your distance from those who are ill. The germs that cause respiratory infections are highly contagious.
- Get your annual flu shot. The Center for Disease Control recommends those at least six months and older get a flu vaccine every season. The CDC does not recommend nasal spray flu vaccinations for people with asthma, so you may have to get the shot.
- Talk to your health care provider about a pneumonia vaccine and ask if it's an option for you. Pneumonia is a serious infection, and coming down with a cold or the flu increases your risk of getting it.
Even with the best prevention, you may still catch a cold. Make sure to take care of yourself when you have the cold or the flu. Your health is important!
- Rest and stay hydrated. Talk to your healthcare provider about any over-the-counter medications you might be able to use.
- Keep your asthma action plan handy and follow any instructions regarding flare ups. If you don’t have an action plan, or your current plan is outdated, talk to your doctor about creating one.
- Monitor your air flow using a peak flow device. You can also use the Hailie™ solution to accurately track your inhaler medication usage. This information can be important if you visit a doctor.
- Get emergency medical treatment immediately if your asthma symptoms worsen or if you experience any difficulty breathing.
Do Your Best to Prevent an Asthma Attack
When you're sick, it's a good idea to stay home from work, school, or visiting friends. Promptly getting treatment to ease your cold and manage your symptoms can help make sure that your illness doesn't turn into an asthma attack.
Don't forget to follow your doctor's advice, particularly when it comes to medication. If you often miss your asthma medication, then it might be time to get the Hailie™ solution. You can learn more about the Hailie™ solution here: www.hailie.com