Living with asthma? 5 ways to help make your world a better place.

Take steps that may truly make a difference for you.

Breathing. Think about it: It’s fueled every great human achievement.

If you’re living with asthma, let these tips be a breath of fresh air — the steps you may need to be at your best in all your endeavors.

You got this! 5 steps to help you breathe easier.

Feeling short of breath can be scary — and dangerous. That’s why it’s so important to keep asthma in check. You’ll breathe and feel better — and be able to do the things you want to do. You’ll also help protect yourself from serious flare-ups.

Here’s how, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and other experts:

1. Be an action star.

If you don’t already, have an asthma action planOpens a new window. It’s something you work on with your doctor. It may include:

  • How and when to take your medicines.
  • Steps you should take if symptoms worsen.
  • When to seek medical help.
  • A list of your triggers — things that make your asthma worse.

2. Make it about you.

When you know what tends to trigger your asthma, you may be able to take steps to avoid or minimize those things. Common causes include:

  • Allergens, such as dander, dust mites, cockroaches and pollen.
  • Cold air.
  • Irritants, such as air pollution, smoke and strong odors.
  • Exercise.
  • Respiratory infections.

Your asthma action planOpens a new window should include strategies to help you avoid your personal triggers.

3. Go with the flow.

Ask your doctor if you should be using a peak flow meter.* You breathe into this handy little device to monitor your condition.

A peak flow meter can alert you to worsening asthma, even if you don’t feel symptoms yet. That way you can get a jump on preventing flare-ups.

4. Know your meds.

Be sure you understand what each of your medicines does and how you should take them. Long-term control medicines are ones you take every day to lessen airway inflammation. Why are they important? They help prevent symptoms from even starting.

Your doctor might also prescribe a quick-relief inhaler to open airways during an asthma flare-up. Carry your quick-relief medicine with you at all times.

5. Be in it with your doctor.

Check in regularly with your doctor to review how well your asthma action planOpens a new window is working. If you’re just getting this conversation started, here are some good questions you might ask at your doctor visit.

What to do next

Pick up some money-wise tips. Check out these 5 ways to help save on health care.

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*Check your benefit plan to see what services may be covered.