Lifestyle Changes to Manage Asthma

General Guidelines for Managing Asthma

Making changes to lifestyle habits can help some people avoid asthma attacks. These changes may be:

Reducing Exposure to Allergens or Irritants That Trigger Asthma

Allergens may irritate asthma symptoms in some people. Reducing contact may help.

Paying Attention to Warning Signs

Get treatment for these warning signs:

  • Shortness of breath and wheezing
  • Chest tightness or pain
  • Using bronchodilators more often
  • Problems sleeping
  • Frequent coughing, especially at night

Asking a Doctor About Physical Activity

Exercising can improve a person's health and mood. It can also reduce asthma attacks. People with asthma should:

  • Have good asthma control before exercising.
  • Warm up for at least 10 minutes before exercise. This can be walking or other low-intensity activities.
  • Avoid triggers when exercising, such as high pollution levels, pollen, freshly cut grass, or cold.
  • Increase new activities slowly.

Losing Weight

Weight loss may improve control in people who are overweight or obese.

Getting the Flu Vaccine

Asthma can lead to a higher risk of flu-related problems. Adults and children older than 6 months old should get a yearly flu shot.

Avoiding Smoke

Smoking can trigger asthma and make symptoms worse. There are tools that can help people to quit.

Other sources of smoke can also trigger asthma, such as wood stoves or camp fires.

References:

Acute asthma exacerbation in children. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dyname... . Updated August 22, 2018. Accessed October 22, 2019.
Asthma exacerbation in adults and adolescents. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dyname... . Updated January 29, 2019. Accessed October 22, 2019.
Asthma in adults and adolescents. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: https://www.dyname... . Updated October 11, 2019. Accessed October 22, 2019.
Chronic asthma in children. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/chronic-asthma-in-children . Updated September 27, 2019. Accessed October 22, 2019.
Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) global strategy for asthma management and prevention. GINA 2018.
Reduce asthma triggers. American Lung Association website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated April 30, 2019. Accessed October 22, 2019.
What causes or triggers asthma. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated October 2019. Accessed October 22, 2019.
Last reviewed September 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD
Last Updated: 10/22/2019

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