Living with Asthma: What You Should Know if You Love Someone with this Chronic Condition
Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition that affects millions of people worldwide. People with asthma experience periodic episodes of tightness in the chest, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. These symptoms can be triggered by many different factors, including allergens, infections, exercise, and stress. Living with asthma can be challenging, both for the individuals who have it and those who care about them. In this article, we will discuss some important things to remember if you love someone with asthma.
They Can Be Embarrassed by their Condition
Asthma attacks can happen at any time and in any place, which can be a source of embarrassment for people with asthma. They may feel self-conscious when others stare or don’t know what to do during an attack. They may also feel frustrated if an attack occurs at an inconvenient time, such as during a business meeting or a child’s performance at school. As a friend or loved one of someone with asthma, it’s important to be understanding and supportive during these moments. Listen to their concerns and provide reassurance that you are there to help.
They Cannot Travel Light
People with asthma need to carry several medications, including inhalers, pill packs with asthma medications, and nebulizers. These items take up a lot of space, which can make even a short overnight trip challenging. If you plan to travel with someone who has asthma, be prepared to help them pack and carry their medication.
They Usually Need to Go to the Doctor a Lot
People with asthma typically need to see a doctor more often than the average person. They may need flu shots, allergy shots, and regular check-ups to manage their condition. This can be frustrating and stressful, especially if their boss is not understanding about taking time off for medical appointments. As a friend or loved one, you can offer support by driving them to appointments or helping them find ways to manage their work schedule.
They Hate the Winter
Winter can be a tough season for people with asthma. The cold air can trigger an asthma attack and make it difficult to breathe. Even with scarves and masks, going outside can be a struggle during the coldest months of the year. If you plan to spend time with someone with asthma during the winter, try to find indoor activities that don’t require going outside.
They Also Hate Cold and Flu Season
People with asthma are at higher risk of complications from colds and flu. These infections can exacerbate their asthma symptoms and require weeks of recovery time. Make sure to practice good hygiene habits around someone who has asthma, such as washing your hands regularly and covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.
They Want to Remind You to Watch What You Wear
Personal care products, such as perfumes, hair sprays, and deodorants, can trigger an asthma attack for some people. If you know someone with asthma, be mindful of the products you use around them. Avoid strong fragrances and opt for unscented products whenever possible.
They Are Not Sickly or Nerdy!
A common misconception about people with asthma is that they are sickly or nerdy. This is simply not true. People with asthma can lead happy, full lives and have a range of talents and interests. Avoid stereotypes and treat them like the unique, interesting individuals they are.
They Can Exercise
Despite the popular belief that people with asthma cannot exercise, many asthmatics enjoy an active lifestyle. In fact, exercise and physical activity are important parts of asthma treatment. Athletes, including professional athletes, have successfully managed asthma and become champions in their fields. Of course, it’s important to take precautions and follow a treatment plan when exercising with asthma.
They Have to Think About Breathing
One of the most challenging aspects of living with asthma is the constant need to monitor breathing. People with asthma need to be aware of their breathing patterns, so they can recognize the signs of an oncoming attack. This can be exhausting and stressful, but with practice, it becomes more routine.
In conclusion, asthma presents some unique challenges to those who have it. If you love someone with asthma, it’s important to recognize these challenges and offer support and understanding. By being mindful of triggers, helping with medication management, and avoiding stereotypes, you can help your loved one manage their condition and live a full and happy life.