1 in 13 people suffer from asthma making it one of the most common chronic respiratory diseases in Ireland. For those people, day-to-day life can be stressful and difficult especially if they feel like they have no control over their condition.
Although there is no cure for asthma, thankfully there are many different ways to help keep it under control.
Here, are some tips to help you handle your asthma.
Know your triggers
One of the best ways to keep your asthma under control is by knowing your triggers and trying to avoid them.
A trigger is anything that causes your airways to become irritated resulting in asthma symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, breathlessness and a tight chest.
Try to learn what triggers are causing your asthma flare-ups. Write down when you experience an asthma attack and what you think is causing it. You should see a pattern start to form which will tell you what your triggers are so that you can try to avoid them.
Get an asthma action plan
If you suffer from asthma one of the best ways to manage it is by having an asthma action plan. This plan contains information on how to keep your symptoms under control, what to do in the event of an asthma attack and emergency contact information. It also has information on your asthma medication and how you need to take them. It is recommended to review your action plan at least once a year.
If you would like a mock action plan, the HSE supplies one on their website which you can fill in with your GP. Following this plan will help keep your asthma under control, hopefully reducing your risk of an asthma attack and emergency visits.
Changing your diet
Another way to take control of your asthma is by eating certain foods.
Foods rich in vitamin D such as orange juice, eggs and milk can help to reduce inflammation in your airways. This helps to manage your asthma because inflammation causes the inner lining of your airways to produce mucus and expand increasing your chances of an asthma flare-up.
Additionally, foods like seeds, nuts, vegetables and fruit that contain vitamin E can help ease your asthma symptoms such as coughing and wheezing. This is because vitamin E helps also helps to reduce inflammation and mucus production.
Try to avoid the chemical preservative sulfite usually found in tomato pastes, vinegar and wines which has been known to trigger asthma symptoms.
Try to exercise
Lastly, another way to manage your asthma is through exercise. Exercising improves lung capacity, increasing the amount of oxygen in the body and also helping to reduce inflammation in your airways.
In fact, research from the University of East Anglia found that people with asthma who did at least 150 minutes of exercise a week improved their quality of life and asthma symptoms. 
Additionally, exercise helps to boost your immune system which is another way to help ease asthma symptoms.
The bottom line
Dealing with asthma can be difficult but if you understand your triggers, and have an asthma action plan, change your diet, try to exercise and quit smoking you can help keep your asthma under control.
How do I make an appointment at Hazelhill Family Practice?
To book your appointment at Hazelhill Family Practice click here.
You can also call the Hazelhill Family Practice on 094 9630091/ 094 9632170.