What is asthma?
Asthma is a lung disease that makes it harder to move air in and out of your lungs, causing difficulty breathing. Symptoms include coughing, wheezing (a whistling sound when you breathe), shortness of breath, and chest tightness.
Asthma can affect any age group, from infants to seniors. Many people develop asthma as a child. But adults can get asthma later in life, even in their 50s or 60s.
How can I manage my asthma?
Managing asthma means keeping your symptoms under control. You can do this by avoiding triggers and taking medications to prevent episodes. Use your quick-acting medicine as soon as you start to notice symptoms.
Asthma may lead to a medical emergency. It is important to know the signs of a severe asthma attack and be prepared to take immediate action or call 911.
Discuss your asthma care plan with your doctor.
We encourage you to talk to your doctor about what causes your asthma symptoms and how to avoid or limit your exposure. Make a care plan together.
A thorough plan accounts for things that trigger your asthma, your schedule, how active you are, your cultural background, and your other medical needs.
Build healthy habits.
In addition to the care plan you make with your doctor, there are things you can do on your own to manage your asthma.
- Work with your CHPW health coach.
- Monitor allergens (things that make your allergies worse).
- Know what a healthy weight is for you.
- Learn your limits. Watch for signs of exhaustion or difficulty breathing when doing physical activity.
- Carry your rescue inhaler at all times.
- Avoid poor air conditions (such as dusty areas).
- Do not smoke, and avoid secondhand smoke.
- Develop an asthma “action plan” in case of emergencies.
Schedule regular physicals and take your allergy and asthma medications when you should.
How Community Health Plan of Washington (CHPW) can help
As your health plan, CHPW wants you to feel your best every day. You may want to take advantage of the following resources:
- Health Risk Assessment (HRA). A health risk assessment looks at your whole health through a series of questions about your physical, mental, and emotional health. CHPW can give you an HRA over the phone.
- Quit for Life program. Ready to quit smoking? Get peer-to-peer support and personalized coaching at no cost to you.
- One-on-one counseling with a registered dietitian. CHPW’s health coaching team can help you build healthy daily habits that are shown to help people with asthma feel better.