(BlackDoctor.org) — Welcome to the second installment of my series “My Journey with Asthma.” In the last installment, my parents were told that I had been diagnosed with asthma. God blessed me to be born to a mother who was a respiratory therapist, so she knew exactly what was ahead for my future.
After the asthma diagnosis, what are the first steps?
Everyone diagnosed with asthma needs an Asthma Action Plan. This plan details what measures are taken depending on how the patient is feeling. This plan will also have to include the most important thing, how to AVOID an attack.
1. Know Your Triggers. The main thing to remember when trying to avoid an attack is to know your triggers. Most doctors will perform an allergy test to let you know exactly what you are allergic to. For example, I have food allergies in addition to my environmental allergies. Most asthmatics have environmental allergies such as:
• Dust mites
• Pet Dander
• Mold and Mildew
• Cigarette Smoke
There are pillowcase and mattress covers that will help to prevent dust mites. It is recommended people with asthma sleep in a room with no carpet because dust mites can live in the carpet. Filters can be placed over heating vents of the home to cut down on dust mites as well. Finally, vacuum regularly and wash sheets and blankets in hot water (131 degrees Fahrenheit) to protect your asthmatic child from dust mite triggers.
2. Know Your Zone. The next part of the Asthma Action Plan is broken up into zones: Red, Yellow and Green.