Self-management

Lifestyle and home remedies

All asthma attacks require treatment with a quick-acting (rescue) inhaler such as albuterol. One of the key steps in preventing an asthma attack is to avoid your triggers.

  • If your asthma attacks seem to be set off by outside triggers, your doctor can help you learn how to minimize your exposure to them. Allergy tests can help identify any allergic triggers.
  • Washing your hands frequently can help reduce your risk of catching a cold virus.
  • If your asthma flares up when you exercise in the cold, it may help to cover your face with a mask or scarf until you get warmed up.

Prevention

The best way to avoid an asthma attack is to make sure your asthma is well-controlled in the first place. This means following a written asthma plan to track symptoms and adjust your medication.

While you may not be able to eliminate your risk of an asthma attack, you're less likely to have one if your current treatment keeps your asthma under control. Take your inhaled medications as prescribed in your written asthma plan.

These preventive medications treat the airway inflammation that causes asthma signs and symptoms. Taken on a daily basis, these medications can reduce or eliminate asthma flare-ups — and your need to use a quick-acting inhaler.

See your doctor if you're following your asthma action plan but still have frequent or bothersome symptoms or low peak flow readings. These are signs your asthma isn't well-controlled, and you need to work with your doctor to change your treatment.

If your asthma symptoms flare up when you have a cold or the flu, take steps to avoid an asthma attack by watching your lung function and symptoms and adjusting your treatment as needed. Be sure to reduce exposure to your allergy triggers, and wear a face mask when exercising in cold weather.