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Manage your asthma, so it won't manage you

By Brett Buchmiller, MD
Allergy, Asthma & Immunology

For many patients with asthma, fall and winter can be a challenge. To keep your asthma under control, follow these guidelines:

Stay Healthy
Get your annual influenza vaccination, wash your hands and get enough exercise. Influenza vaccinations usually become available in September or October of each year. Get yours early since it takes a few weeks to be effective. The flu can cause more problems if you have asthma.

Manage/Eliminate Triggers
If you have allergies, they can make your asthma harder to control. Your physician can recommend medications to treat your allergies and he or she may recommend that you have allergy testing to pinpoint what’s driving your symptoms. Other triggers can be irritants like cigarette smoke.

Take Your Medication
Keep your medications available and use them as directed. "Rescue" medications like albuterol are for when you are having symptoms and need quick relief. You may also need a "controller" medication to lessen the frequency of attacks and maintain long term control. If your doctor has prescribed this, it is important to take it regularly, even if you feel fine.

Dr. Brett Buchmiller in Allergy, Asthma & Immunology at The Everett Clinic sees patients at our Smokey Point Medical Center.