Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
When you suffer from asthma symptoms, what do you do when you constantly have to pass on going to friend's houses? What can your friends do to ensure that you still have a chance of a social life with them! It might be that you have to meet at the park or a restaurant, but here are some tips for both sides to try out. With some effort, both asthma suffers and their friends can understand each other and still spend time together.
If you suffer from asthma, here are some tips I've picked up on my own personal journey. Even if just one of them resonates with you, it will have been worth my sharing.
1. Seek medical attention.
If you have been in a place or home that has allergens in which have clearly affected you, don't do what I did once and endure severely restricted breathing for six hours. Get proper medical treatment IMMEDIATELY! You're not wasting anyone's time; remember, people die yearly from asthma. It's not to be taken lightly.
2. Have a shower or bath as soon as you can.
Wash your hair thoroughly. Wash all the clothes you were wearing, and if you slept in the bed before doing all of this, wash your sheets at the highest temperature.
3. Treat yourself holistically.
Treat yourself through daily exercise, cutting out foods which may exasperate the problem. Include foods in your daily diet that are known to help the respiratory system, such as cold-pressed olive oil, olives, oily fish, hemp seeds, and plenty of chlorophyll-rich foods such as chlorella, spirulina, kale, and other dark greens.
4. Commit to improving your immunity.
Seek ways to really boost your immune system and become the healthiest 'you' that you can be! Also, try to gain a better understanding of the way your body works. Don't just keep going to your doctor for more inhalers. Do things in between times to lessen the symptoms.
5. Talk to your friends.
Invite them to your home instead or meet at an alternative place.
6. Strengthen those lungs!
Each day, do some form of exercise that raises your heart rate for at least 20 minutes. When you exercise over a period of time, you might find, as I did, that symptoms lessen and you gain more strength — not just in your body, but also in terms of your breathing. Practice yoga and breathing exercises, and try using a salt-pipe daily or visit a salt-cave every month to help improve your lungs.
7. Consider using a gentler toothpaste.
I used to need my inhaler soon after brushing my teeth, until I switched to a gentle aloe vera brand, which had no harsh chemicals like fluoride. Guess what? I've had a clean bill of health from my dentist since the switch three years ago, and no more inhaler after teeth-brushing! Also, consider changing all products that you put on your body, such as shampoo, conditioner, deodorants and make-up.
When you are asthmatic, you will have limitations. There will be homes you can't go to. There will be places you can't visit. There will be pets you can't buy your children. There will be foods you can't eat. And you may have to pay attention more to what you do eat and drink than most of your friends.
But friendship is a two-way street, so here are seven tips that will help friends of asthma sufferers understand and cope with a disease that impacts everyone, not just the sufferer.
1. Don't feel rejected.
Your friend loves YOU — it's just that when you're asthmatic, you can't always control how you're going to react to an allergen. Just know that this makes your friend really annoyed and sad too — they certainly don't want to have troubles with their breathing.
2. Find solutions for known problems.
If you know a certain allergen causes problems in your home, seek ways to remedy it. Is it too expensive? What can be done? What are the limitations? Can you do trial runs of visits?
3. Be patient.
The asthmatic friend already beats herself up about this, believe me!
4. Consider having your pets outdoors or having none at all.
I'm totally aware that this is unrealistic for some people, but consider it. If you don't have a pet and are thinking of buying one for your family, is there a particular hypoallergenic type you could get? It may also be helpful to consult with the asthma sufferer. Is it so important to someone in your family to have a pet?
5. Suggesting your friend take an antihistamine is not always helpful.
Your friend may have lived on tablets such as these for years, and while they might control some symptoms, they don't usually ease restricted breathing.
6. Cut down on the chemicals.
Clean your floors with natural sprays; avoid those air-fresheners that release toxins and chemicals into your home.
7. Spending time together is what counts most.
I'd really love to hear comments from people who suffer from asthma or from friends of sufferers... and any tips, ideas, or thoughts you have on this subject.