Do you remember going to the circus and watching a performer walk the tight rope? Caring for a loved one suffering from severe, persistent asthma or any other kind of chronic disease can feel the same way. Actively caring for your family member with asthma without controlling his or her health care is a kind of balancing act. Thankfully, you can pull this act off, thanks to the wealth of knowledge available to you. Begin by studying asthma medications for your spouse.
There are two basic types of asthma medications:
- Reliever or rescue medications known as quick-relief, and;
- Long term control, sometimes referred to as controllers
Basically, quick-relief medications are used to easing or heading off the symptoms of asthma when indicators hint that an episode might occur, such as a low peak flow count. Long-term medications affect the inflammation caused by asthma. If you can, join your spouse when he or she visits your healthcare provider to explain these medications.
How to Use Asthma Medications
As far as the long-term medications are concerned, you will probably have to do nothing more than pick up the prescriptions from the drugstore. With quick-relief medications, however, it would be beneficial for both you and your spouse to know how to use them. This is the medicine you’ll need during an asthma episode. You should know the difference between the two types of medication, since the long-term medicines won’t help your spouse during an asthma episode.
Bring your spouse to a show-and-tell demonstration. It may also help for him or her to view your asthma action plan as well. The plan should correspond with the correct forms of medications or safety measures to the symptoms and warning signs. These are the drugs you should be able to locate during an emergency.
Medication Isn’t Everything in Asthma Care
As big a part as you may want to play in caring for your spouse’s condition, medication is one area that you can only do so much. It might be difficult for you not to be involved in medication, but keep in mind there is an equally important role you can play in asthma management: environment control.
A venture of the National Institutes of Health, the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP) reports that the removal of asthma triggers through management of the environment is just as important to controlling asthma as the use of certain medications. The normal household can be a haven for all kinds of allergens and irritants, such as dust mites, pet dander, and pollen, so regular and detailed cleaning can lower the amount of triggers your spouse will come in contact with, effectively managing asthma. Environment control can be your responsibility.
Strengthen that safety net of knowledge by learning all you can about evading triggers and managing the environment. Acting on what you learn will keep you from controlling your spouse’s health while still playing an active role in his or her life.