Does one of your friends or loved ones have asthma? This can be a difficult condition to live with — both for the asthmatics and those who care about them. Read on to find out more about things you should remember if you love someone with this chronic condition.
They Can Be Embarrassed by their Condition
Most people with asthma have stories to tell about having an asthma attack at work or school or other public place. These attacks are obvious and it can be very embarrassing for them when people stop and stare or stand around and don’t know what to do. They also get frustrated if an attack happens at a very awkward moment, such as in the middle of a business meeting or their child’s recital at school.
They Cannot Travel Light
People with asthma have a lot to remember before they leave the house in the morning — let alone going on a vacation or weekend jaunt. Pill packs with asthma medications, inhalers and nebulizers all take up a lot of space and even an simple overnight trip can require a lot of planning.
They Usually Need to Go to the Doctor a Lot
Between flu shots, allergies shots and general check-ups, people with asthma can find themselves sitting in the waiting room of a clinic a lot more than the average person. This can be frustrating — and can also cause problems at work about having to take time off for medical care if the boss is less than understanding.
They Hate the Winter
It’s hard to going walking in a winter wonderland when the first breath of cold air sends your respiratory system into spasms. Even when they wrap up with a scarf over their mouths and noses, it can still be difficult just to get from the house to the car during the worse of the year’s cold weather.
They Also Hate Cold and Flu Season
For most people, getting a cold or the flu is a pain in the neck, but it is not something that they take very seriously. For someone with asthma, however, these minor respiratory infections can turn quickly into something major and can take weeks to recover from – or even mean a stay at the hospital.
They Want to Remind You to Watch What You Wear
When you live with or just hang out with someone who has asthma, be careful of what you wear in regards to personal care products. That new mango-peach-vanilla lotion might smell great to you, but it can set off a potentially serious asthma attack. So be careful of things like perfume, hair sprays and deodorants, as these can all be a problem for asthmatics to be around.
They Are Not Sickly or Nerdy!
How many TV shows have portrayed people with asthma as either invalids or geeks sporting prominent pocket protectors? The truth is that asthmatics are neither sickly nor nerdy — and are healthy apart from their respiratory condition.
They Can Exercise
Many people assume that just because someone has asthma that they won’t be able to be active. As a matter of fact, though, exercise and activity are important parts of asthma treatment. Many asthmatics have actually gone on to careers as professional athletes. They just have to be more careful, often treating themselves before practice and allowing for a warm-up and cool down.
They Have to Think About Breathing
This one might sound strange, because most people breathe without ever thinking about it — it just happens naturally. Asthmatics, on the other hand, have to be continually aware of their breathing and often have to monitor themselves in order to pick up on the signs of an oncoming flare-up.
In short, asthma presents some unique challenges to those who have it. However, it is good to remember that if you do love someone with asthma, they are also more than just their condition and that they can lead full and happy lives and pursue the same interests as everybody else.