Inhalers are essential to managing asthma, but did you know, taking your reliever inhaler more than two days a week, shows your asthma isn’t controlled?
Maybe the dose of your preventer is not right, or you’re not using your inhaler correctly. Smoking cessation, keeping active and weight loss are also recommended in the NZ Asthma Guidelines 2020.
What is often forgotten is HOW you are breathing. This isn’t doing some crazy technique where you jump in the snow in your underwear, but learning to breathe well and adaptably, all the time. Research shows that improving breathing in asthmatics reduces symptoms and inhaler use. 1 in 3 asthmatic women and 1 in 5 asthmatic men have a breathing pattern disorder.
Asthmatics habitually try to get air in as easily as possible, leading to shallow mouth breathing and a short exhale. This is how we breathe when stressed and makes asthma worse.
Thinking about nose/belly breathing and a long controlled exhale means the air you breathe in is clean, warm and moist (that’s the nose’s job), that you are relaxed and there is plenty of space to get the next breath in. Try humming, this helps keep the nose ready and active, it also gives you a long exhale!
The better you breathe at rest, the harder it is for your asthma symptoms to take control.