If you are like most students, you may think that the best way to manage asthma during school is with an inhaler. While this can work for many people, other steps need to be taken if your asthma is particularly severe. This blog post will discuss these steps in detail and give examples of how they can help make life easier at school.
1. Consult Experts on How to Manage Your Condition
Although you may think you know how to manage your asthma symptoms, it is essential to consider visiting a specialist. These specialists, such as an allergist, are professionals who have the knowledge and experience with managing asthma to help you out, so it is essential to see them if you think your condition could be better controlled through administration of drugs.
2. Keep Some Extra Medication On Hand
Often, it takes students a little while to get used to carrying around their medications. Therefore, keep an extra rescue inhaler on hand if you need it before getting your inhaler out. Fortunately, small rescue inhalers are available at most pharmacies and cost very little money.
3. Store Spares in Different Places
As previously mentioned, medicine should not be stored with the rest of your belongings for apparent reasons. Therefore, use a separate purse or bag for your medication and keep it different from the rest of your belongings.
4. Carry a Letter with You
If you have a severe form of asthma, then a letter from your doctor should be carried around to help explain any attacks that might occur. The school administrators should find someone who speaks English well enough to read the letter if need be. Even if you are having an attack at the time, it is still best to have your family contact the school to receive care as quickly as possible.
5. Decide How Severe Your Asthma Is
According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), an asthma exacerbation is defined as “a sudden worsening of asthma symptoms, most often with accompanying respiratory difficulty.” Those who have more severe cases may experience several exacerbations per week. If you are unsure about your degree of severity, talk to your doctor or school nurse. They should be able to help give you advice on managing asthma in school.
6. Request a 504 Plan
If your asthma is severe enough that you cannot attend school for more than a few days at a time, you may be entitled to special accommodations under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. An excellent place to start when looking into this process is with your doctor or school nurse. They should help you get in touch with the proper authorities.
7. Keep Your Asthma under Control
The best way to manage asthma in school is not by having an inhaler on hand but by keeping it under control so that you can attend classes for years to come without interruption. If you think that your school might be able to offer more support than they currently do, let them know. They might be able to provide you with increased assistance with your coursework if needed or have a particular area where students can rest during attacks.
8. Let Your Classmates Know About Your Asthma
Many students who experience attacks are triggered by allergies, colds, or other respiratory infections. Therefore, let your classmates know about your asthma and encourage them to take care of themselves while in session. The more they know, the better it will be for everyone involved.
9. Hold Off On Using the Inhaler during Attacks
At times you might feel like you need your inhaler right away because of how severe an attack is; however, it is best to hold off on using it until you need it. If you use your inhaler during mild attacks, then the medicine may not be as effective when you need it later on for a more severe attack.
10. Remove Asthma Triggers from the Classroom
According to WebMD, “Triggers can include cold or dry air, animals, dust mites, tobacco smoke, perfumes and other odors, respiratory infections such as the flu or a cold, exercise before asthma symptoms appear.” If there are any triggers present in your classroom that you think might irritate your condition, make a list of them and bring it up with school administrators. They might do something about these triggers so that other students won’t have to suffer.
11. Find Other Ways to Avoid Asthma Triggers
If your school does not seem willing to remove your asthma triggers, then try finding things you can do to avoid them. WebMD suggests avoiding smoky or dusty situations, keeping pets out of the bedroom, and frequently washing bedding. Other things you should try are limiting time in crowded areas, staying away from people who have colds or infections, and avoiding grassy areas with high pollen counts.
12. Look into Complementary Therapies to Treatment
It may be that your school does not want to do anything about asthma triggers in the classroom. This is where complementary therapies come in. According to WebMD, exercises such as yoga or acupuncture can help with short-term relief and long-term reduction of symptoms. Meditation, massage therapy, and biofeedback are also effective in some cases.
13. Consult with School Personnel When in Doubt
If you are still having problems with your asthma, do not hesitate to consult with school personnel. They may be able to provide you with more information on the proper way to manage your condition while at school. School is supposed to be a safe learning environment for everyone involved. Still, if something within the educational system makes it difficult to learn or be healthy; administrators need to work on a solution.
Asthma can make going to school a challenge at the best of times, but with a little bit of preparation and support from faculty and classmates, it doesn’t have to stop you from attaining your educational goals. Be open about your condition with those around you, and it will be easier for them to understand your needs.