You really don’t have to twist my arm to go shopping, especially when it involves a purchase that can (or might) improve my health. I’m amazed by just how many products are available — some helpful, some not for whatever ails us.
Before any purchase, I do my homework. I ask my doctors for input. I scour the internet. I ask friends and even my 95-year-old grandmother.
This was my process when deciding on some products that I consider tried-and-true for my asthma.
These seven items have helped me so much in controlling my asthma symptoms. If I had an unlimited supply of money, I would give most of these out as stocking stuffers to others. These are truly my go-to asthma-bustin’ gadgets.
Robot vacuum: In a perfect world, I’d vacuum every day to help keep down dust and pollen that can worsen my asthma symptoms. However, with my busy schedule, that’s just not possible. A robotic vacuum allows me to set a timer for it to run each day (or twice per day), keeping my floors squeaky clean and dust-free.
I spent: $0 (This was a gift I requested, but most run about $150-$200.)
Air purifier: For several years, I’ve used a HEPA air purifier in my bedroom to help limit all those unseen airborne bad guys that impact my breathing. This has been one of my favorite purchases over the years and I don’t know how I ever lived without one. Recently, I signed up for a subscription to receive replacement filters every few months to ensure I always have a clean filter. (Note: If you’re using an air purifier with a dirty filter, you might as well just turn it off.) The type of air purifier I have kicks out cool air and white noise, which helps me sleep as well. If well maintained, a good air purifier can last a few years. Next up for me: a mini air purifier for travel.
I spent: About $150
Allergy-resistant pillowcases: I’ve tried a few allergen-resistant pillowcases over the years, and I didn’t know they actually worked until I stayed at hotels or with family and noticed the difference. These special pillowcases help reduce dust mites and other allergens that can increase your allergy symptoms and as a result worsen your asthma. It can be challenging to tell one type from another, so I’m still researching more options.
I spent: $30 for a set of two
Peak flow meter: Most doctors will confirm that colds, flu, and allergies can increase your asthma symptoms. Because of this, I’ve become more vigilant about staying healthy during the seasons when I’m most at risk. One product that has helped me a lot, especially during allergy or cold season, is a peak flow meter. If I think I’m having a minor asthma attack, or if my breathing is just heavier than normal, I’ll whip out this handy device to check. You use it by taking a deep breath in and then blowing into the device as hard as possible. A normal reading is between 400 and 700, but it can be different based on your age and gender. Check with your doctor to find out the right reading for you.
I spent: $25
Blood pressure cuff: What does blood pressure have to do with asthma? Well, a lot, I recently learned. I’ve noticed a connection between my blood pressure reading high and when my asthma is not well controlled. I now check my blood pressure regularly, chart it using an app, and share with my doctor on a regular basis. Keeping track helps with my overall health including with my asthma.
I spent: $40
Nebulizer: This product has changed my life with asthma. For months, I used my daily inhaler without it and noticed a scratchy throat. I would follow doctor’s orders and promptly rinse my mouth and gargle after my inhaler, but it wasn’t cutting it. Once I started using my inhaler with a nebulizer, the scratchy throat disappeared.
I spent: $15
Smartwatch: Reminds me to work out, walk, stand up, and breathe deeply — all which help with increasing my lung capacity. Each time I look at my watch, it reminds me that I should be getting in some steps or planning my next workout. Exercise is so important for managing asthma, and anything that reminds me to move my body is a gift that keeps on giving.
I spent: $0 (Also a gift, but $50 and up depending on the brand)
You don’t have to spend a lot of money on products to help with your asthma. That said, investing in your health is never a bad idea.
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