Patient Blogs | Asthma
What I Would Tell Someone Recently Diagnosed with Asthma
photo of group therapy

If someone came to me today and told me they were just diagnosed with asthma, I would have to take a step back and think about the best way to comfort them. Because, in truth, they’ll need it.

Asthma can be diagnosed at any age. But the sentiment would stay the same no matter what. I can’t remember how I felt when I was diagnosed, but I do know what it feels like to have intense empathy for newly diagnosed individuals.

To me, it’s like we’re a part of a family. A family that has a common bond that no others can even begin to understand.

With that being said, the best advice I can give would be as follows:

Learn as much as you can. The first thing I’d say to someone recently diagnosed with asthma is to do their best to understand how asthma works. More importantly, how their specific asthma works. And, unfortunately, this is something that may evolve over a lifetime.

Knowing the inner workings of asthma goes a long way when preventing attacks. Always be learning.

Surround yourself with those who care. There is nothing more important than the support of loved ones. You’ll find people who don’t understand asthma, don’t want to understand it, or don’t believe asthma even exists.

You’ll also come across people who claim they have asthma and they’re fine, so why aren’t you?

You’ll encounter people who do have asthma, but it behaves differently than yours, so they might try to call your bluff and make you feel weak for suffering.

But the truth is, everyone’s asthma is different, and it’s not to be taken lightly. People who love and care for you will understand that and will be eager to learn and help you.

Keep those people close and ignore the rest.

Always have a plan. Know what your triggers are and always have a plan. This probably means never leaving the house without a rescue inhaler. But also, know what you’ll do if:

You come in contact with a trigger

You feel your asthma flaring up

Your rescue inhaler isn’t helping

You get an upper respiratory illness

Having an action plan can help you stay ahead of an attack and keep asthma anxiety under control.

Never assume you're cured of asthma. There have been periods of time in my life when my asthma seemed dormant. I would go for a few months without any sign of it. Of course, I always hoped it would go away as I aged (something the doctors mentioned could happen). But, for me, it always reappeared.

That doesn’t mean it can’t go away, but the truth is, there’s no cure for asthma right now, and even if your asthma is well-managed, you can’t ever assume it’s completely gone.

Because that one time you think you’re cured and leave your inhaler at home, that’ll end up being the time asthma shows up again. Don’t let your guard down. It’s easy enough to take your inhaler along.

Advocate for yourself. Always. Not everyone will understand your asthma. And not everyone will care about your health. So you have to be the one to protect yourself. Even doctors can miss the mark when it comes to understanding the variances in different types of asthma. (I’ve been there.)

Additionally, peer pressure can be challenging, but chances are, your peers aren’t going to be the ones in the hospital with you after an asthma attack.

Stand up for your health and fight for it with passion. You’re your biggest advocate.



Photo Credit: thianchai sitthikongsak / Moment via Getty Images

Tell us what you think of this post?
0 Like
0 Sad
0 Cheered up
0 Empowered
0 Care
WebMD Patient Blog © 2022 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

Important: The opinions expressed in WebMD Blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. Blogs are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatments or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.

Do not consider WebMD Blogs as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.

Amanda Pieper

Amanda Pieper

Diagnosed since 1987

Amanda has lived with asthma for 39+ years. She was diagnosed at age 5 and has been an advocate for others with chronic illnesses online and in her community. She owns a small farm in Wisconsin and is a freelance writer at Copy by Amanda Pie and an empowerment coach for people who have asthma. Her passion is helping them feel understood, believed, and empowered to live life without limits.

Latest Blog Posts From Amanda Pieper

How I Navigate Asthma During the Holidays

How I Navigate Asthma During the Holidays

As someone who has a cuppa pumpkin spice as soon as the clock hits 12:01 on September 1st, I never want to miss a ghoulishly good time come ...

Read more
What I Wish People Knew About Asthma

What I Wish People Knew About Asthma

Asthma isn’t uncommon, so it’s easy to assume it’s an understood chronic illness. But the truth is, there are a few things that only ...

Read more