Using Your Cell Phone as a Vital Asthma Tool
Ten or even five years ago me writing this post wouldn't have made any sense. We are definitely in the digital age and smart phones have taken the main stage. People work from their phones, connect with friends and family far beyond a simple call. Social media, photography, calendars, calculators, texting, alarm clocks, I could go on for days with what we all know smart phones these days are capable of doing. It is quite mind blowing to think how much can be crammed into a small flat device that fits in the palm of your hand.
Being an asthmatic, we have a lot we have to do, manage and remember. Things to track and symptoms to manage. We have incredible brains but it can be difficult to remember everything, even for the asthma veterans.
Your calendar is your best friend
Regardless if you're new to asthma or have had the diagnosis for decades, your phone calendar is extremely useful. I set numerous reminders on my calendar so I know when to call in to reorder my prescriptions so I make sure I have them before I run out. You can also keep track of how often you are needing your rescue inhaler if you are noticing that you are needing it more frequently than usual.
For both apple and android platforms, there are literally hundreds of health tracking apps. There are many that are asthma specific. Some that contain graphing capabilities for daily peak flow readings as well as symptom trackers, rescue inhaler usage, and places to input your asthma action plan. Many of these health and asthma apps can be custom tailored to your preferences to make them easy to use.
If you aren't keen on third party specialty apps to help track and manage your asthma, the generic notes app that comes standard on most smart phones is an excellent alternative. I keep a running “asthma journal” in mine where I note any specifically hard asthma days or anything in particular I want to talk to my doctor about the next time I see him. You can keep a tally of how often/how many puffs of your rescue inhaler. I also have a note that contains my entire (lengthy) medical history that I can pull up any time I need it to show to a new doctor etc. Another note I keep which is a super important one is a list of my current medications and dosages. I am on quite a few and it makes it easier to refer to rather than spout it off the top of my head. Also, note any allergies etc.
If you are new to asthma or just need a reminder as to when to take your inhalers/medications, set a daily alarm to help you remember.
Emergency Contact Info
I can only speak to iPhones as that is what I currently have, but there is an emergency button that can be accessed on the lock screen that when touched it brings up a “Medical ID” screen where you can set up your medical info, including medications, allergies etc for any first responders if you have any kind of medical emergency. Medical personnel are trained to look for those kinds of things to help get any info that they might need to treat you if you are unable to speak.
Do you experience allergies and/or sensitivities?