The dos and don’ts of cold and flu prevention

Find out what you should do to avoid getting sick this season

Everyone knows what it feels like to have a cold or flu: stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, and sometimes a fever. If you have asthma, all of this can lead to a flare-up. Your regular asthma medication may not be able to control the symptoms that arise. Taking steps to avoid getting sick may be your best bet for keeping asthma symptoms under control. Use these tips to help avoid the cold or flu.

DO get an annual flu shot, unless your doctor advises you against it. As a general guideline, it's recommended that everyone 6 months and older receive the vaccine.

DO ask your doctor if you need a pneumonia vaccine. People with asthma are more likely to develop pneumonia after getting the flu.

DON'T allow yourself to be in prolonged contact with anyone who is sick.

DO wash your hands often. Use soap and run your hands under water for at least 20 seconds. It is especially important to wash your hands after you cough or sneeze, use the bathroom, or touch objects in a public setting, as well as before you cook or eat.

DON'T touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. In addition, don’t touch railings or doorknobs.

DO call your doctor if your asthma begins to flare up when you’re sick.

DO continue to follow your asthma plan if you do get sick, including monitoring your airflow.