It’s Southeast Texas and we all know that allergies and asthma are real. Many of us suffer from them. Learning to avoid those things that put us at higher risk for asthma attacks can help save lives and improve your quality of life.
Asthma is caused by inflammation of the lungs. The muscles in your airway tighten and you suddenly find yourself wheezing, coughing, short of breath, and feeling a tightening of your chest.
By consulting with your doctor and learning what your triggers are you can begin to avoid many flare ups of your asthma.
Eighty percent of people who suffer from asthma also have allergies. Common allergens such as dust mites, animal dander, molds, and pollen are all but unavoidable here in our area. However, learning which of these you are allergic to can allow you to take preventative measures and therefore reduce the potential for asthma related issues.
The effects of dust mites can be reduced with specialized covers for your bed and pillows. Remove clutter from your home and keep it clean. Take stuffed animals out of your house, too.
Furthermore, cockroaches pose a problem for many allergy sufferers as well. Their droppings can trigger your allergies and result in an asthma episode.
Pets are magnets for dust and dust mites. Bathe them regularly or avoid owning them if possible.
Mold can trigger your asthma as well. Keep your home well ventilated and seal up any areas that may allow unwanted moisture and humidity to creep in.
This should almost go without saying, since tobacco smoke isn’t good for anyone. But it is one of the greatest irritants to someone suffering from asthma. Therefore, if you smoke AND have asthma there is a simple answer. QUIT.
Secondhand smoke is just as bad for someone who deals with asthma. Your friends and family should not smoke around you, in your home, in your car, or anywhere you spend time together. Let them know the health risks they are subjecting you to.
Pay attention to air quality alerts and the pollution levels around you. Avoid being outdoors on days when the risk is higher than normal.
Many people with asthma develop symptoms while exercising. Those who suffer from this will feel chest tightening and will begin to cough. This usually presents itself within the first 5 to 10 minutes of the workout. It is imperative with exercise induced asthma to monitor this and cool down slowly and thoroughly after each workout.
Believe it or not, there are medications on the market that can also worsen asthma symptoms. Some very common drugs in fact.
- Blood Pressure medication
- Migraine medication
- Glaucoma medication
Anxiety and Stress
Not getting enough rest and allowing the pressures of daily life take ahold of you can hinder your health and thus make you more susceptible to an asthma attack.
Viral and Bacterial Infections
Colds and sinusitis increase the effects of asthma. Both of these illnesses produce an increased amount of mucus in the lungs and sinus area. This is the same thing that occurs with those suffering from asthma. Preventing illness through health diet and vitamins is imperative. If you should get a sinus infection seek the help of a medical professional as soon as possible to receive treatment.
Cold, dry air, or other weather changes can put stress on your lungs and trigger your asthma.
Some studies show that up to 89% of those with asthma also suffer from severe heartburn. Also known as acid reflux, when this occurs and stomach acid is allowed back into the esophagus, where it has the potential to reach your airways. The irritation from this can quickly trigger an asthma attack.