Thursday, 14 July 2016
Here are the top 10 ways to reduce asthma attacks.
1. Avoid Humidity
To reduce asthma attacks, you must pay attention to air quality. Extremely hot, humid weather and poor air quality can trigger symptoms for many people. Also, avoid highly polluted areas that can worsen your condition.
Use an air conditioner to lower indoor humidity and reduce airborne pollen from trees, grasses and weeds that finds its way indoors.
Keep your windows closed during pollen season.
If you live in a damp climate, consult your doctor about using a dehumidifier.
Avoid living near a highway or a busy intersection where there is greater risk of air pollution.
If possible, move to a location where you can enjoy fresh, dry air.
Avoid exposure to varying temperatures within a short time.
2. Limit Dust Exposure
Due to its allergy-inducing properties, dust is one of the most common asthma triggers as it contains tiny particles of pollen, mold, fibers from clothing, and detergents. A similar trigger is dust mites, which are tiny bugs that live in sheets, blankets, pillows, mattresses, soft furniture, carpets and stuffed toys. Hence, do your best to keep your house free from dust and dust mites.
Clean and replace air-conditioner filters on a regular basis.
Remove carpets and heavy drapes from the bedroom.
Wash all bedding and stuffed animals frequently in hot water.
Use allergen-barrier coverings for pillows and mattresses.
Vacuum your house twice a week.
Dust all surfaces with a damp cloth often.
Wear a mask and gloves when cleaning or vacuuming to limit dust and chemical exposure.
Avoid dust-collecting blinds or long drapes for your windows. You can use window shades and washable curtains.
Keep clutter under control.
Store washed clothes in drawers and closets.
Keep bedrooms well ventilated.
3. Prevent Mold and Mildew
Mold and mildew are allergens that can trigger asthma symptoms. Mold grows on damp areas like shower curtains, bath items, tubs, basins and tiles. Be aware of damp places in your kitchen, bathroom, basement and around the yard. Do your best to reduce exposure by preventing mold and cleaning it as soon as it appears.
Run a dehumidifier or use an exhaust fan when taking a shower.
Regularly clean damp areas in the bathroom, kitchen and around the house to prevent mold spores from developing.
At the first sign of mold, clean it up with mild soap and hot water.
If not washable, throw away moldy items.
Get rid of moldy leaves or damp firewood in the yard.
Fix leaky plumbing or other sources of water as soon as possible.
Remove household plants. Plant them in your garden or backyard instead. To prevent mold, make sure not to overwater plants and keep them in a sunny place.
4. Say No to Smoke
Smoke of any kind can irritate your lungs, especially when you have asthma. In fact, smoke is a well-known asthma trigger that you must avoid to prevent attacks. Asthma symptoms like coughing and wheezing become worse when exposed to smoke.
If you smoke cigarettes, quit immediately.
Avoid secondhand smoke.
Do not allow others to smoke in your home or car.
Avoid public places that permit smoking.
Stay at a smoke-free hotel when traveling.
Make sure your kitchen has a proper exhaust fan or chimney to remove cooking smoke.
Minimize exposure to other sources of smoke like incense, candles, fires and fireworks.
5. Stay Away from Pets
Pets can trigger an asthma episode in people who are allergic to them. Pet dander, particles of hair, fur, feathers, and saliva are common asthma triggers.
If parting ways with a beloved family pet is not possible, be sure that you:
Keep the pet out of your bedroom completely.
Do not allow your pet on any furniture.
Have your pet regularly bathed or groomed.
Do not allow children who suffer from asthma to play with dogs, cats and other animals.
6. Kill Cockroaches
Cockroaches can also trigger allergies and asthma attacks. They produce substances that cause allergic reactions in people who have asthma, and coughing and wheezing in babies and small children. It is important to eliminate cockroaches from your home.
Do not leave food, water and garbage uncovered.
Do not leave pet food out overnight.
Wash your dishes and utensils soon after using them.
Do not leave bits of food and spilled drinks on the counter tops. Clean the counters and tables with soapy water.
Use roach traps or gels to get rid of cockroaches.
Every 2 to 3 days, vacuum, sweep and mop any areas where you see cockroaches.
Inspect your backyard and garage to see where these bugs are hiding.
Seal up any openings where cockroaches can enter, such as sinks, leaky pipes and so on.
Reduce humidity in your home as it promotes the growth of cockroaches and other pests.
If necessary, call a pest control expert to get rid of cockroaches.
7. Avoid Stress
When people are under stress, their breathing often becomes rapid and shallow. This causes constriction of the airways and can lead to an asthma attack. In addition, stress can weaken your immune system, making you more vulnerable to asthma attacks and infections
To keep yourself free from stress:
Practice deep breathing exercises to calm yourself during a stressful situation.
Get regular exercise or use meditation and yoga to ease stress. You can also take up a hobby to help calm your mind.
Adopt a regular sleep schedule as lack of sleep can contribute to stress.
Avoid stressors by improving time management and organizing things properly.
Ask for help when you cannot manage stress on your own.
Make time to have fun with your family and friends.
8. Exercise Wisely
Many people suffer from exercise-induced asthma, which is asthma triggered by vigorous or prolonged exercise or physical exertion. However, you must not treat exercise as a trigger to be avoided. Physical activity is important, even for people with asthma. In fact, regular exercise can strengthen your heart and lungs, which helps reduce asthma symptoms.
Try yoga, gentle biking, moderate-to-brisk walking, weight-training workouts, and sports like golf, baseball, swimming, gymnastics, tennis and other racquet sports that involve short and intermittent periods of exertion.
Reduce the risk for exercise-induced asthma attacks by working out inside on very cold or very warm days. If you are exercising outside, wear a mask or scarf over your mouth.
While exercising, make sure you breathe through your nose instead of your mouth.
Before doing any exercise, start with a warm-up period.
Consult your doctor before taking part in any physical activity or sport.
9. Avoid Getting Sick
Respiratory infections like colds, flu or sinus infections are among the most common causes of asthma symptoms leading to an asthma flare-up. Heartburn and GERD can also damage the airways that lead to the lungs and worsen asthma symptoms.
If illness is one of your asthma triggers, consult a doctor immediately. Proper and timely treatment will help lessen the duration and intensity of your illness. At the same time, take good care of yourself during the cold and flu season.
You can also get an annual flu shot. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people age 6 months and older who suffer from asthma get an annual flu shot to help protect against the flu virus.
10. Dietary Changes
A good diet is important for everyone, including people with asthma. A diet high in vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, flavonoids, magnesium, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids is good for people suffering from asthma.
Eat plenty of fresh and organic fruits and vegetables.
Eat foods with omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, tuna, flaxseed and more.
Include herbs and spices like rosemary, sage, oregano, ginger and turmeric in your cooking.
Avoid eating processed and packaged foods with artificial additives and preservatives.
Avoid milk and dairy products if you are allergic to milk proteins or have lactose intolerance.
Avoid heavy and fatty meals as they increase airway inflammation and inhibit relief provided by the common asthma medications.