If you frequently suffer from asthma attacks or have trouble breathing, it may be time to look at your environment. Minimize your exposure to asthma triggers to reduce your chances of an asthma attack.
Here are 11 common asthma triggers and how to avoid them.
Pollen allergy, or "hay fever," is one of the most common allergies around (and it can trigger asthma attacks). Pollen comes from a variety of plants, from grass and trees to weeds and flowers. While it's most common in the spring, pollen can show up at any time of year.
2) Indoor Allergens
There's plenty in the air at home that can trigger an asthma attack. Pet dander, dust mites and mold are the worst offender. Even cockroach droppings can trigger an attack. To avoid these allergens, try to keep a clean home. Be sure to dust often and take care of any leaks or pests as quickly as possible.
3) Air Pollution
If you live in a large city or industrial area, bad air pollution can trigger asthma attacks. Keep an eye on air quality forecasts in your local area. If pollution levels are high, be prepared for anything. Keep your treatment plan at hand when things could get bad.
Unfortunately, Fluffy might be contributing to your asthma symptoms. If you have a furry pet such as a cat or dog, try to keep it out of your bedroom. Wash your pet every week, and vacuum as often as you can. If you feel like your symptoms are getting worse, you may need to look at other options for your pet.
5) Tobacco Smoke
Smoke can take a variety of forms, but none of them are good. Watch out for smoke from campfires, grills, or fireplaces. Cigarette or cigar smoke is worse, as it contains harmful chemicals which both irritate your lungs and cause long term damage. If you smoke, it's probably time to quit. If you hang around people who smoke, ask them to not smoke while near you.
6) Chemical Fumes
We come into contact with a wide range of chemicals in our daily lives, but we may not even know it. Cleaning products and pools are the worst offenders here, but be careful around industrial areas. If you are near a pool or hot tub when an asthma attack occurs, get out of there fast. The trigger may be chlorine in the air.
7) Strong Odors
Many of us have had reactions from strong perfume or other scents. Be careful around these odors. If you are the one wearing the perfume or deodorant, try to wash it off.
Be extra careful when you are ill. Many illnesses, such as the common cold, can lead to an increase in mucus production which can trigger an attack. If you are feeling lousy already, the last thing you want to add is an asthma attack.
Exercise is a double-edged sword for asthmatics. On the one hand, regular exercise is important to maintaining healthy lungs. On the other hand, strenuous activity and heavy breathing can trigger asthma attacks. Talk to your doctor about the right level of exercise for you, and always be sure to have your inhaler on hand.
That's right, even stress can trigger asthma attacks. Stress is infamous for exacerbating physical symptoms, and asthma is no exception. If you are stressed and feel an asthma attack coming on, try to relax: listen to some music, have some tea, or maybe even jump in a hot shower.
11) Extreme Weather
If the weather is rough outside, you may want to stay inside. Very cold or dry air can irritate the lungs, while stormy or windy days can kick up irritants in the air. Remain indoors and keep your inhaler nearby.
If you are at risk for an asthma attack, try to avoid these asthma triggers. You may not be able to prevent every asthma attack, but you can minimize your chances!
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