For people with asthma, breathing can be difficult at most times since the airways in their lungs are usually inflamed. They can even get more swollen during cases of an asthma flare-up, causing the chest muscles to tighten and triggering asthma symptoms such as wheezing, cough, and shortness of breath.
What causes these flare-ups are called asthma triggers, which are certain elements or factors that can aggravate the condition. While there is no total cure for asthma, it can be kept under control to prevent a possible asthma attack. Here are tips on how you can do just that:
Know Your Triggers
Before learning to avoid what sets off your asthma symptoms, you need to know what they are. Consulting with an allergist or an immunologist will help clearly define your asthma triggers and develop a viable treatment plan that can minimize the occurrence of flare-ups and promote a quality life.
There are a lot of factors that may aggravate your asthma symptoms, which commonly include allergies to dust mites, pollen, or molds; smoke and other air pollutants; medications; and even stress. Once you have formulated an asthma management plan with your doctor, you will be taught how to avoid these triggers as much as possible.
Clear Your Home of Dust and Dander
Dust mites, pets, and cockroach droppings are just some elements we usually find at home—and they can be detrimental for people living with asthma. To avoid an asthma flare-up, prevent the buildup of dust mites by using mattress and pillowcase covers and removing stuffed toys from the bedroom. Meanwhile, you can get rid of cockroach infestation by eliminating water and food sources around the home and keeping them safely contained.
Clearing pet dander from the home can be difficult for some animal lovers with asthma. If you just can’t find your pet another home, at least keep it out of the bedroom and bathe your furry friends every week.
Keep Away from Smoke
Smoke and asthma are never a good combination. As much as possible, keep away from any sources of smoke, which include tobacco, fires, fireworks, candles, and incense. When friends are visiting over, imply a no-smoking rule in your home and even in your car. Also, avoid going to public places that allow smoking. Of course, if you are a smoker, your doctor is more likely to ask you to quit and may offer suggestions on how you can cut the habit successfully.
Smoking leads to terrible airway inflammation, worsening your asthma over time. When this happens, it can limit airflow and cause shortness of breath. When a flare-up happens, you may have to be given emergency care, during which your doctor will check your blood-oxygen saturation through a Simed pulse oximetry machine. This will further determine if your body is still able to function well.
Manage Stress and Anxiety
Stress can be an asthma trigger, which can be caused by a lot of factors, such as pressure at work, relationship problems, financial frustrations, or any other significant life event. While stress is an inevitable part of life, it is important to learn how to manage it, especially for people with asthma.
Your doctor can help you with relieving stress effectively. A great advice would be to learn how to control your breathing and how to meditate. Even regular exercise or a short walk around the park may help reduce stress.
People with asthma may be living with a long-term condition, but they can still enjoy living a normal life by avoiding triggers as much as possible, taking appropriate medication, and practicing a healthy lifestyle.