Marked as a respiratory condition involving attacks of spasm in the bronchi of the lungs, asthma is a respiratory disorder that causes difficulty in breathing. It is usually connected to allergic reaction or other forms of hypersensitivity. As there is no prescribed cure for asthma, the only way to deal with the condition is to avoid triggers that might cause irritation to the lungs and the body’s respiratory system. Since the triggers differ from person to person, it is important to know the underlying cause of the disease to prevent any further asthmatic attack. The worst asthma attacks can be overcome using some advanced medications, respirators and inhalers. However, for the silent asthma sufferer, nothing beats prevention. Asthma prevention lies in eliminating (to the furthest extent possible) the factors that trigger an attack. You are halfway down to proper prevention if you know what specific triggers may cause an asthma attack. Here are some of the most effective prevention techniques that doctors recommend:
Knowing What Triggers Asthma is Your First Priority
A wide variety of triggers could bring on an asthma attack
- Dust mites in dark, warm places such as an attic or cupboard
- Cold air from an open window
- Polluted air from your environment
- Second-hand smoke from family or friends
- Unpleasant or foul odors
The best method to prevent future asthma attacks is to maintain an asthma diary to record all the environmental and emotional influences that may cause an attack. For example, if you notice that you were in a dusty place prior to an attack or one infested with mold and cockroach droppings, you could associate those as possible triggers. Submitting yourself to an IgE blood test could also help you identify the specific triggers which provoke your asthma attacks. When you have an asthma attack, go back to your asthma diary to see which factor or combination of factors might have contributed to it. Some common asthma triggers are not always obvious, but they still contribute in determining the allergens to which you have become sensitized. You can then take measures to minimize your exposure to those allergens. Countless situations from working in a chemical-filled environment to merely exercising outdoors can cause asthma. If similar aggravating activities are unavoidable in your life, you may need medication or salbutamol inhalers that minimize the danger of asthma attacks.
Protecting Yourself from Asthma Allergens
If you have allergies and asthma, it is important that you minimize your exposure to certain asthma causing allergens as allergen exposure can temporarily increase the inflammation of the airways in a person with asthma making them more susceptible to an asthma attack. Therefore, avoiding or minimizing contact with the allergens can help prevent an asthma attack.
- Asthma patients must stop smoking or lessen their exposure to smoke that can damage air passages in the lungs causing severe asthma attacks.
- Minimize exposure to tobacco, drugs and even alcohol as they always tend to worsen asthma.
- Avoid other objects that produce smoke like candles, incense, fireworks or automobile exhaust.
- Restrict activities outside the home to smoke-free zones.
- Avoid contact with people who have communicable bacterial infections like viral or flu, as your asthma might worsen if you catch the infection from them.
- Wash hands thoroughly before and after meals, especially in public places where germs are prevalent.
Minimizing the Risk Factors of Asthma through Self-Care
- Book smoke-free hotel rooms for vacations or trips and ensure access to smoke-free dining areas in favorite restaurants.
- Bring your own pillows and sheets (whenever you travel) to avoid using hotel supplies that could carry allergens.
- Use allergy proof covers on pillows and mattresses. Wash your bedding weekly in hot water (above 130 degrees F) to get rid of dust mites and use a dehumidifier to reduce excess moisture to help prevent mold in your home.
- Do not allow pets in bedrooms or on furniture as it causes pet dander, a common asthma trigger.
- Carry your own bottled water or homemade juice to avoid the risk of outside beverages.
- Bring takeout food home to avoid dining outdoors as much as possible.
- Avoid the dreadful three – tobacco, liquor and drugs.
- Avoid the overuse of sprays and perfumes. Stop using cleaners that emit powerful fumes.
- Maintain a healthy weight, as obesity and asthma do have plausible links.
- Intense emotions and stress often worsen asthma symptoms, so ensure that you take steps to relieve this strain from your life. Make time for things you enjoy doing as well as for relaxation.
The Vaccination that Could Save You from Asthma
The common flu or influenza should not be taken lightly by people prone to asthma. The flu makes matters worse for asthmatic lungs and asthmatic patients may graduate from flu to a more serious ailment like pneumonia. Taking both the flu and pneumonia vaccinations on a regular basis is an important measure for minimizing problems associated with asthma. A flu vaccine is the best way to prevent the flu and subsequent respiratory problems associated with it including worsening of symptoms caused by asthma.
Immunotherapy for Long Term Relief from Asthma
The IgE blood test is very useful in identifying the risk factor(s) that trigger asthma in individuals. Once you become aware of your own triggers, you may decide to opt for selective immunotherapy treatments. These treatments involve regular injections of anti-allergenic drugs. A long-term benefit that immunotherapy provides is the acquaintance of the body to the presence of allergens. Once the patient is exposed to the allergen regularly, the immune system is not provoked by them to defend the body violently as before. Therefore, asthma attacks due to allergens will be less severe.
The more you act towards detecting asthma, the more quicker your doctor or specialist will cure it. When you avoid asthma, it could lead to unhealthy situations that might later trigger your body and depreciate its state. You should always be aware and alert about the proper functioning of your body. Even the slightest irregular development must be noted and made known to the doctor who would then be able to cure the disorder completely.