How to Prevent Asthma Attacks

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Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition that affects millions of people around the world. Asthma attacks may be terrifying and weakening but, by having the right information and taking some precautions, you can significantly reduce the risk of suffering from them. In this article, we will address the best practices to prevent asthma attacks and lead a healthy and active lifestyle.

What is asthma and what triggers attacks?

Asthma is an illness in which the airways become inflamed and narrowed, making breathing difficult. Asthma attacks take place when the airways become more and more narrow due to inflammation and excess mucus production. This leads to symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, wheezing, chest tightness, and coughing.

While asthma attack triggers can vary from person to person, some of the most common ones include:

Allergies: Being exposed to allergens such as pollen, dust, dust mites, and pet hair may trigger asthma attacks in sensitive individuals.

Respiratory infections: Colds, flu, and other respiratory infections may worsen asthma symptoms and trigger attacks.

Smoke and air pollutants: Exposure to tobacco smoke, air pollution, and other irritants may cause inflammation of the airways and trigger an asthma attack.

Physical effort: In some cases, vigorous exercise could cause asthma symptoms and lead to what is known as “exercise-induced asthma.”


Strategies to Prevent Asthma Attacks


Know your triggers

The first step to prevent asthma attacks is to identify your specific triggers. Keep a diary of your symptoms and activities to determine which factors could be causing the attacks. Once you identify your triggers, you can take measures to prevent them or reduce their impact.

Measures you may implement at home

In order to keep asthma attacks at bay, it is essential to keep your home clean and free of allergens, especially if you are sensitive to certain triggers. The following are some cleaning tips that may help you maintain a healthy environment at home.

Vacuum regularly: Use a vacuum cleaner with a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter to trap small particles, such as dust and dust mites. Wash the bed linens with hot water: Wash the bed sheets, pillowcases, and blankets frequently with hot water (at 140°F or higher) to eliminate dust mites and other allergen

Use anti-dust mite pillowcases: Place waterproof and dust-mite proof pillowcases to protect against dust mites.

Clean using damp cloths: Instead of sweeping or dusting, use damp cloths to clean surfaces and furniture. This helps trap dust instead of dispersing it through the air.

Keep the clutter under control: Having less objects around the house equals less spots where dust can accumulate. Keep the clutter under control and regularly clean shelves and surfaces.

Wash all plush toys:  If you have plush or fabric toys, wash them in hot water or put them in a plastic bag inside the freezer for several hours to eliminate potential allergens.

Clean the filters: Regularly clean and replace the air-conditioning and air-purifier filters to keep the air clean.

Air out the house: Open the windows regularly to allow fresh air to circulate and to reduce the concentration of indoor allergens.

Use fragrance-free cleaning products: Cleaning products with strong fragrances could irritate the airways. Opt for natural or fragrance-free products.

Wash the dishes immediately: Dirty dishes and cutlery attract pests, such as cockroaches that produce allergens. Wash them and store them immediately after.

Keep your pets clean: If you have pets, give them a bath and brush their coat regularly to reduce the amount of hair and allergens released into the environment.

Avoid rugs: If possible, choose easy-to-clean surfaces instead of rugs.

Store chemical products in a safe place: Chemical cleaning products could release irritating fumes. Store them in a safe and well-ventilated place.

Measures you may take when leaving the house

In order to prevent asthma attacks, it is important to consider outdoor triggers as well. These are some things you must avoid or be cautious about when going outside:

Tobacco smoke: Avoid places where there is tobacco smoke because it can trigger asthma attacks. Stay away from active smokers and areas where smoking is allowed.Air pollution: If you live in a highly polluted area, try to avoid outdoor activities during the days when there are higher air pollution levels.

Pollen: If you’re allergic to pollen, check local forecasts and try to avoid outdoor activities on the days with high pollen concentration.

Furry animals: If you’re allergic to pets, avoid places where there are furry animals, such as the house of a friend or relative who has pets.

High humidity: Try to avoid spending much time in spaces with high humidity, as it promotes the growth of mold and dust mites in humid climates.

Dust and pollution in the workplace: If you work in an environment with dust or chemical substances, ensure that you follow the recommended safety measures and consider the use of the appropriate protective gear.

Mass events: There could be a high concentration of allergens and dust at mass events, like concerts or baseball games. To attend these types of events safely, consider taking preventive measures such as using a face mask.

Respiratory infections: Avoid being near people who are sick to reduce the risk of infectious respiratory diseases that could worsen your asthma symptoms.

Drastic temperature changes: Sudden changes in temperature could affect your airways. Protect yourself properly when facing significant climate changes.

Remember that each person may have specific triggers. Therefore, it is important to identify the triggers that affect you and take the appropriate measures to prevent them. Always carry a rescue inhaler with you and follow the treatment instructions recommended by your doctor. Contact Salus specialists to make an online appointment or call 787.789.1996.

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