5 Good Ways of Avoiding Asthma Triggers
Updated on 03 May 2016

With asthma rates on a constant rise and air pollution only getting worse, scientists are taking additional effort in detecting its causes and determining all of its possible relieves. As a long term disease infecting lungs, asthma is a continual struggle for everyone affected by it. Mostly developed in early childhood, it can also be spurred as an occupational hazard for workers exposed to industrial dust and chemicals and affect teenage smokers and people struggling with obesity. With no cure yet found, it can be only controlled, never completely healed. For that reason, getting to know the disease and triggers that induce it is of the utmost importance.

Fortunately, most of the triggers causing asthma attacks are now well known, and include allergens like pollen, mould, certain types of food, dust mites and cockroaches. There are also linked to pet allergens, air pollution and dry or humid weather. In order to keep the disease from affecting your daily routines or getting worse, be sure to avoid those at any cost. Here are some suggestions.

1. Keep an asthma diary

Not every asthma sufferer reacts to triggers with the same intensity. Consequently, the most effective way of controlling your disease is by observing its symptoms very carefully. A lot of doctors advise patients to develop an asthma action plan, and few of them actually participate in the process. By pinpointing each of your triggers and keeping track of the periods during which they are most aggressive, the prevention of asthma attacks can be much easier. You can, naturally, do it without the help of your doctor. With a simple asthma diary, you can record every single detail of your condition for a couple of weeks. Be sure to detect every factor, both environmental and emotional, even if it seems insignificant at the time. If your symptoms don’t eliminate with time, that only means that there are some factors that are not obvious enough. In that case, do some research on allergen testing – they diagnose even the sneakiest of triggers and can be of major help, while trying to avoid them. 

2. Make your environment allergy-free

Even if you spend most of your time at home, it’s quite possible that other environments play a significant part in your asthma attacks as well. By commuting, working or socializing, you are putting yourself at risk of being exposed to both allergens and pollution. Avoiding all those environments is certainly not a way to go, but you can still take some measures in trying to avoid the factors that increase your illness. Start with your own home and make it completely allergy-free by getting rid of dust mites and cockroaches, mould and vapours. Also, be sure to use your cleaning chemicals with caution. Avoid meeting your friends in fuggy restaurants and bars that allow smoking. When travelling, always bring your own bedding and, if your trip demands sleeping over in a hotel, remember to ask for a non-smoker room.

3. Prolong your winter sleep

Most asthma triggers lurk in the open air. And while, unfortunately, air pollution and cigarette smoke are unavoidable for sufferers living in the urban areas, pollen can be somewhat avoided. As it seems, it is the greatest (and the most obvious) inducer of asthma flares, and you can steer away from it by simply staying indoors during the high-risk seasons, like spring and fall. Exercising in nature can also be a problem for some asthmatics, but exercise is still the one thing you shouldn’t avoid. You can simply eliminate the attacks by taking your physical routine down a notch.

4. Cut the smoke

The risk of developing asthma is much greater with cigarette smoke, and for those already affected by it, smoking is the major trigger. However impossible it might seem, cigarette cessation is absolutely paramount if you’re struggling with asthma attacks. For non-smoker asthmatics, being around others who do smoke is just as difficult. Explain to your family and friends that asthma is a serious condition and ask them for some understanding. In addition to avoiding stuffy venues, you should keep you home smoke-free by installing a good venting system and air-conditioner, and aerating on the regular basis.

5. Stay healthy

Apart from those asthma triggers you can intentionally avoid, there are some conditions you can’t stay immune to. By affecting your body and making it weaker, infection and viruses irritate your lungs as well, thus intensifying your illness further. Every disease that affects your respiratory system, even only your sinuses, like flu and pneumonia, are certain to cause more asthma flares. For that reason, don’t forget to take precaution and always build up your immune system during flu season. And, illnesses that affect your body aren’t the only ones – your mental life is far more complex than you think, and living with incurable, long-term disease like asthma can leave some serious marks on your psyche. Try to control your stress and anxiety levels and, if needed, ask for some help with adjusting to the disease.

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Most importantly, don’t waste too much of your energy trying to fight asthma off. It is a condition that will stay with you for the greater part of your life, and you can only eliminate it by learning to coexist. Observe its triggers and symptoms regularly, but never let the disease take over your life by overdoing it. Be vigilant, but calm, listen to expert advices and live by them, and in time, your symptoms will completely wear off.

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