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10 Best Tips To Prevent Asthma Attacks

Asthma is a condition that occurs when there is an obstruction in the flow of air in the lungs. This causes difficulty in breathing and leads to wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. Asthma happens due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

An asthma attack is triggered by inflammation in the airways and as a result, it leads to the swelling of the lining of the airways, bronchospasm, and secretion of mucus. These factors cause narrower airways and restrict airflow [1] .

The common asthma allergens are mould, dust mites, pollen and other allergens and it can also be due to cold air, smoke, strong fragrances, and air pollution [2] .

There is no cure for asthma, so the right treatment is required to control the disease by identifying and limiting the exposure to triggers. There are many things that you can do to prevent an asthma attack.

Tips To Prevent Asthma Attacks

1. Avoid humidity

Air quality is important to prevent asthma attacks. Poor air quality, extremely hot and humid weather can trigger asthma symptoms in many people [3] . This could worsen your asthma attacks, so it's necessary that you use an air conditioner to lower indoor humidity. If the asthma symptoms are worse, you can move to a location where you can enjoy the fresh air.

2. Prevent mould and mildew

Mould and mildew are allergens that can cause asthma symptoms like severe wheezing and coughing [4] . Mould and mildew grow in shower curtains, tubs, basins, tiles and bath items. Make sure to regularly clean the damp areas in the bathroom and kitchen and around the house. If you have an indoor plant, make sure you do not over-water them to prevent mould.

3. Limit dust exposure

Dust is a common asthma trigger because it contains tiny particles of pollen, fibre from clothing, mould and detergents. Dust mite is another allergen that causes asthma. It lives on pillows, mattresses, furniture, etc [5] . To prevent asthma attacks clean the carpets and heavy drapes in your bedroom, wash all bedding in hot water, and vacuum your house twice a week.

4. Stay away from smoke

Smoke can irritate your lungs, especially when you are suffering from asthma. Smoke can trigger asthma attacks, so avoid smoking areas because it causes coughing and wheezing, which becomes worse [6] . Don't allow others to smoke near you, avoid public places that permit smoking, and also your kitchen should have an exhaust fan that can remove smoke while you are cooking.

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5. Keep away from pets

Household pets can trigger an asthma attack. Do you know how? Because their hair, fur, feathers and saliva are common causes of asthma [7] . So, keeping yourself away from pets is one of the tips to prevent an asthma attack.

6. Avoid stress

When you are stressed out, your breathing becomes rapid. This causes restrictions in the airways and can lead to an asthma attack, especially when you are already suffering from asthma. Stress weakens your immune system, making you vulnerable to asthma attacks [8] . It is necessary that you practice deep-breathing exercises to calm yourself, do meditation and yoga daily, and spend time with your family and friends to avoid stress.

7. Avoid exercising strenuously

Asthma attacks are common in people who exercise as well. Prolonged and strenuous exercises can trigger asthma, so it is important that you don't perform exercises that put stress on your heart and lungs [9] . Try doing brisk walking, biking, swimming, yoga, etc. However, consult a doctor before you start doing any exercise.

8. Take good care of yourself

Respiratory illnesses like cold, flu or sinus infections can trigger asthma symptoms, and in some serious cases, an asthma attack. It is recommended that you take good care of yourself during the cold and flu season.

9. Make dietary changes

A diet rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A, flavonoids, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, and selenium is good for people suffering from asthma. Consume plenty of fruits and vegetables, flax seeds, salmon and tuna. Avoid eating processed and packaged foods [10] .

10. Use humidifiers

Humidifiers increase the moisture level in the air by releasing water vapour and this works for a few people to ease their asthma symptoms. If there is too much moisture in the air, it can lead to dust mite growth. So, it is recommended that the humidity level should be between 30 and 45 per cent to avoid this problem.

View Article References
  1. [1] James, A. L., Paré, P. D., & Hogg, J. C. (1989). The mechanics of airway narrowing in asthma.Am Rev Respir Dis,139(1), 242-246.
  2. [2] Tortolero, S. R., Bartholomew, L. K., Tyrrell, S., Abramson, S. L., Sockrider, M. M., Markham, C. M., ... & Parcel, G. S. (2002). Environmental allergens and irritants in schools: a focus on asthma.Journal of School Health,72(1), 33-38.
  3. [3] Rossi, O. V., Kinnula, V. L., Tienari, J., & Huhti, E. (1993). Association of severe asthma attacks with weather, pollen, and air pollutants.Thorax,48(3), 244-248.
  4. [4] Mendell, M. J., Mirer, A. G., Cheung, K., Tong, M., & Douwes, J. (2011). Respiratory and allergic health effects of dampness, mold, and dampness-related agents: a review of the epidemiologic evidence.Environmental health perspectives,119(6), 748-756.
  5. [5] Milián, E., & Díaz, A. M. (2004). Allergy to house dust mites and asthma.Puerto Rico health sciences journal,23(1).
  6. [6] Thomson, N. C., Chaudhuri, R., & Livingston, E. (2004). Asthma and cigarette smoking.European respiratory journal,24(5), 822-833.
  7. [7] Apelberg, B. J., Aoki, Y., & Jaakkola, J. J. (2001). Systematic review: Exposure to pets and risk of asthma and asthma-like symptoms.Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology,107(3), 455-460.
  8. [8] Chen, E., & Miller, G. E. (2007). Stress and inflammation in exacerbations of asthma.Brain, behavior, and immunity,21(8), 993-999.
  9. [9] Del Giacco, S. R., Firinu, D., Bjermer, L., & Carlsen, K. H. (2015). Exercise and asthma: an overview.European clinical respiratory journal,2, 27984.
  10. [10] Chatzi, L., Apostolaki, G., Bibakis, I., Skypala, I., Bibaki-Liakou, V., Tzanakis, N., ... & Cullinan, P. (2007). Protective effect of fruits, vegetables and the Mediterranean diet on asthma and allergies among children in Crete.Thorax,62(8), 677-683.

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