Contributed by – Healthians Team
If you’re an asthma patient, chances are that you would have experienced an unexpected asthma attack on a relatively “normal” day that probably left you wondering why it happened at all. The thing about asthma triggers is that you may or may not react to one immediately upon contact. The other problem is that the thing that triggered your attack may not have any impact on another asthma patient. Thus making it hard to track asthma triggers, however, there are some preventive steps you can take to reduce your risk for an attack considerably. Read on to know about the 7 common asthma triggers that can cause an asthma attack. With a little planning, you can avoid these triggers and reduce the chances of an asthma episode.
Irritants in the air
Pollen, pollution, cigarette smoke, and fumes from burning vegetation can be troublesome for asthma patients. Although you can’t do much about the pollen outdoors, there are ways to avoid it. Keep windows and doors of your home closed, avoid tasks like gardening, lawn mowing, and dusting, etc. and if possible install air conditioners and dehumidifiers to lower the levels of pollen along with pollutants and humidity indoors. Air conditioners can also help in the reduction of dust mites, which is an added benefit. On the days when you have to step outside, make sure to check the weather and levels of pollution and pollen.
Most of the allergens that can cause an asthma episode are probably already in your home. Dust mites, cockroaches, mold and pets are some of the common reasons for asthma flare-ups. To limit your exposure to such allergens you can use dust-proof covers for your mattresses, sweep the area that might attract cockroaches, fix any water leakages, use dehumidifiers to control mold, avoid having pets, and if, that’s not possible then try to keep them off your bedroom, clothes, furniture, etc.
Exercise and other physically demanding activities can lead to an asthma attack since they cause your airways to narrow. In exercise-induced asthma, you’ll notice symptoms like cough, chest tightness and trouble breathing within the first 10-15 minutes of exercise. However, for most people, these symptoms go away in the next 30 to 60 minutes of exercise. In some cases, there may be another attack of exercise-induced asthma 6 to 10 hours later.
While some forms of exercise may induce asthma, it is, however, necessary to include exercise in your daily routine for overall health. The best option would be to consult a doctor and understand what types of exercises you can undertake safely.
Various viruses, infections, and diseases that affect your lungs can cause an asthma flare-up. Examples include influenza, cold, pneumonia, sore throat and sinusitis. Pregnancy, obesity, sleep apnea, food allergies, and hormonal changes may also lead to an asthma attack. If you have a history of such conditions or are currently facing them, then you need to be extra careful.
Strong emotions such as laughter, anger, stress or crying can trigger an asthma attack. It’s not that these emotions lead to an attack, but, while you express these emotions, your breathing pattern changes, even if you don’t have asthma. In case you suffer from asthma, emotional situations may trigger an episode. Although you cannot eliminate expressing emotions, you can always learn ways to reduce your stress and bring your breathing rate to normal.
Weather can also trigger an asthma attack. Cold and dry air is a common asthma trigger. High humidity is also bad for asthma patients as it promotes the growth of mold which again triggers asthma. Try and avoid going out in such weather as much as possible. Keep windows closed to prevent cold, dry air from entering your house. And if you do need to go out then cover your nose and mouth properly with a scarf.
Many asthmatics are allergic to anti-inflammatory drugs and beta-blockers as they worsen their asthma symptoms. If you are sensitive to these drugs make sure you inform your doctor about it before starting any new medication.
While eliminating or completely stopping any of these factors might not be possible, reducing and minimising your interaction with them can help you live a happier, healthier life.