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10 things asthma patient should avoid

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Dr Gyanendra Agrawal, Senior Consultant, Respiratory & Critical Care unit, Jaypee Hospital, Noida says, ‘As there is no cure for asthma, the only way to deal with the condition is to avoid triggers that might cause irritation of the lungs. And since, the triggers differ from person to person, it is important to know the triggers beforehand for effective control of the condition. Hence, if you experience the symptoms of asthma like wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and cough, in addition to taking medications for the condition, it is important to know the underlying cause of the disease to prevent any further asthmatic attack.’ Hence, stay away from these 10 common triggers of asthma to prevent an asthmatic attack.

1. Dust

Dust, due to its allergy-inducing properties, causes havoc for asthmatics. Therefore it’s absolutely essential that very high levels of hygiene are maintained and that rooms are kept dust-free. This can be achieved by thoroughly vacuuming the every nook and corner of the room. Also read about could your child’s cough be a symptom of asthma?

2. Pollens

Pollen from flowers is a well-known trigger for asthma attacks and hence, it goes without saying that one will do well by avoiding them. Moreover, growing plants indoors can be dangerous too, since they can be a source of mold – which also acts as a trigger for asthma.  To avoid the formation of molds, make sure not to overwater plants, keep them in a sunny place and remove dead parts as soon as they appear. Here are 7 environmental triggers of asthma in kids.

3. Pets

If you are an animal lover, you might have a difficult time to deal with asthma. Research suggests that contact with cats or dogs is extremely dangerous for asthmatics. Not to mention the fact that small pieces of fur, particles of hair, saliva and even skin are all known asthma triggers. Even if the pet is not physically around you, their fur/hair might be in your environment and may pose a high risk. So stay away from pets to lower the severity of asthma.

4. Smoke and aromas in the kitchen

The smoke and aromas given off when cooking can be a major irritant to asthma sufferers so take steps to reduce such problems. Make sure that your kitchen has proper ventilation. If a proper exhaust fan or chimney is not available, then ensure there is an open window in the kitchen to help the cooking smells to escape outside.

5. Smoking

Cigarette smoke contains different chemicals and gases that can irritate the lungs. Smoking not only increases your chance of getting asthma but also worsens the symptoms such as coughing and wheezing. Also, smoking during pregnancy is known to increase the risk of decreased lung function and wheezing in infants. You may also like to read about 8 steps to manage asthma in children better.

6. Anti-inflammatory drugs

Certain prescription and over-the-counter drugs like aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen and beta blockers) may trigger asthma attacks. If you are taking any medications, inform your doctor about the condition.  Here’s everything about various medicines used to treat asthma.

7. Exercise

Yes! Even exercising can trigger an asthmatic attack. Exercise-induced asthma is a type of asthma triggered by vigorous or prolonged exercise or physical exertion. Narrowing of airway begins five to 20 minutes after exercise begins, making it difficult to catch your breath.

Whenever we breathe, the air is first warmed and moistened by the nasal passages. However, during exercise people tend to breathe through their mouths thus inhaling colder and drier air. In exercise-induced asthma, the muscle bands around the airways are sensitive to these changes in temperature and humidity. They react by contracting, which narrows the airway triggering symptoms of exercise-induced asthma.

8. Extreme weather

Hot and humid weather or extremely cold weather causes asthma symptoms to flare-up. Even though the weather changes cannot be controlled, asthmatic patients should ensure that they do not expose themselves to varying temperatures in a short time. As the severity of the symptoms increases during winters, here are 4 tips to prevent asthma attacks during winter.

9. Extreme emotional arousal

Extreme emotions such as anxiety, anger and fear might induce stress which in turn changes heart-rate and breathing patterns. The rapid, shallow breathing causes constriction of airways and can consequently lead to an asthmatic attack.

10. Food allergies

Some of the most common foods associated with allergic symptoms are eggs, cow’s milk, peanuts, soy, wheat, fish, shrimp, etc. Food preservatives like sodium bisulfite, potassium bisulfite, sodium metabisulfite, potassium metabisulfite and sodium sulfite can also trigger asthma. Here’s more on expert diet tips to deal with asthma.

While avoiding all these trigger factors is important you should know that living with asthma is not an issue anymore!

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