Manage the Possible Triggers Around You and Look Beyond Obvious Ones
Managing asthma can be a roller-coaster ride. One minute you’re feeling great; the next you’re having difficulty breathing. The coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath signal that things are not right.
Talk to the doctor if you or someone you love is experiencing these symptoms more than twice a week. It could mean that the asthma isn’t being managed well. Together with your doctor, you can review your medication and your asthma triggers. But also consider whether you’re making one of these asthma management mistakes.
Mistake #1: You don’t check the weather.
The weather affects your health, especially asthma. If you don’t know how your breathing reacts to various weather conditions, you can’t take precautions. Cold, dry air could be a trigger, but so can warm, wet weather. Thunderstorms in particular can rupture pollen grains, and their winds can spread these allergens through the air.
Mistake #2: You ignore air quality reports.
Consider this: Approximately two out of every five people in the United States are exposed to unhealthy levels of air pollution, according to the 2017 State of the Air report from the American Lung Association. This may increase your risk for not only asthma attacks but also lung infections, heart disease and more.
Mistake #3: You keep your windows open.
Just as going outside can trigger your asthma, leaving your windows open allows outside air pollution and pollen into your home. In addition, change your clothes after being outside to prevent tracking these pollutants indoors.
You should also keep your car windows closed, especially if you’re sitting in traffic. Car fumes can affect your breathing, possibly causing an asthma attack.
Mistake #4: There are cockroaches in your home.
Research has linked asthma symptoms to the presence of cockroaches. To get rid of the buggers: Seal leaks and cracks, don’t leave dirty dishes out and use cockroach traps.
Mistake #5: You clean with the wrong products.
If you have a cleaning routine, good for you. However, if you aren’t using a vacuum with a HEPA (aka a high-efficiency particulate air) filter or are using products with fragrances, you may be aggravating your asthma, not minimizing it.