Asthma can be frustrating to manage. There are several ways an asthma attack can be triggered, but not everyone has the same sensitivities. Your asthma type often determines what you’ll be most sensitive to in certain situations. Over time, you’ll learn what aggravates your symptoms the most, and how to react.
Below we have put together a short list of the most common asthma irritants to consider. See if any of these line up with your daily routines and asthma flares.
#1: Dust, pet dander, and vermin
Allergies and asthma share a lot of the same root irritants. This can include dusty rooms and animals among others.
Setting aside time to clean on a weekly basis can help reduce your symptoms considerably. So can avoiding direct interactions with animals you know you are sensitive to. Quickly respond to signs of rodent or insect infestations at home. Also remember to use unscented cleaners when possible, as some chemicals can trigger asthma symptoms as well.
Cigarettes and other smoking methods are very common asthma agitators. It’s highly recommended that you do not smoke as a person with asthma. Damage to your lungs is more likely to occur over time. Sadly, little can be done about secondhand smoke exposure while out in public. This is why having your inhalers with you when you go out is so important. When possible, remove yourself from locations where people are smoking. This includes both indoor and outdoor settings.
#3: Physical activity
Some people experience exercise-induced asthma. Symptoms can often increase when working out, playing sports, or doing other strenuous activities like moving heavy objects. Did you know that you can speak to your doctor, prescribing pharmacist, or advanced nurse practitioner about how your asthma plan can help to support you to stay active?
#4: Poor air quality
Air pollution levels vary depending on where you live. City areas often have greater levels of air pollution, while more rural towns and counties have lower concentrations. Air quality has a direct impact on asthma symptoms and should be considered as a possible irritant. You can also check air quality in your area by looking at your local weather app. Also, be aware that sudden shifts in weather can often trigger asthma. This means very hot or cold temperatures and very humid or dry air.
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