The Dangers Of Asthma

Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition caused by the narrowing of the airways in the lungs. If these airways are inflamed or blocked, breathing becomes difficult. Symptoms of asthma often include wheezing, constant coughing, or difficulty breathing. The symptoms vary from mild flare-ups to severe, life-threatening asthma attacks. Since asthma is incurable, all patients should consult with a doctor for ways to decrease the risk of severe episodes.

center for family medicine Managing Asthma How To Decrease My Risk For Asthma Attacks And Flare-Ups.jpg

What triggers your asthma?

Asthma is often an internal response to an external irritant. Airborne pollutants like smoke, dust, pollen, and mold are common triggers. Some people also get asthma from changes in the air, viral infections, physical exertion, some foods, or medicines. These triggers show up at various times in someone’s life. Severe asthma attacks, called exacerbations, can lead to chest tightness, anxiety, and hospitalization.

Track your triggers

Chronic coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath are common asthma signs. Start tracking the situations that ignited these symptoms. For example, is there lots of cigarette smoke around? Did the symptoms come up after exercising? Does asthma flare up more during the winter? Write down all possible triggers and speak with a doctor immediately.

Do you need asthma medication?

Doctors will perform several tests and ask several questions to help diagnose asthma. The degree of asthma determines the type of medication required. Common drugs include inhalers that provide a mist of corticosteroids, sometimes combined with other drugs. There are also inhalers and other nebulizers for quick relief in emergencies. Use the right medication at the right time to avoid severe flare-ups.

Avoid those triggers

People with asthma must try to avoid triggers as much as possible. Patients can start by avoiding smoke-filled and dust-filled areas. Quitting smoking will also help. When feasible, set up the home with air purifiers, humidifiers, and cleaning options to remove dust, mold, or pet hair. Some people may even need to relocate or change jobs to ensure future health and safety. If a cold or flu is a trigger, do not hesitate to take the yearly flu vaccine.

Exercise safely

Exercise is excellent for cardiovascular health. At the same time, people with asthma can encounter flare-ups. Speak with a doctor before trying any new exercise routine. Once approved by the doctor, always exercise under the guidance of a trainer who understands the condition. Swimming, walking, biking, yoga, and light resistance training are typically safe exercises. Activities involving cold weather or prolonged physical activity like sports may cause asthma attacks.

An asthma-free lifestyle

For all types of asthma, some foods and behaviors can create flare-ups. High inflammation foods like dairy, soy, and wheat may create mucus in the lungs. About 10% of asthma patients are sensitive to sulfites, an additive found in beer, wine, dried fruit, and preservatives. Being overweight is also a serious risk factor for asthma. Taking steps through a diet with more fruits and vegetables while avoiding excess alcohol can help. Taking the necessary medicine, environment, and lifestyle steps to help keep asthma at bay.

Get In Touch